The recent television adaptation will have renewed interest in this book which was first published in 1963. It is a charming tale of a unique friendship. Although Barney and Stig have very different lives and speak different languages, they still learn a lot from one another. This is a timeless message for everyone. Whilst attitudes and lifestyle may have changed in some ways since the book was first published, the attitudes of children towards adventures can still be appreciated. This book is firmly set in a believeable context but also contains elements of fantasy (for example Stig himself). It is the way these fit together so well that provides much of the charm. Quite simply Barney is in need of a friend and finds his friend Stig in perhaps the most unlikely place. His families' relative lack of curiosity about Stig allows for many of the advetures Stig and Barney undertake together. Barney believes in Stig and really that is all that matters. I would recommend this book to every reader of all ages. First having been read it when I was very young and now discovering it again.