Back with the Borribles

Aimée and Rose de Larabeitti remember the stories their father, Michael, told them—stories he would go on to publish as the anarchic, anti-authoritarian, and completely wonderful Borrible Trilogy of young adult books.

The Borribles are back!

I've been posting here about The Borribles for more than a decade (proof!). Michael de Larrabeiti's young adult fantasy trilogy from the 1980s remains among my most favourite examples of both YA literature and literature about London. The books detail the lives of the Borribles, a race of elfin, pointy-eared changelings, whose number swells every time a naughty child simply walks away from home and begins a new life as an immortal, pointy-eared trickster. — Read the rest

Borribles: fine, dark English kids' trilogy

Michael de Larrabeiti's classic children's trilogy, "The Borribles," is back in print in an omnibus edition incorporating all three volumes of the story. "Borribles" is not only one of the finest children's adventure stories ever penned, it's also an epic love poem to London, in the same way that China Mieville's King Rat is — dark and glorying in the decadent, intestinal twistings and turnings of London's sooty, crowded, vibrant streets. — Read the rest

Shel Silverstein's UNCLE SHELBY, not exactly a kids' book

After this year's World Science Fiction Convention, I was sitting around the bar with some writers and editors and we got to talking about subversive kids' literature. Everyone had their favorites, but then George RR Martin proceeded to describe a book so incredibly twisted, funny and wonderfully wicked that I could scarce believe he wasn't putting me on. — Read the rest

Philip Pullman's brilliant kids' trilogy

I've just finished reading Philip Pullman's Northern Lights, the first volume in a British kids' fantasy trilogy. I'm over the moon with delight. This is a brilliant novel: gripping, funny, dark, heartwarming and vivid. I haven't been so glad of a BritLit book since The Borribles Trilogy — up until now my absolute favorite kids' fantasy books, not least because of their unflinching grimness and refusal to be even slightly twee. — Read the rest

The Wombles of Wimbleton Common

The Wombles of Wimbleton Common were a terrific British kids' show (though I later read and fell in love with Michael DeLarabetti's Borribles books, and realized how terribly saccharine the Wombles really were). Here's a link to the Wombles' songs, which are funny and British as all get out. — Read the rest