On My Bookshelf…The Peacock Party

Last week in the first of this series, and as part of my self-declared Bug Week, I shared with you Alan Aldridge’s illustrated The Butterfly Ball. Gorgeous, wasn’t it?

Well, the treats just don’t stop. People, here’s THE SEQUEL:

Inside cover illustrations

In this book, the feathered inhabitants of this charming world decide that anything those bugs can do, birds can do better. This volume was published in 1979 based on anonymous sequels to Roscoe’s version, illustrated in collaboration with Harry Wilcock, and with verses by George E. Ryder…and OMG I’ve just found out there is a THIRD one – The Lion’s Cavalcade! *taps away on Amazon…Sold!*

Sir Perceval Peacock Proposes A Party
Oswald Ostrich, R.A.
The Raven however was far from delighted; He cursed at the party; he wasn’t invited.

It is equally as charming.  No field notes on bird identification this time, but no less adorable. I could literally recite each poem here, they are all so delightful. This is one of my faves:

Before the world found shape or rhyme,

Before the pendulum measured time,

You were spawned by a murky spell,

You bedmate of demons and powers of hell!

Haunter of the gallows tree,

Raven, what mysteries do you see?

What hellish schemes do you devise?

What evil brews in your cruel, coal eyes?

Busy in your time-worn tower,

You spin your black charms hour by hour:

“Take sulphur’s fumous air,

Mercury, potassium mix with care,

Charge this broth to gentle fire,

Add bat fur, cobweb – stir this mire.

Then your evil wish behold:

The ruddy hues of magic gold!”

The Story Of The Mighty Parrot, Shel-Em-Nazam

‘Many stories have been told

Of tyrants, despots, villains bold.

Worst was the parrot, Shel-em-Nazam,

Spawned by a she-devil, sired by a ram.’

Madame Bella Donna

Again, the page of Madame Swanna is scored with my childhood tracing.

The Peacock Party

Finally, we are treated to a double page pull out of the triumphant Party:

The Peacock Party (detail)
The Peacock Party (detail)

You can see more of Aldridge’s work here.

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