(1923- ) UK writer who early concentrated on nongenre novels for adults, beginning with The Summer-House (1956), but much of whose work for a YA audience is fantasy, beginning with the Reuben sequence: The Moon in the Cloud (1968), The Shadow on the Sun (1970) and The Bright and Morning Star (1972). In this compelling tale, Reuben is tricked by Ham into voyaging into Egypt to acquire animals wanted for Noah's Ark. Luckily, because Ham and his wife have meantime died, Reuben and his own wife are allowed on the Ark and survive the Flood; in subsequent volumes they undergo increasingly complex adventures in the service of the Egyptian Pharaoh, the great Merenkere. Much of the overall tale is commented upon by a talking Cat.
Later work includes The Seal-Singing (1971), in which the ambiguous influence of an ancestor Witch causes some contemporary children to save seals at risk, and A Quest for Orion (1978) and its sequel, Tower of the Stars (1980), both sf. [JC]
other works (mostly for younger children): The Child in the Bamboo Grove (1981) and The Little Dog of Fo (1976), Twice-Told Chinese legends; The King's White Elephant (1973); The Lotus and the Grail: Legends from East to West (coll 1974; cut vt Sea Magic and Other Stories of Enchantment 1974 US); The Flying Ship (1975); I Want to be a Fish (1977); Beauty and the Beast (1979); Green Finger House (1980); Tower of the Stars (1980); The Enchanted Horse (1981); Janni's Stork (1982); Zed (1982).
Rosemary Jeanne Harris