Ivor the Engine is back – just in time for Christmas
A Welsh publisher has pulled off something of a coup by securing the reprint rights for the original Ivor the Engine picture book based on the beloved TV series.
Award-winning Cardiff independent publisher Candy Jar Books has faithfully reproduced the first ever Ivor the Engine book, originally released in 1962 to coincide with the show’s original broadcast on ITV – and it’s out now in time for Christmas.
Ivor’s charming adventures were a staple for children on TV screens for decades. They charted the exploits of Ivor the steam engine as he shuttled between Welsh mining villages in the idyllic “top-left hand corner of Wales”.
Written by the Oliver Postgate and illustrated by Peter Firmin, this first Ivor book immediately evokes the magic of the TV series, with other Smallfilms classics such as The Clangers, Noggin the Nog and Bagpuss following closely behind.
📚Ivor the Engine by Oliver Postgate, with pictures by Peter Firmin is our #ChildrensBookOfTheMonth.
📚A beautiful reproduction of the original book first published in 1962.
— Books Council of Wales (@Books_Wales) December 17, 2023
Daniel Postgate, the son of Oliver Postgate, is thrilled that Ivor’s earliest escapade are back on the track.
He said: “My father, and his partner Peter Firmin, really pushed the boundaries of great storytelling. I truly believe that children, parents, grandparents, and perhaps lovers of trains, will thoroughly enjoy the early days of Britain’s best loved locomotive hero.”
Being his first journey, the book is simply called Ivor the Engine, and sees Ivor longing to join the village choir. With the help of a kindly fairground owner and his pipe organ, it seems he might just get his wish.
With this uniquely soothing series being reintroduced to modern viewers on Britbox and ITVX, this 2023 edition is sure to prove popular to readers young and old.
Candy Jar Books has reproduced the original title in its hardback format, with plans to follow up with the second book, Ivor’s Outing, in 2024.
The titles are distributed by the Books Council of Wales.
Ivor the Engine is available from all good bookshops and online HERE
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