Brian Sewell and the White Umbrella, and a Donkey called Pavlova

I have just been to the launch of Brian Swell’s book The White Umrella. In the Evening standard it was referred to as a children’s book which is entirely incorrect , it is a book for every age and will be a classic. It was published of course by the legendary Naim Attallah of Quartet, he knows a thing or two, and dare I say it I am also published by Quartet. Sewell’s book is the most charming of tales about the rescue of a small four year old donkey and a walk from Peshawar to Wimbledon. It grabs you on the first page I have smiled my way through the first half in one sitting, the rest I want to spin out because it is a metaphor of enchantment. There are many subtle references in its pages which will chime with readers of any age or intellect. I will not hurry the next half, it is to be savoured like the last bite of a chocolate truffle. I never thought I would have such joy tucked up in bed with a small donkey and Brian Sewell. He is a the most delightful of men and a host of his admirers tuned out to celebrate. His love of animals is evident on each adorable page so wonderfully illustrated by Sally Anne Lasson, this is a thing to treasure and leave to your grandchildren in a special bequest list.

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