CM . . . . Volume XVII Number 37 . . . . May 27, 2011
And, as anyone who is familiar with their fairy tales and folklore knows, once the third and youngest child is mentioned, the reader understands where the tale will take them. Fortunately for readers of this fine collection of retold traditional French-Canadian tales, the reader goes on three long and episodic journeys along with the reluctant Ti-Jean. Jan Andrews introduces the reader to the everyman qualities of Ti-Jean in a concise and succinct introduction before plunging into the tales themselves, neither concise nor succinct, but, instead, ringing with a lilt that engages the mouth and ears of the reader from the onset.
Ti-Jean's first adventure sees him matching wits with a vain and covetous princess, his second has him in confrontation with a vindictive troll after losing a game of marbles and, in the third tale, he learns to play the fiddle. All three tales involve Ti-Jean's determination, cleverness, strong work ethic and his sense of fair play and humour.
Delightfully rendered black and white cartoon-like illustrations add to the sense of frivolity of the retellings. Fully fleshed source notes round out this attractive book and end with Andrews' assertion that "the stories might need the history that is our own." (69) She has amply done just that.
Gail de Vos teaches at the School of Library and Information Studies for the University of Alberta and is the author of eight books on storytelling and folklore.
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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.