This is an odd story, more grown up and cryptic than many of Briggs’ other works. It concerns a boy who is wakes up to find a tiny little man has decided to come and stay. As the Man is naked and helpless the boy must take care of him. As time goes on the Man becomes increasingly more demanding before departing unexpectedly. But not before leaving some wisdom in his wake.
It isn’t clear what the Man is representing but he is certainly more than just a diminutive visitor. The story is charming on one level as you see a humorous, Odd Couple, relationship develop. But on the other hand the kind of questions the man asks and issues he raises are serious. Is he a metaphor for children, elderly parents, immigration, pets, the infirm or addled? There is no clear answer and whilst this leaves you thinking the lack of resolution can be troubling.
The art is great as you would expect from a Briggs book. There is a lot of dialogue in this work and to stop the long page count getting out of control most of it is presented as a script alongside the pictures. This works just fine and you never get the feeling the two elements are out of balance.