Along with so many of his fans, we were very sad to learn that Brian Jacques passed away over the weekend. Today we’re sharing some of our childhood memories of his stories. Feel free to add your own memories in comments.
Emily: My dad read Redwall to me — out loud, chapter by chapter — when I was still young enough to sit on his lap yet old enough to understand how special these memories would become. The special kind of underdog morality Jacques created was the only thing in my life that’s ever made me think, “Being a nun might be kind of awesome.” I also blame the Redwall series for the hours I spent using sticks and mud to create mouse-sized cathedrals while my Barbies lay abandoned in a sandbox.
Lindsay: When I was eight, my sister and I got a hamster for Christmas. We named him Matthias (“the Warrior”). He was a perfectly nice hamster, but a little disappointing: when we tried to stand him up on his hind-paws, he fell over. He was certainly not as valiant or handsome as his namesake (one of the star mouses in the Redwall series). Today, my sister and I laughed about Matthias, about how we used to fight over Redwall books at the library, and about the exquisite pain of reading feast scenes when you’re hungry. These are the kind of stories that made you want to find great friends and never let them go. The kind of stories that are active, that give and give and give.
Claire: I attended a Brian Jacques reading when I was about 10 years old, and I was immediately starstruck. As a relatively new convert to the Redwall series, I remember clutching my book with some species of awe and terror as Jacques’ booming voice regaled the crowd of my equally mesmerized peers. When I got the chance to talk to the author himself during the signing portion of the reading, I was overcome with shyness and half-managed to mumble out a question about where he found his inspiration. It was not my best moment, though the entire experience was enough to cement my status as a devotee. I vividly remember enjoying his writing, especially the many passages about feasts and food; I made several attempts to make my own bread out of acorns or scavenged seed pods under their influence.