Friday, December 18, 2009

Amos & Boris

Picture source Amazon

Author & Illustrator: William Steig
Publisher: Farrar Str
Age : All, Read alone- 5+ years

Amos and Boris’ is one of those books that I enjoy reading repeatedly to my daughter, Anushka. A mutually cherished book. This lyrical ode to friendship, I felt, would be a fitting start for this novice reviewer at Saffron Tree.

William Steig is the award-winning author/illustrator of Sylvester and the Magic Pebble, which I am yet to read, and he also created Shrek. Amos & Boris is a simple and timeless tale, laced with humour, about friendship. It is said to have evolved from a sketch of elephants pushing a whale into the ocean.

The story opens with Amos (a mouse) building a boat, the "Rodent". He soon finds himself at sea literally and otherwise. Boris (a whale) rescues him. They have fun together and after a while, inevitably part ways, not expecting to meet again. But they do and Amos finds a way to reciprocate the kindness shown to him by Boris.

Without being pedantic, Amos and Boris is a thumbs up to unlikely and generous friendships. There is profoundness to this tender tale which will not escape a little one.

It also spurs a child’s curiosity and helps bring forth some differences between sea creatures and those that live on land.

The adult like illustrations in soft water colours, largely blue and grey with a dash of saffron, are rendered by the author, Willian Steig and are very evocative.

Although it is a warm story, I must admit that there is a sense of poignancy/loss, since the two friends need to go their own separate ways. I suppose that is reality.


Choxbox said...

Great pick Art!

I guess the whole friends gig is especially relevant at this age when there will be a lot of movement between schools - some cherished friendships might fade, and perhaps their first experience of parting with possibly their first proper friends.
But then there are so many more friends waiting to be made :)

ranjani.sathish said...

Lovely pick Artnavy ! I liked the reason why you picked this book first for review :-)

starry eyed said...

Nice! Sounds like a lovely sensitive tale.

Praba Ram said...

Hi Art,

Welcome aboard! Great to see your first review for ST.

William Steig is one of my favorite authors in children's books. Through his exceptional writing, he conveys emotions meaningfully leaving you to feel for the character for a long time. I can see why you have picked Amos and Boris. We will check it out for sure. Sylvester and the Magic Pebble, a caldecott(1970) is certainly one I have greatly enjoyed reading with my kids.

And along the same lines - on your writing style - limpid, well-structured and simple with the essence captured succintly. A real treat for children's book lovers here on ST to have a writer join the team.

Way to go! We look forward to more.



PS: Couldn't help but leave a long one. :-)

Anusha said...

Art! welcome aboard, lovely to see you here.
we read this book last mth & enjoyed the lovely tale of friendship.

Uma said...

Art - Congrats! I always wondered why you are not part of ST :)

Vibha said...

Hi Artnavy,great story and an interesting review.

Meera Sriram said...

"since the two friends need to go their own separate ways. I suppose that is reality." - I loved how the curtains fell down on your review! Seems like a very nice book on friendship.

Great pick for a great start..welcome Art!

sathish said...

Artnavy, very nice one and welcome to ST.

reminds me a bit about oregon - the unlikely friendship between a bear and a clown in circus.

utbtkids said...

I just put this on hold Art. Thanks for the review.

artnavy said...

Good to be a part of this much loved resource

Praba/ Uma-:-)

Tharini said...

I love how you say so much in so little and help us to read between the lines. Its efficient writing at its best!

Tharini said...

We read this one just recently, and had to give you feedback. It was such a striking book and Akhil enjoyed it a good deal. So much so that he read it to himself several times after, which is not a simple matter hereabouts. :)

Artnavy said...

that is great tara!!

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