Zeb Soanes and James Mayhew
Gaspard the Fox returns for a third adventure and it’s a totally unexpected one.
While chatting to his friends Peter the cat and Flinty the dog he learns from the latter that his owner Honey is taking him to a concert ‘about London’s wildlife’ in Hyde Park that very evening and suggests that Gaspard should come along.
So when Honey and Flinty head for the number 38 bus-stop Gaspard tags along behind.
As Honey boards the bus she drops her scarf. Gaspard catches it and jumps aboard intending to return it when they get off.
Then follows a journey through London – we’re given the fox’s eye view in James Mayhew’s exquisite illustrations- that takes them through Islington with its iconic war memorial,
past China Town, into the heart of theatre land, passing Piccadilly with its famous statue, all the while the recorded voice announcing where they are. Suddenly he hears “Hyde Park Corner’ and off pile the passengers. In the crowd, Gaspard almost loses sight of Honey and Flinty but just in time he makes his exit and follows the masses to the centre of the park
where he finds a suitable spot to stop, wait, hope and listen to the music.
Onto the stage walks a man Gaspard recognises as living close to his den and he’s holding what looks like a white stick. He tells the audience that the next piece of music is so new it’s yet to have a title.
What happens thereafter is truly amazing, but I won’t spoil this eventful, gently humorous story at the heart of which is friendship.
It’s full of lovely details about nature, London (Peter talking of his peregrinations makes me miss it all the more at present) and of course, the music; the map endpapers are terrific too.
How exciting to learn that the story has been adapted by composer Jonathan Dove and is due to be performed with Zeb narrating and James as illustrator.