________________ CM . . . . Volume XVII Number 37 . . . . May 27, 2011


When Apples Grew Noses and White Horses Flew: Tales of T-Jean.

Jan Andrews. Illustrated by Dušan Petričić.
Toronto, ON: Groundwood Books/House of Anansi Press, 2011.
67 pp., hardcover, $16.95.
ISBN 978-0-88899-952-8.

Subject Headings:
Ti-Jean (Legendary character)-Juvenile fiction.
Children's stories, Canadian (English).

Grades 3-6 / Ages 8-11.

Review by Gail de Vos.

**** /4



Because their father was not home, T-Jean's brothers took it upon themselves to give the orders. Not to Ti-Jean's mother. She was not the kind of person to be ordered about by her own sons. They ordered Ti-Jean around, though. They treated him like a servant. They made him fetch and carry and do more than his share of the work.

They never took him with them when they went anywhere. Mostly he did not mind because he liked being home. He helped his mother in the kitchen. He worked with her in the garden. He looked after the chickens. He fed the pigs and milked the cows.

By going places, his brothers heard the news. One day they heard about the seigneur and his daughter. They came back from the market talking of nothing else.

They decided that this was their opportunity to improve themselves.

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.internal art

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.

Highly Recommended.

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.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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