When I was about seven years old, my mother bought me this book.*
Neither of us expected - probably, only hoped - that this would be the very book to charm me.
Dick King-Smith, who died yesterday, did me a very wonderful favour (as did my mother, of course, who taught me to read)---and I am so, so grateful that he did.
*I am pretty sure one of the main reasons for her buying it was the simple fact that I looked a lot like the girl on the cover. Judging a book by its cover isn't a truly terrible thing, after all.