Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Blaze and the Forest Fire

Blaze and the Forest Fire
Written and Illustrated by C. W. Anderson
First Published in 1938
Republished by Aladdin Books in 1992

For city folks like us (I presume most of the readers are city folks as well) the terms like forests and horse riding are exotic and enjoyed vicariously through books and movies. Most of us(including me) if given a chance to stay in a farm house near a forest would probably jump in glee, spend a few days in absolute bliss and after that look yearningly at the concrete jungle - the lights, the buzz and noise of the city - pack our bags and return back to the chaos. This review is not about city folks and the alluring charm of the country, but about the brave boy called Billy and his wonderful horse called Blaze. The book puts in that wee bit of thought about returning back to the nature and living along with it. But, yeah - we are in too much in love with our luxury to switch back to our old rustic life and dangers associated with it.

Billy owns a wonderful pony called Blaze and C. W. Anderson has illustrated around 30-40 books on this wonderful duo and their adventures together. In this book, Billy and Blaze are steadily walking through some woods when they notice a small fire. It is not sure if the forest fire was created naturally due to the heat or due to some miscreants. But, Billy does know what a fire in forest would mean to the farmers around the area and what it would mean to the landscape and nature around the place. He and his horse kick into action and the pages turn like an action movie - as they jump over fences, brooks, get hurt; but still deliver the message about the forest fire in time for the farmers to stop it.

I loved the simplicity of the book. C. W. Anderson's wonderful black and white illustrations jump out of the pages as one can visualize the actions in real time. If C. W. Anderson is alive today, I would imagine that he might have turned this into a hugely popular action based graphic novel.

This book is a nice little treat for folks who love highly realistic black and white illustrations, forest fires and their effect on the environment and those who love horses.


utbtkids said...

What a treat Satish!! Will check out this series.

Anusha said...

very nice action packed review, Satish. we'll have to wait to read this but I find there is a charm in older publications - something raw about b&w illustrations -they don't color over any realities.

Praba Ram said...

The first para captures perfectly the longing/sentiments many of us struggle with. The illustration aspect neatly captured! Will look out for this one! Thanks!

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