The Child Thief is officially one of my favourite books. I knew it would be; the absolutely delightful feel of the pages, the engulfing smell of processed paper, the amazing illustrations and the marvellous cover – which wraps around the spine and completes its hug in the back cover.
What about the content? Well, that’s the issue here. I didn’t really care about the content. It was apparent that this book would fit in perfectly in my prearranged shelf of favourites that I didn’t even wait until I was finished to proclaim it as such. Don’t go jumping now.
The dark tale of Peter, the child thief, the rogue, the adventurer, the leader. You may have heard of Peter before: flying into the night, holding hands with pyjama wearing kids, hanging out with fairies, escaping a crocodile (or was it an alligator?). Yes! the one with a pan as his last name and J. M. Barrie as his author.
To say that Brom reinvented Peter Pan, would be wrong. It’s a different persona. You recognise him, but you can’t wait to know him better. Nothing so crude as “Little Red Riding Hood” as a prostitute. Nothing so boring as a new adventure with an old (but always young) character.
Just follow Peter and I promise: you will cry.
Best served with a bit of rain, a dash of fog, and a pint of beer. Smoking (optional).