Six year-old Joe knows a unicorn when he sees one. His downstairs neighbour Mr Kandinsky has told him all about these mythical creatures, and there isn't anything in the world that this wise tailor doesn't know. So when Joe sees a little white goat amidst the singing birds, salted herrings and hokey-pokey ices of a Whitechapel market he has to have him. He knows it's just a matter of time before the tiny bump on the unicorn's head becomes the magic horn to grant his every wish. For in the embattled working-class community of 1950s East End London, there are plenty of people in need of good fortune. The only thing Mr Kandinsky wants is a steam press for his shop; his assistant Shmule, a wrestler, just needs to buy a ring for his girl; and all Joe and his mother wish for, more than anything, is to join his father in Africa. But maybe, just maybe, Joe's unicorn can sprinkle enough luck on all his friends for their humble dreams to come true. A Kid for Two Farthings is part of The Bloomsbury Group, a new library of books from the early twentieth-century chosen by readers for readers.
Wolf Mankowitz was born in 1924 in the East End of London, the heart of London's Jewish community. This background provided him with the material for three famous novels A Kid for Two Farthings, Make me an Offer, and My Old Man's a Dustman. A Kid for Two Farthings was adapted as a film by the director Carol Reed in 1955. Make me an Offer was filmed the year before. In 1958 he wrote the book for the hit West End musical Expresso Bongo. Mankowitz's remarkable output has included novels, plays, historical studies and the screenplays for many successful films which have received awards including the Oscar, Bafta and the Cannes Grand Prix. Mankowitz was hired as one of the screenwriters for the first Bond film, Doctor No. He later also collaborated on the screenplay for Casino Royale.Mankowitz died of cancer in 1998, in County Cork, Ireland.