There are few books I’ve waited for the delivery of as eagerly as this. Henry’s Quest by Graham Oakley is absolutely charming, with a wonderfully imaginative storyline and gorgeous illustrations. This children’s book is set in a post-apocalyptic future, a world without fossil fuels where society has regressed to a medieval subsistence. Henry is a young shepherd, and in order to win the princess’s hand in marriage he goes on a quest to capture the mythical beast PETROL.
The book works very well on two levels, and adults will find much wit in Henry’s Quest. In the post-apocalyptic world, for example, the high-street chemist’s shop Boots has become Tom Boot’s Apothecary. The illustrations are equally clever and with superb detail – you notice something new each time you turn through the book. These are a few of my favourites: