Introduced by Jacqueline Wilson
Illustrated by Sara Ogilvie
Dodie Smith’s classic children’s tale, The Hundred and One Dalmatians, in a stunning Folio collector’s edition, lavishly illustrated by the award-winning Sara Ogilvie and introduced by Jacqueline Wilson.
‘Wouldn’t they make enchanting fur coats?’ simpers the devious Cruella de Vil – one of children’s literature’s most diabolical villains – upon meeting Pongo and Missus, beloved Dalmatians of Mr and Mrs Dearly. But when the Dalmatians’ pups are stolen from their London home and held hostage at Hell Hall, Cruella’s stately country house, the dogs of Britain unite to help their parents cross England to rescue them in time for Christmas.
Famously adapted by Walt Disney in 1961, Dodie Smith’s classic tale of a great dog robbery was inspired when a friend idly remarked that Smith’s own Dalmatian, also called Pongo, would make a lovely fur coat. While the film may have captured the spirit of the story, it lacks the style and moments of charm and humour that can only be found in Smith’s inventive novel: the vivacious antics of Nanny Cook and Nanny Butler, the reason why Cruella, as one feisty pup discovers, tastes of pepper, and the mystery behind the identity of the hundred and oneth Dalmatian.
This superb edition is introduced by former Children’s Laureate Jacqueline Wilson, who explains how The Hundred and One Dalmatians won her heart when she first read it as a child, and why it has gone on to do the same for generations of children since its first publication more than 60 years ago. Sara Ogilvie’s charismatic duotone illustrations heighten both the fun and energy of the story. Her Cruella is a perfect mix of the frightening and the ridiculous, and each doggy character is alive with individual personality: the mischievous Roly Poly, the tenacious Cadpig, and the adept Colonel, the sheepdog who is a ‘perfect master of strategy’. Endpapers inspired by a design from the first edition illustrate ‘The Twilight Barking’, Smith’s take on the canine evening news, and the binding design shows a pack of Dalmatians on the run while a haughty Cruella de Vil, decked out in her ‘absolutely simple white mink cloak’, sneers out from the spine. The slipcase, printed with signature Dalmatian spots, rounds off this joyful collector’s edition.
Dodie Smith was a children’s novelist and playwright. Born in 1896 in Whitefield, Lancashire, in 1910 she moved to London, where she attended The Academy of Dramatic Art. She pursued a career in acting alongside working at Heal and Son’s furniture store, where she met her future husband, Alec Beasley. She wrote her first play, Autumn Crocus, in 1931, and its success led to further works, including Call it a Day (1936) and Dear Octopus (1938). Smith and her husband moved to the United States in the 1940s, where her homesickness for Britain inspired her first novel, I Capture the Castle (1948). She continued to author plays and novels, but she is perhaps best known for The Hundred and One Dalmatians (1956), which was adapted by Disney in 1961. Smith died in 1990.
Jacqueline Wilson was born in Bath, but spent most of her childhood in Kingston-on-Thames, and now lives near the south coast. A prolific writer, she is best known for her Tracy Beaker and Hetty Feather books, which have been adapted into award-winning series for CBBC, and her novels The Illustrated Mum (1999), which won the Children’s Book of the Year and the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize, Lizzie Zipmouth (2000), which won the Gold Smarties Prize, and Girls in Tears (2002), which was named Children’s Book of the Year at the 2003 British Book Awards. In 2002, Wilson was awarded an OBE for services to literacy, and was made a Dame in 2008; she served as Children’s Laureate from 2005 to 2007.
Sara Ogilvie was born in Edinburgh and lives in Newcastle upon Tyne. Best known for her children’s illustrations, her books in collaboration with author Anna Kemp have been shortlisted for the Booktrust Early Years Award, The Waterstones Children’s Prize and The Roald Dahl Funny Prize. In 2011 she was awarded a Booktrust Best New Illustrator Award. She has previously illustrated four books for The Folio Society: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (2010), The Midnight Folk (2011), The Box of Delights (2012) and The Comedians (2015).
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