Justice for William;Children's books

22nd October 1999 at 01:00
It is 80 years since "Just William", Richmal Crompton's first William Brown story, appeared in Home magazine and since then the schoolboy has become a national icon: dishevelled, irascible, loveable, naughty but never malicious.

Actor Martin Jarvis has helped to bring about a recent William revival with his Radio 4 broadcasts and audio cassettes, and he has now adapted Crompton's stories for younger readers in six Meet Just William books, each containing four tales (Macmillan pound;2.99) with illustrations by Tony Ross.

These are very well done - they retain the spirit of William and the essential character of Crompton's beautiful dry prose, leaving out some of the quainter details and the more challengingdialogue and description.

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