Dodie Smith’s classic novel The Hundred and One Dalmatians has never been directly adapted as a picture book for younger children – until now! (There are only spin-offs from the movies.) It was wonderful to be commissioned by Egmont and the estate of Dodie Smith to make this adaptation of the adventures of Pongo and Missis and a host of spotty puppies, especially in collaboration with such a brilliant and talented artist as Steven Lenton, illustrator of the Shifty McGifty series.
It was interesting deciding how to turn the scarier parts of the story into something suitable for readers as young as four, and I also had to lose a few subplots and even some of my favourite minor characters. But never fear: Pongo, Missis and another 99 Dalmatians are all there, as of course is Cruella de Vil, one of the best baddies in all children’s literature. I hope I have kept the essence and spirit of the original, aided by Steven’s magnificent and stylish illustrations, more of which you can see here.
“A whole new generation is bound to be enchanted by the story” – Jo Clarke (Book Lover Jo).
“Bently and Lenton have succeeded in bringing this fantastic story to life for a new generation and we found this an absolute delight to read” – Books for Boys.
“An altogether classy double act. Peter Bently’s text is a great read aloud; it’s direct, zesty and spot on for a much younger audience that the original, yet he’s managed to retain the spirit of the Smith classic I remember from my childhood. Steven Lenton’s illustrations are simply magnificent in every way. Somehow he’s made real characters out of every one of those Dalmatian pups .… Superb!” Jill Bennett, Red Reading Hub.
For more spotty-dog fun, have a go at these dalmatian activity sheets!