CM . . .
. Volume XII Number 10 . . . .January 20, 2006
Getting mail is fun and exciting, especially when you find out a long-lost uncle left you a magic box. When it arrives at his home, our nameless young narrator convinces his father to get into the magic box and be sawed in half. Alas, once the trick is performed, Dad is unable to be put back together until his son figures out that he used a real saw and not the special magical saw included with the box. No need to worry! Once he realizes his mistake, the young magician fixes his error and, luckily, his father.
The first phrase that comes to my mind after reading Uncle Gus's Magic Box is “what an odd story.” The text is halting and does not flow smoothly at all. The author makes an attempt at humour; however I feel the humour may have been lost in translation (originally published in Holland). The death of the uncle is treated very lightly, and the instructions on how to use the magic box are entitled "How to saw an orphan girl in half." This wording seems offensive to me. Nothing to chuckle about in this story! The simple black and white illustrations are reminiscent of Lemony Snicket's “Series of Unfortunate Events.”
Ellie Contursi is a Children's Librarian in London, ON.
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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.