Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Don't founder, flounder!

Julian Bruere's gorgeous The True Adventures of John Nicol is out. Tim Flannery did an edition of John Nicol packaging it up with Watkin Tench's account of the early years of NSW. But Julian has made the story his own by brilliantly reconceiving it as an illustrated chapter book cum graphic novel. The text has been reduced to a spare rendering that a ten year old can grasp with pleasure, but the superb realism of the illustrations allow readers of any age to dwell on each and every page. Joy Lawn described it as "ground breaking" but it may take awhile for sales to catch up with the conception, which is the way it happens sometimes when new ground is broken.

There is one small blooper that Mark McLeod highlighted up for us and Mark picked correctly in his explanation of where the error was introduced. Somewhere, sometime in the process a zealous proofreader corrected "foundering" to "floundering". "It was all that we could do to stop the ship from foundering." Still a modern student, like the proofreader, may make better sense of "floundering" in the context.

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