How I heart Jon Klassen, that Incorrigible illustrator! I am delighted to share with you the cover for the second book in the ongoing adventures of the three Incorrigible children and their plucky young governess, Miss Penelope Lumley: The Hidden Gallery.
As you might surmise from the picture, in The HIdden Gallery our brave heroes decamp to London. They have no choice, really, for in the wake of the disastrous holiday ball at Ashton Place (which was blood-curdlingly described in Book I, The Mysterious Howling), the repairs to the house are so extensive that everyone must move out temporarily—including Lady Constance and Lord Fredrick.
And to London, of all places! Penelope is tremendously excited, as you might well imagine:
...Penelope had never been to London. However, she had read a great deal about it: a noisy, odorous, fogbound city where gaslight made the nighttime bright as day, yet the air was so thick with coal soot that the daytime was dim as dusk, and where poor orphans were likely to have terrifying encounters with escaped convicts, but were just as likely to inherit large fortunes willed to them by long-lost relatives they never knew they had. Surely such a paradoxical place would be well worth a visit.
Believe me, it is. Within these pages the children hear an alarming prophecy from a semi-toothless soothsayer, and Penelope makes the acquaintance of perfectly nice young man. Cultural excursions to palaces, museums and the theater do not go off precisely as planned. Penelope's guidebook to London (a gift from Miss Charlotte Mortimer, whom we will meet) proves to be full of surprises. There is an adventure on a velocipede, a crushing series of disappointments involving the London General Post Office, a poem by Mr. Robert Burns, and a dessert so indescribably delicious that it literally cannot be described.
Luckily for all of you, many of these episodes are depicted within the book in pictures by Mr. Klassen that are evocative, charming and hilarious by turn.
The Hidden Gallery will be in stores Feb 22, 2011. Click here to preorder from the bookseller of your choice.
And stay tuned for news of The Incorrigible Author Tour, Redux. Dates and details to come, but Los Angeles, San Franciso, Atlanta, Dallas, and Phoenix, you'd better start practicing your howling now.