The Independent - 'How Watership Down's Richard Adams came to write a kid's picture book before he died'
Most people discover Richard Adams via the warrens of Watership Down. But a new picture book starring a dragon made from old egg cartons could change that for a new generation of readers. The Adventures of Egg Box Dragon is Adams’s first story for pre-schoolers and the last he ever wrote. He died last December, aged 96.
“One nice sunny day, when Dad was 93 and having a good day, I shoved him into the dining room with a pad of paper and said, ‘Go on, write Egg Box Dragon!” says Juliet Johnson, who is chatting to me with her sister, Ros Mahony, from Juliet’s Oxford home.
Two hours later, he duly handed her his hand-written manuscript. (Adams abhorred typewriters: “Nasty noise. Clittery-clattery.”)
He based the “feisty” creature on a putative art project dreamt up by Juliet’s former teacher at Channing School, in Highgate, London. She had wanted to build a “huge 6ft, 8ft dragon out of egg boxes in the school’s basement. We never actually got round to making it but the idea triggered something in Dad’s mind,” Juliet remembers.
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