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‘We need the literature of other countries to expand our
horizons and stimulate our ideas. Without it, we are not only
diminished, we are starved’
(The Times, Magnus Linklater 29/06/05)
Perils of Flight (The)
by J. Xaudaro
Age Range: 9-11
In this fascinating journey through the ‘perils of flight’ which ranges from the serious to the absurd, there are a total of forty-five full-colour page cartoon illustrations (including the front cover). Each image contains a brief humorous caption underneath. All manner of flying is covered including a witch flying on a broomstick, historical and/or mythical characters, such as Don Quixote and Sancho Panza flying on a wooden horse (a reference to Don Quixote's insane imagination) and Pegasus the flying horse with wings. Then there is the truly absurd – a man testing the law of gravity by throwing dishes and objects in the air or a plane being used for house removals, for hunting birds and catching children stealing apples from a tree in an orchard!
Joaquín Xaudaró (1872-1933) was a Spanish cartoonist, illustrator and caricaturist. Many of his book illustrations were commissioned by the Paris publisher Ollendorff. The Peril’s of Flight was first published in 1911 when flying was in its infancy and Xaudaro's wild imagination about the possibilities of flying had no limits.
Xaudaro's volume of cartoons were humorous observations of the new technologies and contemporary culture of the time which adds a distinctive historical flavour and served as an important link between the worlds of 19th-century illustration and 20th-century cartoons.