Spotlight on Raymond Briggs
Raymond Briggs is the godfather of children’s graphic novels. He is a quiet, eccentric man who lives in Sussex and collects jigsaw puzzles of The Queen Mother. I collect playing cards I find on the ground (one day I will have a whole set), and I really like Raymond Briggs books.
The book I like the most is The Bear which is a story about a young red headed girl who thinks her teddy knows everything (he might) and the polar bear that comes to live with her. The bear is immense, and fills her room and the pages with white. He is terrifying but deliciously cuddly.
Another book about an unexpected visitor is The Man. This time a red headed boy has to deal with a seven-inch-tall man who barges into his room and demands toast and sanctuary.
A lot of Raymond Brigg’s books are about magical friends. In The Snowman (which is a book without any words at all) a boy (yes, a red head) makes himself a friend from snow and has a winter adventure.
The Puddleman is a magical friend too. I never thought about how the water got put into puddles and how the wavy reflections relate to our world. Luckily, this book explains it all.
Briggs can be really, really funny too, like an old granddad with biscuits in his beard making you laugh until your milk snorts up and out of your nose.
Fungus the Bogeyman is a hilariously revolting book. Bogeymen revel in all things slimy and disgusting. It is a good book to read on a damp, smelly day when you have no clean pants left.
There are lots more Raymond Briggs books too, like Ug: Boy Genius of the Stone Age and his search for soft trousers, and the stories about cantankerous Father Christmas. You should have a look. Some of them will be in the picture books, some in the fiction, and some in the comics section. Have a hunt around – they are well worth it.
I am jealous of Raymond Briggs because he tells such amazing stories and he has the ability to put the little people in his head down on the page for us to see so we can share the story as he knows it. I am also jealous of Raymond Briggs’ friends: I would love to sit and chat with him, maybe tell some bogey jokes, have a fruit mince pie, do a jigsaw. It would be lovely.