CM . . .
. Volume XV Number 10. . . .January 9, 2009
Tololwa M. Mollel and Paul Morin's book, The Orphan Boy, won a swag of awards when it was first published in 1990, including the prestigious 1990 Governor General's Literary Award for Illustration. As such, it is a delight to see the book re-issued by Fitzhenry & Whiteside in what is, if anything, a bigger and better version of the same wonderful book.
Oxford University Press first published The Orphan Boy in 1990. The original publication received critical acclaim, including a favourable review by CM. Fitzhenry & Whiteside's 2009 edition includes several additional new illustrations. Whereas the original version of the book included a number of black and white outline sketches, in the new edition these sketches have been replaced by full-colour paintings. For instance, in the original edition, the illustration included with this review of the hands cradling the bowl was merely a sketch. Although the sketches have been replaced, and other additional artwork has been included, all of the other illustrations have been retained, except the original front and back cover paintings. This is an unfortunate loss. I much prefer the new cover image, but, rather than excluding the old cover artwork completely, it would have been nice to see the old front and back cover paintings included among the endpapers.
In addition to extra artwork, a double page "about the author" and "about the illustrator" spread has been added, as has a publisher's note about the Masai and the challenges faced by the Masai in preserving their traditional way of life. A few minor editorial changes have been made to the story text, and the decorative page borders have been removed. The removal of the borders and the wider book dimensions permit a fractionally larger text font size, which facilitates easy reading. Additionally, the painting reproductions are slightly larger.
Gregory Bryan teaches literacy education and children's literature classes in the Faculty of Education at the University of Manitoba.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.