Showing posts with label Davide Cali. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Davide Cali. Show all posts

Monday, October 24, 2016

Abigail the Whale by Davide Cali

Rating: WORTHY!

This was a wonderful book which takes a positive-thinking approach to bullying. You can't control what other people do (although you can influence it for better or for worse!), but you can control how you see what they do and how you let it affect you.

Abigail is overweight and she loves swimming, and there, at the crux of these two contentions, is her problem: people make fun of her at the pool, and call her Abigail the Whale. She makes a big splash and it's not seen in a positive light by her classmates. I was tempted to wonder why the teacher didn't berate her classmates for their bullying and their mean 'fun-making', especially given that he's the one who turns around and introduces her to positive thinking, but I doubt young kids will be quite that analytical! It would have been nice had he said something to the other kids, though.

But this is about Abigail's problem, not the teacher's, and Abigail is smart and considers this new addition to her armory seriously. Once she tries it out and finds that it works, she embraces it whole-heartedly and starts to enjoy life again, and not just at the pool. I liked the way this book offered something for the child to do, and a way to think positively about herself. It's very simplified here, but maybe this will sow a seed or two which will grow, flourish, and blossom strongly later in children's lives. I love the illustrations by Sonja Bougaeva, and the book's overall tone.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Snow White and the 77 Dwarfs by Davide Cali

Title: Snow White and the 77 Dwarfs
Author: Davide Cali
Publisher: Tundra
Rating: WORTHY!

DISCLOSURE: Unlike the majority of reviews in this blog, I've neither bought this book nor borrowed it from the library. This is a "galley" copy ebook, supplied by Net Galley. I'm not receiving (nor will I expect to receive or accept) remuneration for this review. The chance to read a new book is often enough reward aplenty!

Entertainingly Illustrated by Raphaelle Barbanegre (no website found).

This children's book is hilarious - and a lot more realistic than Disney would have it, let's face it! Snow is on the run from the evil witch, and as in the traditional story, takes up with a bunch of dwarfs (not dwarves - perish the thought!). The problem is that there are not seven of them, but seventy-seven!

Snow is, of course happy to pitch in and do her share, but her share is way out of proportion to her keep, methinks. She has to prepare 77 breakfasts, and then and equal number of lunches for the dwarfs to take to work. She has to prepare 77 evening meals, and wash 77 platters and 77 mugs (of interesting variety) afterwards.

"So what?" you might ask, any competent kitchen employee can breeze through that! But then she has to brush 77 beards and read 77 different bedtime stories. Well Snow isn't dumb, and she is looking increasingly frazzled, so it isn't long before she decides to vacate the premises rather smartly and take her chances with the evil witch. Surely that has to be better than this, right?

There's a twist to the end of this story and it probably isn't one you think it is - not if you think like me at any rate. I loved this story. It was highly original despite it being an old, old story, and rib-ticklingly told. This is Snow White for the feminist era, a ship Disney is only just learning to climb aboard, and I recommend it.