Friday, June 26, 2015

ReadItDaddy's Book of the Week - Week Ending 26th June 2015 - "The Fire Children" by Eric Maddern and Fran Lessac (Frances Lincoln Children's Books


The Fire Children

Written by Eric Maddern

Illustrated by Fran Lessac

Published by Frances Lincoln Children's Books

Folk tales from around the world make for some of the richest and most satisfying children's storytelling experiences. Seeing the world through someone else's eyes, and seeing how their own myths and legends compare to our own always makes us bubbly and enthusiastic about a book. This particular West African folk tale, retold by Eric Maddern and with fantastic illustrations by Fran Lessac, is the story of "The Fire Children" and it's a scintillating sizzling read.

The great sky god Nyame accidentally sneezes out the first man and woman (charming!) onto the earth, and though they're thankful for their new home (you would be thankful if you lived up a sky god's nose!) they do feel a little lonely from time to time.

They both hit upon a fantastic plan to make children out of clay, wrapping them carefully in leaves and baking them in a fire until they're just right.

Unfortunately, the sky god constantly fusses around his two creations and is always popping in for visits. As a result, some of the children are pale and underdone, some of the children are left in the fire until they're scorched and blackened but the man and woman love them all equally, for they are their own children.

Over time, the children spread out around the earth and play, and love, and fight - and as they all develop in their own way, we always remember where they came from - and as ever, their parents still love them just as much.

This is the sort of story we clamour for, we love the celebration of diversity here, we love the joyful way the children play and raise children of their own and we love the way Eric reworks the tale for our own children to understand and identify with perfectly, offset gorgeously by Fran Lessac's fabulous tribal illustrations. This is a truly stunning book that deserves your attention and shelf space!

Charlotte's best bit: The big sneeze that creates life on earth! ATCHOO!

Daddy's Favourite bit: A gorgeous folk tale reworked perfectly by Eric and Fran, a book celebrating the richness and diversity of the children of our world.

(Kindly sent to us for review by Frances Lincoln Children's Books)

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