A Knight’s Tale (76: ‘Issues Of Loss, Change, And Resilience’)

Sometime in 1973 I began to make a book for Becky, then my youngest daughter. It was planned for her fourth birthday the following year. I used water-colour pencils on a pad of thick cartridge paper, leaving the spiralled spine in place and binding the boards with a William Morris furnishing fabric, sealed by a press-stud on a flap. Taking a little longer than anticipated, this labour of love was not finished until my little girl’s seventh birthday by which time she could read it for herself.

Here it is:

For Christmas 2020

among other gifts Becky gave me this book. She had amended the title with the 101 sticker, and inserted

in the appropriate place her analysis of her Book of Seasons in the style of the reviews in 100 Great Children’s Pictures Books. Her last paragraph, “Whilst reinforcing the cycle of nature with cleverly repetitive and charming sequences, the book has been viewed as the perfect vehicle to address issues of loss, change, and resilience” demonstrates a perfect understanding of the work.


  1. Derrick, you have some serious talent, my friend, your drawings are absolutely beautiful! Beautiful and so sweet. ❤️

  2. I agree, you have serious talent, Derrick, and gave your daughter a very precious gift. You could still get it published! I think it would have a wide, appreciative audience, especially with its message. Becky’s review says it best. “Whilst reinforcing the cycle of nature with cleverly repetitive and charming sequences, the book has been viewed as the perfect vehicle to address issues of loss, change, and resilience”

  3. You put time and effort in this book and I am pleasantly surprised by your talent. Very well done. You should have it bind into a book for future children generations in your family.

  4. A beautifully tender book, gorgeous illustrations, and just the perfect review.
    Certainly something to treasure for many generations to come.

  5. OH! the joy-tears are flowing! 🙂
    Derrick, what a beautiful gift…a priceless treasure! Your love shines through in your illustrations, in every word, in the important messages (that all children have to deal with in life! Yes, to learn resilience in it all is a key)!
    Becky’s review shares her love and appreciation of/for you! 🙂 You each have a book that “holds” your love for each other! 🙂
    (((HUGS))) <3 🙂

  6. Such a precious gift. I remember seeing the photos before but not Beccy’s ( 🙂 ) review. The whole is simply divine, and shows so much talent on both your parts. Isn’t it rewarding when a reader understands what you were trying to achieve with both the artwork and story line?

  7. What a wonderful gift for your little girl: clever, appealing, and able to grow with her as the years passed. That’s the best kind of child’s book: understandable at seven, but still appreciated at twenty-seven, or seventy.

  8. This book is a treasure! The drawings are beautiful and the colors so vibrant. I love that the ant was a friend protected by the leaves.

  9. That was a brilliant picture book you produced for Becky. It was an immaculate piece of artistry, and as clever in its theme as it was pretty. The analysis is bang on.

  10. I am gobsmacked, Derrick. We all knew you are clever and creative, but this had my jaw dropping in admiration. You are a humble man, but I hope you feel a lot of pride in the many things you have done in your lifetime.

    1. Thank you so much, Yvonne. I really appreciate this. Pride is a strange feeling. My pleasure at my achievements is always tempered with gratitude for being granted opportunities, abilities, and talents.

  11. Spectacular drawings and colour. One ant is OK. It’s the army that marches through everything and takes over the garden that’s frustrating. You are very talented – and multi talented at that. 🙂

  12. ❤ People saying such lovely things.
    I do plan to get it reproduced some day. I need to do some research so it’s done properly.

  13. Hi Derrick, this is one of the nicest books I’ve ever read. Your illustrations are wonderful and the story is delightful. You deserve that place in the best 101 children’s picture stories.

      1. I hope she does get it published. I have copies of old letters from relations in the UK to a relation that immigrated to NZ in the late 1800’s. One day I will sit down and go through them.

  14. This is a beautiful book, Derrick. And you did a great job with the likenesses of the kids (and yourself). I can’t say how well you did with the ant, as I haven’t seen photos of it.

  15. I do not generally comment while catching up on A Knight’s Tale posts, but this is so beautiful, Derrick. What a precious gift you each gave to the other ?

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