13 DECEMBER 1940, Page 34

THERE is no young artist today with a greater sense

of the gro- tesque and the mysterious than Mr. Pe.ake. His imagination is akin to Mr. De la Mare's, only more robust. The child with salamander hair peering from his dark tower ("I saw a ship a- sailing "): the child lighting with his tall candle the huge dark Eastern figure at the bedpost (" How many miles to Babylon? ") —these are pictorial parallels to the dream poetry of Peacock Pie. But the strange obscene Goya heads of the three men in a tub, the leer—like that of a comic Mr. Rochester—of the ques- tioner in" Where are you going to, my pretty maid?" belong to deeper imaginative levels. This is a book of great beauty.