Do you ever remember things that you absolutely loved when you were like 5 and wonder whatever became of them? In the course of chats with my sister there have been recurring mentions of a character called Percival pea, Percival, if you’re not familiar with him, is a pea with some human like qualities- a personified pea you might say- he lives in a house, has friends over for tea (although sometimes he forgets they have plans and goes off fishing,very forgetful fellow is Percival), that kind of thing. He’s the co-star of a book called Percival Pea and Polly Pomegranate, which is one in a series called the Garden Gang. The gang are all fruit and vegetables that go around acting like people (Bertie Brussel Sprout was a brilliant footballer) and their names were all delicious alliterations (see Percival and co) except for Penelope Strawberry, that was perhaps an attempt by the author-who was only 9(!)- to go in a bold new direction.
So today, after maybe the sixth conversation in which Percival had somehow come up, Ellen and I got to reminiscing about the Garden gang and their adventures-we had nearly all the books-and just wondering what happened to them. So we decided to find out. I have to admit it wasn’t much of a task. The internet is so great. No need to rummage through the attic or flip through filing cabinets in some dusty library archive. Nope a few fractions of a second’s googling and here they were
I’m pretty sure they’re out of print…I wish we still had them,they’re probably worth well into the zillions at this stage, especially the ones I decorated with red crayon. Well ok this one on Amazon is only 1p but surely that’s because Belinda Blackcurrant was one of the dud members of the gang? http://www.amazon.co.uk/Gertrude-Gooseberry-Blackcurrant-Ladybird-Learning/dp/0721406246/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1277069339&sr=1-2
All the talk of Garden Gang then led me to search out this fella
writer of another beloved series about things acting like things that they weren’t. We had this book and it was probably my favourite thing EVER http://www.amazon.co.uk/Richard-Scarrys-Busy-World/dp/0601070674/ref=sr_1_24?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1277065045&sr=1-24
Mum’s friend gave it to us for Christmas I think, (the previous year she had given me this weird picture book dictionary yoke in French so she had a lot to make up for really). I used to just draw all the characters and pretend I was in the cat family. There was a really hilarious boy cat, bit of a Bart Simpson type who I wanted to BE…I was only like 4 or 5 though and I’m sure any 5 year old, or expert on 5 year olds will tell you this sort of aspiration was 100% normal.
Then I discovered that there was also a TV show of the books (I think I remember watching it actually)on TCC (REMEMBER TCC?!) which led to even more searching and rediscovering. I must say the successful unearthing of the childhood faves was a bit of a thrill. Gotta recommend it as a source of entertainment when it’s raining and you want to inject yourself with some of that lovely childhood joy..