This book doesn't appear much in children's favourites lists and doesn't seem to be very well-known. I happened to remember it vaguely from my own childhood and thought my own children might like it. And we were not disappointed. The zany inventiveness of the story, featuring Captain Najork and Aunt Fidget Wonkham-Strong, keeps me tittering all the way through, and the passages describing the games of womble, muck and sneedball are a triumph.
This is the most marvellous surreal chidren's story (and fun for the reading adult as well - even when read to a delighted child over and over again!) It would be exceptional as a story alone, but it is Quentin Blake's illustrations which make it one of the best children's books in the world. I am entirely delighted that it is back in print and I can now continue to give it to new generations of children.
Imagine the fun Quentin Blake had illustrating the story of Tom, who fools around, his maiden aunt Fidget Wonkham-Strong, who wears an iron hat, and Captain Najork, who has a handle-bar moustache! A hilarious treat for children and adults alike: why on earth is it out of print? Snap up a second-hand copy now.
This is the best children's book I read as my son was growing up. it combines the wonderful surreal imagination of Russell Hoban with the quite marvellous illustrations of Quentin Blake. The only criticism might be that it could appeal more to the adult reading the book to the child, than to the child itself...