CM . . .
. Volume XII Number 1 . . . .September 2, 2005
This large, poster-bright picture book was originally published in Germany. A trip to the market is the setting for the story of how a group of animals brings predatory Dog to justice when he tries to steal Sokwe Chimp's fish. For the theft, and for puncturing the tire on Sokwe's truck, an action which causes Lion to injure his leg, Dog is sentenced to working "extra hard for the village on Tree Planting Day." The various African animals—Zebra, Hippo and Lemur—are depicted in human garb and walking on two legs as they go about their daily tasks. The folkloric feel of the story is offset by inclusion of modern elements such as the pump used to fix the tire and a tooth-extracting device, which looks like an x-ray machine, at the bush clinic.
The telling of the tale is straightforward but somewhat lacking in poetic cadence, possibly because something has been, literally, lost in translation. (No translator is credited on the book.) The illustrations, on the brash side of primitivist, are redeemed by the many humourous touches included in the broad spreads.
The author/illustrator of Fresh Fish is a noted artist in his own country. This interesting book would be suitable for larger picture book collections.
Recommended with reservations.
Ellen Heaney is Head of Children's Services at the New Westminster Public Library in New Westminster, BC.
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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.
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.