Terry Perkins and his upside down smile

Felix Massie

Frances Lincoln


August 2015


I sat down this morning with my 11 o’clock espresso and spent some time browsing through the Autumn Catalogue of the Quarto Publishing Group. When I came to the section for Frances Lincoln Books I stopped on p80 and thought to myself, “Ooh, this looks interesting – hope I’ve been sent a review copy.” So up I get and look at my pile of recently received picture books. Yes! It was there. And what a wonderful debut it is.
Felix Massie is a London-based award-winning animator and illustrator. He designed the short, animated trailer for the book:

Massie’s illustration style is disarmingly simple, but perfectly suited to this rhyimng tale about a young boy who is fine, until he starts to speak, when all his words come out garbled, as if they have been written upside-down. The doctor recommends a straightforward remedy to Terry’s mother. Turn the boy himself upside-down and then the words should come out the right way. Which they do. But all is not well. Now he can talk. But can’t walk. He has to be pushed around in a trolley. He is teased mercillessly at playschool. Then a girl called Jenny befriends him at a playground. She is hanging upside down on the monkey bars, and when she means to say “Boo!” it comes out as “Poo!”and Terry finds himself laughing for the first time since being turned upside down.

It’s an amusing story about being different and will be especially helpful to parents of young children who have speech difficulties.

Massie is already signed up to create a second picture book for FL which will be called George Pearce and his Huge Massive Ears.

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