Thursday, 26 June 2014

Fennymore and the Brumella

Here's a review I wrote for Inis






KIRSTEN REINHARDT
ILLUSTRATED BY DAVID ROBERTS
TRANSLATED BY SIOBHAN PARKINSON
FENNYMORE AND THE BRUMELLA
LITTLE ISLAND 2014 130pp (PBK) £6.99 ISBN 978-1-908195-85-2

Fennymore Teabreak has more challenges in his life than most boys his age (he's around eleven but can't be sure.) His parents have mysteriously disappeared and he's left in the 'care' (we use this word with caution) of an eccentric Aunt Elsie who has a penchant for salted dachshund which has disastrous consequences. We immediately warm to him and his friendly bicycle and worry about his predicament. Throughout this zany book, we meet a plethora of odd characters who seem intent on making life difficult for Fennymore but like all good protagonists he overcomes his problems intelligently and finds a great female sidekick called Fizzy to truck along with. The narrative is smooth and well paced with plenty of humour to keep a younger reader engaged. Reinhardt certainly knows how to spin a good yarn and conjures a very vivid picture of Fennymore's world. The language is fluid and crystal clear and thanks to Parkinson's expertise doesn't feel like a translation. To further our view of things, each chapter is punctuated with one of David Robert's visual delights. His exquisite, hand executed style matches the text brilliantly and the result is both atmospheric and soulful. Luckily, an excellent designer was on board to enhance subtly so the book as a finished product works extremely well. Overall, a thoroughly good read but sometimes we crave for something ordinary to contrast the extraordinary (8-12yrs.)

SADIE CRAMER