Introduced by David Almond
Illustrated by Edward Ardizzone
The Folio edition of Stig of the Dump, Clive King’s beloved children’s tale of friendship and time travel. Newly introduced by the award-winning author David Almond, with Edward Ardizzone’s inimitable illustrations from the first edition.
‘“I told you,”, said Barney. “Stig’s always here. He’s my friend.”
Barney spends the school holidays at his grandmother’s house on the Kentish Downs. He’s bored and a little lonely, until he ventures one day to the edge of a nearby chalk pit, falls in and makes a very unusual friend. As introducer David Almond writes, ‘Stig is a stranger in Barney’s world’, but Barney soon discovers that Stig’s world is not so far away after all… Edward Ardizzone’s original illustrations, which have become synonymous with the book, have been retained for this new edition. The binding also mirrors the first edition of 1963, with an illustration from the book repeated in colour and the title written in the artist’s distinctive hand. The pictures throughout have been reproduced from the originals, ensuring that they are crisp and true to Ardizzone’s vision.
Stig of the Dump has never been out of print, and has inspired stage plays and a BAFTA Award-winning TV series. In his affectionate introduction, Almond highlights its continuing relevance to modern-day concerns: recycling, bullying, attitudes towards race and ‘civilization’, and the value of outdoor play in childhood. Stig might be a cave-boy with a rubbish dump for a home, but he gives Barney new perspectives on his own time. Seeing how his friend turns refuse into furnishings for his shelter, Barney thinks, ‘It was amazing what people did throw away, you only had to look…in Stig’s cave to see that sometimes they were quite valuable.’ This connection between past and present is reinforced by the most magical of Barney’s escapades: his moonlit journey to the Stone Age.
King was partly inspired by his own childhood in the village of Ash in Kent – a place that he said ‘needed…something primitive and elemental to wake it up’. Later he was a sailor in the Royal Navy and worked abroad for the British Council. Like King, Barney embraces the unfamiliar. He sees that Stig is different – ‘Funny person to find living next door to you, he thought,’ – but neither this nor the lack of a common language prevent an instant bond from forming. ‘Barney did not understand a word but he recognized the tone of voice – like when grown-ups go on about: “I’m thinking of tearing this down, and building on here…”.’
As Almond writes, the beauty of this novel lies in Barney’s ‘childish openness’: he is an ‘ordinary boy stepping out alone and free into the wilderness’. And Stig of the Dump, like all the very best children’s stories, makes readers ‘feel that they are almost characters in the book themselves’.
David Clive King was born in 1924 in Richmond, Surrey, England, but spent most of his childhood in Ash, a small village on the Kentish North Downs. He read English and Russian at Downing College, Cambridge, and later attended the School of Oriental and African Studies in London. From 1943–6 he served in the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve, and then worked as an officer for the British Council until the early 1970s. He travelled widely during these years, working in countries such as India, Australia, Japan, Syria and Bangladesh. His first book, Hamid of Aleppo, was published in 1958, and in 1973 he turned to writing full time. The author of fifteen novels, King is best known for Stig of the Dump (1963). He now lives in Norfolk, England.
Edward Ardizzone was a painter, print-maker, war artist, and author and illustrator of books, many of them for children. Born in 1900 in the city of Haiphong, now Vietnam, to a French father and English mother, he was brought up in Suffolk, England. After leaving school in 1918, Ardizzone worked as an office clerk in Warminster and London, attending evening classes at the Westminster School of Art,eventually becoming a full-time artist in 1929. Often called the father of the modern children’s picture book, he is best remembered for his Little Tim series, which he wrote and illustrated, with the first title, Tim All Alone, winning the inaugural Kate Greenaway Medal in 1957. Ardizzone died in 1979.
David Almond is an author of novels, stories, picture books, opera librettos and plays. Among his many notable works are Skellig (1998), The Savage (2008), My Name Is Mina (2010), A Song for Ella Grey (2014) and The Tale of Angelino Brown (2017). His major awards include the Carnegie Medal, two Whitbread Awards, the Eleanor Farjeon Award, the Michael L. Printz Award, Le Prix Sorcières and the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize. In 2010 he won the Hans Christian Andersen Award, the world’s most prestigious prize for children’s authors. He is Professor of Creative Writing at Bath Spa University and lives in Newcastle.
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Review by Kevinsheehan on 16th Nov 2017
"Stig of the Dump is one of my most favourite children's book. This edition looks and feels something very special indeed! Although I most have read this book multiple times, as both a child and adul..." [read more]