Last Minute Presents

Win’s Christmas Gift Recommendation: Perfect Childhoods caught in cartoons… 10/10 Each!

Goodnight Opus

By Berkeley Breathed (Little, Brown & Co.)
ISBN: 978-0-316-10853-9 (HB)                    978-0-316-10599-6 (PB)

After a desperately brief and glittering career as a syndicated strip cartoonist and socio-political commentator (so often the very same function) Berkeley Breathed retired his award-winning Bloom County and Outland vehicles and became a writer and illustrator of children’s books. He lost none of his perception or imagination, and actually got better as a narrative artist. He didn’t completely abandon his entrancing cast of characters and – as a happy ever after postscript – eventually revived them all for another go-round of satire and social advocacy. Yay!

This is a story about the magic of storytelling and features that universal innocent Opus the Penguin. One night, as she has done two hundred and nine times before, Granny starts to read the svelte and uncool waterfowl his favourite bedtime book. But this night is different. Tonight, Opus’ mind wanders and he “departs the text”…

And so begins a riotous flight of Technicolor fantasy as sedate monochromatic images give way to a powerful, vibrant and surreal romp that extends to the Milky Way and back, by way of animated monuments, the burned out Fairy of Sleep, and stopovers at some of the most exotic corners of the planet.

Less a story than an exuberant travelogue of Imagination, delivered in sharp and lyrical rhyme, this is a book to trigger dreams and promote creativity. A perfect primer to explain how to wonder and wander… So every kid, at any age, should own it.
© 1994 Berkeley Breathed. All Rights Reserved.

The Last Basselope – One Ferocious Story

By Berkeley Breathed (Little, Brown & Co.)
ISBN: 978-0-316-10761-7 (HB)                    978-0-590-47542-6 (PB)

Berke Breathed is no one-trick-pony and has never been limited to one specific season or holiday. He can do fun and wonder all year round…

Although not a proper Christmas story, this charming and tearfully funny tale is another joyous celebration of the wonder of childhood and how little adventures can become great big ones. Starring his best-loved characters (although I personally identified far too closely with Binkley) from Bloom County and Outland: jolly, unfulfilled Opus, Bill the Cat, Milquetoast the Housebug, Ronald-Anne (her mother named her for President Reagan – because he had done so much to advance the cause of Poor Black Women) and Rosebud, the eponymous Basselope of the title.

Opus is a dreamer of great dreams and a frustrated explorer. In his unassuming, shy way he lusts for glory and the heady wine of immortality and as everybody knows, that can only be found by Discovering Something.

Anything will do. And in the pages of the latest ‘National Geographic Enquirer’ he finds his dream waiting…

Organising a safari, our fish-fuelled fool heads for the woods at the back of the house in search of the most elusive beast in history; every crypto-zoologist’s Holy Grail.

How he finds The Last Basselope and what he actually learns is a magical journey into the uncharted wilds of childhood’s imagination which reveals the strength, power and character of true friendship.

This beautifully illustrated, captivating and multi-layered fable is ideal for the eternally young at heart and all those still looking for a path back to their own wonder years.
© 1994 Berkeley Breathed. All Rights Reserved.