Sunday, November 11, 2018

Review - Fish-Boy

by Vanita Oelschlager
illustrated by Mike Blanc
Date: 2018
Publisher: Vanita Books
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 48
Format: e-book
Source: NetGalley

The Arctic region of North America is a land of long days, icy cold, hardy people and peculiar creatures. The Inuit people there have made traditional use of remarkable folk tales to find truth and explain the mysteries of an astonishing world.

In Fish-Boy, An Inuit Folk Tale, Vanita Oelschlager retells a tale passed down by a wise old Inuit. It's an origin story involving a little magic and a very odd boy with a large heart for friendship. On a journey with his new father, he must confront misfortune and the malice of cold hearted villagers. But he has a way.. and a lesson for all in the virtues of kindness and hospitality.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

This story--heavy on magic and light on logic--tells the story (within a story) of Fish-Boy, who helps his father and his friends. I'd never heard this story before, and I thought it was different and interesting. Kitmesuk, after some initial hesitation, grows to love his new son, an armless little boy with a tail and feet (yes, that's a different twist on the traditional mermaid). And it's Fish-Boy who uses his abilities to help his father out of a tight spot.

I liked the illustrations for the most part. However, I was a bit disappointed that they're not quite in the same style as the cover illustration (Fish-Boy has quite a bit more personality there; I think it's the eyes). But the pictures portray a beautiful, far-north landscape with stunning colour and interesting detail. This is the same illustrator that did Magic Words: From the Ancient Oral Tradition of the Inuit, and the pictures here are just as nice.

Quotable moment:

Thank you to NetGalley and Vanita Books for providing a digital ARC.

Premise: 4/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 3/5
Illustrations: 3/5
Originality: 4/5

Enjoyment: 4/5

Overall: 3.67 out of 5

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