Benjy:

A Ferocious Fairy Tale

Benjy was, quite simply, never bad. In fact, he is the most unbearably good little boy it may ever be your misfortune to meet. He lived in a cozy little house with his dearest Mummy (and her diploma and cap and gown), Daddy (who spent his time playing cards in the back of the TV set), and Sid, the family airedale. He was never rude to his dear Mummy and always kissed his Daddy when he hurt him with building blocks. He played such nice, nice games that Sid moved out of the house into a box marked “refuse” in the backyard. All in all, the family was blissfully happy until a good fairy granted the ever-so-deserving little Benjy a wish. And the wish had some very unexpected results…

Benjy is a wickedly funny book about the pitfalls of being just too good, a ferocious and ferociously wonderful story for anyone — from the most precocious child to the most proper parent — to enjoy.

Edwin O’Connor was born in Rhode Island and educated at La Salle Academy and the University of Notre Dame. He began working as a freelance writer for magazines such as The Atlantic after returning home from the war in 1946. He is best remembered for his novels about the Irish-Americans of New England, including The Last Hurrah (1956) and  The Edge of Sadness (1961), the latter of which won the 1962 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. In addition to his celebrated fiction and short stories, he invented the phrase “the last hurrah.”

Catharine O’Neill studied in UK, and holds a B.A. with Honors in Graphic Design from  Central School of Art and Design, London. She has been a cover designer at Penguin Books UK, and often works as a freelance designer and illustrator. Catharine moved into landscape design after winning Inchbald School of Design and The English Garden Magazine’s International Garden Design Competition in 1998. She furthered her studies at the English Gardening School in Chelsea and with the National Trust. Catharine‘s training as a graphic designer, water colour artist, and 15 years experience in landscape design leads to an interesting selection of work across various mediums. She works predominantly as a landscape designer but also takes commissions for freelance illustration, graphics and estate cartography; mapping and creating watercolour plans of gardens, landscapes or historic properties. Catharine‘s gardens have been selected by the Australian Open Garden Scheme and are on the visiting list for the Australian Garden History Society.