Sunday, May 28, 2023

Review - Tie en-iras, tie el-iras!

Tie en-iras, tie el-iras!

by Philipp Winterberg
Date: 2013
Publisher: Philipp Winterberg
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 28
Format: e-book

When the neighbor complains, Ruby teases and the kindergarten teacher keeps nagging, Joseph couldn't care less. Luckily, you have two ears: one for in and one for out. There is only one person in the world that Joseph listens to ...

(synopsis from Goodreads)

I've been dabbling with learning Esperanto on Duolingo, and I thought it might be fun to try reading a book. I'm not ready for anything advanced, so I figured a picture book would be a good place to start. I'm obviously not even at picture-book level yet, because I would've been lost without the accompanying English!

As for the book itself... I don't get the story. I mean, I get it, but I don't understand why everyone is so horrible to this child. It's a good thing that Joseph turns into Noseph, allowing people's barbs and insults to go in one ear and out the other (which is what the title references). Holy moly! The people in this book are mean. A classmate tells him his drawing is silly (actually, in Esperanto, the word used is the one I was taught meant "ugly"; I guess it's still an insult). His teacher (I think) tells him his block tower is rubbish. His mother tells him he eats like a pig. A couple of brats on the playground tell him he can't do anything. Noseph just ignores all this horrific treatment... which I guess is fine, but none of these awful comments are really addressed. Is this what we're training kids to expect? Normalized cruelty and tearing-down of others?

The illustrations are cute, but nothing really memorable.
I think I'm more disturbed by the behaviour of the majority of the characters than anything else. I don't think I learned any Esperanto, though; I was far too distracted by the cruelty directed at Joseph/Noseph. If a good Esperanto picture book is what I'm after... I'll have to keep looking.

Premise: 2/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 3/5
Illustrations: 3/5
Originality: 3/5

Enjoyment: 1/5

Overall: 1.86 out of 5