Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Små Svarta Sagor för De Vitas Barn / Little Black Stories for Little White Children by Blaise Cendrars (4/5)

First published: 1921
Original title:
Petits contes nègres pour les enfants des blancs

Original language: French
Translation to Swedish by: Ingalisa Munck
Illustrations by: Jacqueline Duhême
Page count: 92

The back says: The trees, the birds, the animals, the people, the jungle, the wind... all mix in the magic circle of African tales told here by Blaise Cendrars.
I say: I read this in Swedish, but since it has been translated in English (although proving rare to find, and with differing titles), I’ll write the review in English.

I’m not too sure what to say about these little stories other than that I loved most of them. I grew up with African stories, and the world Cendrars evokes felt familiar and comforting.

Most of them should probably be referred to as fables – which I had forgotten I loved – and the best part was that I couldn’t predict in advance what the moral was going to be. They had little twists in them, with a dash of the absurd, and I am going to try them out on my nieces when I get the chance.
To be noted is that Cendrars didn’t write these stories, but is merely retelling them – hence the 4/5 rating. And the illustrations were nice enough.

*I couldn’t find a book cover online (and I'm too lazy to take a picture an upload it), so here is an illustration by Olga Kvasha.

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