Harry Highpants is perhaps my best known children’s book. It has now been reprinted several times, and was a White Raven selection at the Bologna Book Fair in 2008. Hopefully, on my tombstome, it will be written, ‘Tony Wilson – Fought and died for pants freedom.’
Harry Highpants lives in a town where people wear their pants at different heights. Harry Highpants goes super high. Carl the builder goes ridiculously low.
This Is until Roy Bland arrives in town, and runs for mayor on the platform of demanding pants be worn at ‘normal height’. A protest movement mobilises, a coming together of the low panters and the high panters at the Free Pants Convention. Eventually, in the tense standoff between the free panters and Bland’s pants fascists, Harry Highpants delivers an address that secures his status as a pants champion.
One of the fun things to do at primary schools is to whip up some mass free pants hysteria (arguably, counter to the message of the book)
This is the story of how a pants law very nearly happened in the USA. I wrote it for The Age.