Tag Archives: children’s fiction

Duck, Death and the Tulip

Wolf ErlbruchFor a long time he watched her.

When she was lost to sight, he was almost a little moved.

“But that’s life,” thought Death.

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The Epiplectic Bicycle

Edward GoreyHave you heard about our Bike into Spring event taking place at the Dufferin Clark library? It’s taking place Saturday April 29th,  which is in just over a week, so mark your calendars! Bring your bike and helmet for a bicycle-filled day of games, DIY workshops, stories, an obstacle course, and a whole lot more! The event starts at 1pm and ends at 4pm, and there are going to be lots of community participants there, including the York Region Cycling Coalition, Pedalheads, velofix Mobile Bike Shop, and more from the City of Vaughan & York Region.

Now, if your biking style is anything like Embley and Yewbert from The Epiplectic Bicycle, I don’t know whether to be envious of or worried for you. If we were looking at it as a regular story, I’d say that the two aforementioned are the two protagonists, but this is no regular book, so arguably, there are actually three protagonists – Embley, Yewbert, and the Epiplectic Bicycle – and the former two go on a trip using the latter, around… I’m not really sure around where, to be honest. Just around. (One might even say it’s not that the two take the third for a ride, so much as the bicycle takes Embley and Yewbert for a spin.) They go here and there, and (as Victoria pointed out to me) they explore so many things outside of the scope of this book that Gorey cuts out entire sections of their journey altogether, as you can see by the skipped chapters throughout. They even meet an alligator, who – on second thought, I won’t spoil it for you. The only way you can find out is if you take your bike around to try to meet that same alligator, or if you go and read The Epiplectic Bicycle!

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Jane, the Fox & Me

by Fanny Britt, illustrated by Isabelle ArsenaultI don’t usually read graphic novels, junior graphics even less frequently, but this, I think, is one of those that transcends any attempt to pigeonhole it into a specific age category (see Maurice Sendak on the subject). The only reason I stumbled upon this gem was because I absolutely adore Isabelle Arsenault’s illustrations, which led me to do a search to sate my need for more Arsenault in my life.

Jane, the Fox & Me takes you through the life of a girl being ostracized from her class- and schoolmates, told in  quiet, black-brown & white illustrations  –  the blacks not quite black and, in not being starkly contrasted with the white, soft – with sudden pops of colour that introduce the protagonist’s, Hélène’s, inner world and imagination. The use of colour plunging the reader into the world of Hélène was a lovely touch, the illustrations of Jane Eyre appearing in full colour, seeping out into Hélène’s dull reality through the fox (then again, perhaps not – who knows where the fox existed, in truth?) before she is able to see the world as she saw her escapes from reality before.

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