Monday, February 21, 2011

A Trip to Redwall

“A mouse is small and can go unnoticed: but there is no limit to what a brave heart and a fearless spirit can achieve.” –Brian Jacques

Sad to hear of the passing of Brian Jacques, creator of the Redwall series and many other stories. I mulled over thoughts for a respectable tribute to this notable author of fantasy, but I couldn’t get past Redwall. This is not to say that his other works are not impressive—they are, indeed. There are twenty-one books in the Redwall series alone, and three additional Redwall picture books. Mr. Jacques wrote two other series (Urso Brunov and The Flying Dutchman) and a handful of single books as well.

So many choices leads to indecision: which Redwall cover would I choose?

1987 Penguin, USA; March 1990 Avon, UK;

March 1990 HarperCollins, USA; October 1997 Penguin, USA– 10th Anniversary Edition;

September 2002 Penguin, USA; September 2006 Red Fox, UK;

October 2007 Penguin, USA – 20th Anniversary Ed.; or the October 2007 graphic novel version, Philomel, USA.

The transformation of Martin the Warrior in this series of covers is impressive. But then again, so are the works of his creator. Mr. Jacques wrote this series for children at a blind school—he delivered their milk to them daily, and he wrote “as descriptive as possible, painting pictures with words so that the schoolchildren could see them in their imaginations”(1).

Mr. Jacques, thanks for your brave heart and fearless spirit. You will be missed.

For more about Brian Jacques, here are some helpful links:

His official website:

A catalog of his bookcovers:


His illustrators:

Troy Howell, Gary Chalk, David Elliot, and Christopher Denise.

(1) About Brian—The Start of Redwall

Illustration at the top is by Troy Howell.

Illustration at the bottom is by Christopher Denise.


  1. I pick the Anniversary 1997 Penguin edition. Reading Redwall aloud to my son is one of me favorite memories.

  2. One of me favorite memories? And it isn't even Talk Like a Pirate Day.