Huldra Forsvant (Theodor Kittelsen)

Huldra Forsvant (Theodor Kittelsen)
Huldra Forsvant (Theodor Kittelsen)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Book Review Wednesday by AY

Martin Pebble
By Jean-Jacques Sempé

Reviewed by AY

Wonderfully translated by Anthea Bell (of Asterix fame), it tells the story of a boy who well…blushes for no reason at all (and doesn’t when he ought to, like at the time when he gets a zero for his exam). A boy called Roddy Rackett moves to neighbourhood and Martin and Roddy instantly become best friends. Roddy, who plays the violin, sneezes perpetually. They do everything together and they enjoy and accept each other for who they are.

Then, as with all things in life, they are forced to part ways. Roddy moves away and Martin never finds the letter that Roddy left behind with his address…..until many years later they recognise each other in a crowd. How? Because Martin still blushes and Roddy still sneezes for no reason at all. It is essentially a story of two children who learn to live with their insecurities; and by accepting others’ peculiarities they learn to accept their own peculiarities as well. It is a children’s book, but if you don’t have children to read it too…..don’t worry, adults will find no problem loving it as well. Did I mention that the illustrations are almost better than the story in this heart-warming book? One can spend hours (I know I did) just pouring over wonderfully detailed and funny drawings by Jean-Jacque Sempe.

Thanks for the review, AY! Very much appreciated.


Anonymous said...

I love the sound of this book! I'll definitely be checking my library for it.

Deb said...

Ugh! My local lib doesn't have it. I'll ask them to get it in. Sounds delightful.

Anonymous said...

My library doesn't have it either! Boo. The search result:

Your search did not result in any hits. Search Term: Martin Pebble
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Ben McLaughlin said...

I wouldn't mind reading 'Martian People', sounds like a goodun.

AY told me Martin Pebble was originally in French, under the title 'Marcellin Caillou'. Phaidon published the English version in 2006.

Maybe it's something you'd have to order in, I dunno.

Deb said...

My library had several of his other books which were translated by the same person as this book. So hopefully I can convince them to buy this one in too. In the meantime, I've put the other books on reserve. :)

Karen said...

My library is a winner. Except that their online catalogue has been down for the past few days so I couldn't look to see if they had a copy of this one.

So I called them up today to see if anything was being done to fix the catalogue, and while I was on the phone, I got them to check if they had the book. Success! Ours was in the adult book section though :)

So I'm looking forward to getting hold of it by early next week from one of the other branches. Happy days here.

Thanks for the review...