However perfect a book may look when first published, it can, over the years, begin to seem a bit dated. It's not just prices and attitudes that change. The parents and grandparents of twenty years ago look very different to those of today.
So it's a real treat for a book for young children to be completely refreshed with new illustrations throughout. And that's what's happening to the series of books about young Jamie and his beloved soft toy, Angus, the little Highland bull. There are three sets of these short stories: The Jamie and Angus Stories, Jamie and Angus Together, and Jamie and Angus Forever, all published by the infinitely painstaking Walker Books.
Sam Usher is the artist and he's taken over from the splendid Penny Dale to do the most wonderful job. The new drawings are warm and cosy and funny, and match the tone and text perfectly. They couldn't look more enchanting and enticing.
Of all the books I've written, these bedtime stories for children of 3-6 years old or so are among my favourites (and not just because my publisher, in an unguarded moment, let slip, "Oh, Anne! I didn't know that you could write nice books.") In fact, I cared about them so much I even asked, and was allowed, to do the recording for the audio version, so they'd be exactly how I envisaged them sounding.
Stories of Jamie and Angus won the prestigious Boston Globe Horn Book Award and was the Cooperative Children's Book Centre Choice. The books came out a few years too late for me to read them to my own children. My grandchildren, however, have not escaped.....
The Jamie and Angus Stories won the 2003 Boston Globe Horn Book Award (USA); read what Anne Fine said in her Horn Book Award acceptance speech. All the Jamie and Angus books are within the reach of beginning readers, and are sympathetically illustrated: in the original editions by Penny Dale, and now with new pictures by Sam Usher.
Click on the covers on the right to find out more about Jamie and Angus, or click any cover below for some more books by Anne Fine which you might enjoy - including two picture books!
Your bookshop or library can order any of these books for you. Ask your librarian for a 'request card'.