Sunday, March 16, 2008

Oregon's Journey

Oregon's Journey
Author: Rascal
Pictures by : Louis Joos

Age Group : 5+, YA, Adults

I always keep reading about Road Trips, but never been on one. What is so important about a Road Trip? Probably nothing helps one to get a idea of any country without a road trip. There are multiple books and movies on road trips, but, I have never come across a road trip book or movie that moved me as Oregon's Journey.

Duke is a dwarf and works as a circus clown. He is always dressed like a clown with his red cherry on his nose. He is likes to watch a bear called Oregon and both of them end up being great friends. One day, the bear Oregon asks him if Duke can take him to a big forest. Duke does not no how to answer, but back in his trailer, he decides that he needs to help out his friend Oregon. So, both of them set out from Pittsburg, where the circus is currently running to Oregon state where Duke thinks are the beautiful forest of spruce trees.

So, one fine night after the final performance, the clown and the bear walk out with out any luggage to find the beautiful forest of spruce trees. They walk out of Pittsburg and leave its ash-coloured sky to find greener pastures. They hitch rides from one state to another; and get to meet various folks of different colour, temperament and lives. A black man, traveling salesman, a Navajo elder and many other give them lift as they pass one state after another. They spent the night wherever they find shelter and finally catch the train to Oregon. The rest of pages show the peace and solitude that the friends find after reaching Oregon and the great big forest.

The illustrations are extremely wonderful. I have no words to describe them. I especially like the last page illustration as the clown walks away from the forest into a snow filled white morning.

The words catch your heart and tug hard. There is a great dialogue between a black man and the clown, when the black man gives the bear and clown a lift --

"Why do you wear white makeup and a red nose when you're no longer in the circus?" the man asked me.

"Because they've become a part of me," I answered.

"It isn't easy being a dwarf".

"Nor is it easy to be a black man," he said.

We understood each other.

A touching and wonderful book that I would recommend to every one. One of my friends, Prashanth, bought this book for Sooraj. Ranjani, Sooraj and I have loved this book. Probably, Ranjani and I love this book more than Sooraj.


Meera Sriram said...

The dialogue quoted indeed indicates that the book offers much much more than just a road adventure. The clown-bear combination should make it even more interesting. However, I could not help but recollect all the fun that my DH and I had when we drove from Boston to San Francisco for 10days across wonderfully diverse cities, towns, people, flora and topography, and that too without any preset agend:) Sounds like a great book Satish, thanks!

sathish said...


the book is definitely more than a road trip..

it is peppered with some wonderful conversation and words; that it almost feels like a movie..

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