THE sequel to Raymond Briggs’ The Snowman follows a boy’s increasingly desperate attempts to have adventures with a puddle.
The Puddle begins the day after The Snowman, as the slushy remains of the title character dissolve into a small pool of greyish water.
The snowman’s companion, a lonely boy in pyjamas, remains crouched by the puddle, waiting in vain for it to come alive so they can visit magical places.
When the boy finally returns home carrying a slipper full of water and describes it as his best friend, his parents have him sectioned.
The second half of the story follows the boy’s unsuccessful attempts to convince doctors of his sanity while simultaneously insisting he flew through the night sky to visit a snowman’s ball.
Raymond Briggs said: “Everyone remembers The Snowman as this incredibly sweet tale but actually it’s about a sad, isolated little boy who meets an incredible friend that promptly dies.
“But that’s just how life is. Especially if you’re a children’s book author, the third most screwed-up demographic after stand up comedians and crime writers.
“I certainly don’t think it’s too disturbing for kids. Should you wish to see something that’s too disturbing for kids, I refer you to the panel showing dead bogey babies in Fungus the Bogeyman, or When the Wind Blows in its entirety.”