– Short Review –
Nick Butterworth is someone who heavily influenced my childhood and is slowly influencing my children’s too and I’m sure in a good many years he’ll be influencing my grandchildren’s childhoods – because these books live on in the hearts and minds of their readers, pure nostalgia on the page and a story that never gets old.
After The Storm is another instalment of the Percy the Park Keeper series and a fictional character that has inspired and been enjoyed by countless generations of young minds, and continues to do so today, being recalled in the nostalgia of parents everywhere. After The Storm follows Percy as he tries to help his friends (the animals within the park) recover after a storm has destroyed their homes.
After the Storm is another masterpiece from the great Nick Butterworth that shows a young generation the true meaning of kindness.
Other books you may enjoy would include Burglar Bill & Peek-a-Boo by Janet and Allan Ahlberg and One Snowy Night by Nick Butterworth.
– Longer Review –
After The Storm is another of the Percy the Park Keeper series which are being given a new lease of life from HarperCollinsChildren’s with a celebratory 30 years of Nick Butterworth re-branding, with some also new and hidden content. Percy the Park Keeper is a character and a series of books that have influenced a great many bedtime stories in out house, and have impacted childhoods and parents lives with that warm and fuzzy feeling of nostalgia, and it doesn’t get much better than that does it?
Percy the Park Keeper is having a very sleepless night as a storm rages outside his cottage. When he awakes the following morning the old oak tree that is home to many of the creatures within the park has blown down. A real devastating event for his animal friends who live in it, but Percy as always has a plan, and sets out on a journey with his friends to find them a new home. Mishaps happen along the way and they end up travelling in the river in a wheelbarrow – to a new destination and a new home.
Butterworth again excels in his storytelling and curates a tale of hope and friendship that shows the real power of sticking and working together – it’s these small life lessons that Butterworth weaves into his stories that I believe make his tales of Percy the Park Keeper and his friends so endearing to readers of all ages. Each story in this series is a teaching tool, a way for parents to engage with their children, to discuss the thoughts and feelings behind the story playing out before them – these books I have also found are a way to engage even the most reluctant of readers.
I particularly love the illustrations of After the Storm – the whole landscape is beautifully captured by Butterworth both full page spreads, and his small illustrations – each masterful and each beautiful, every one a work of art. Percy and his group of friends sailing down the river in the wheelbarrow is a scene I remember so vividly from my childhood, and when turning the page and discovering it all over again, and with my children was a real blessing and my heart exploded with warmth and nostalgia. My children were enraptured by the whole package on offer with After the Storm and enjoyed spotting all the intricate details Butterworth painstakingly brings together in his images, and those images never fail to move the reader with their brilliance.
For those that love Nick Butterworth’s gorgeous illustrations there is a surprise pull out poster at the end of the book, which captures the very final image from within After the Storm – that of the tree house. It’s a beauty, a true joy to behold – in fact it’s a masterpiece and wouldn’t look out of place hanging on a gallery wall, but for all you fans out there, it would also look fabulous hanging in a child’s bedroom!
After the Storm shows us that a little bit of kindness goes a long way – another endearing and well loved story from Nick Butterworth, and I can honestly say that these 30th Anniversary books are pure gold, I’d advise collecting them all!
Nick Butterworth is an award-winning writer and illustrator whose books have sold over 15 million copies worldwide in over 30 languages. His books including QPootle5, Albert Le Blanc, The Whisperer and the Percy the Park Keeper series have garnered critical acclaim, multiple television series and have been nominated for the Kate Greenaway Medal and the Nestle Children’s Books Prize, among others.
Reviewed by Ross Jeffery
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