Friday, May 21, 2010


Clown, Quentin Blake. Pattu Rating: 4.7

I've been wanting to review this for a while now. Finally got around to doing it now.

For me, it was love at first sight. For Pattu, the scribbly lines ceased to impress initially but it grew on her and when the story unfolded it had her completely hooked. I've become a huge fan of QB's illustrations after just a few books (including the Roald Dahl ones) and am hunting for the rest.

The clown along with some of his friends (all of them toys) are abandoned and have nowhere to go. The clown is not willing to give up and goes looking for a home for himself and his friends. A series of adventures where he meets different kinds of people in different situations. Adults who don't think much of him, who don't find him worthy enough, a child who wants him but whose mom doesn't let her keep him, a burly guy who is rude and so on. Finally he lands up in a house where he instantly turns around a situation by being resourceful and winning the smile of an infant. At last how he goes on from there to rescue his friends from the garbage bin and how all of them eventually find a home makes the rest of the story.

The illustrations are so expressive and make the story powerful and compelling. Words would have probably diluted the effect of the illustrative style. I loved this also because it allows the reader to interpret and imagine the story from their own perspective. For instance, when the burly man throws the clown up in the sky, my version of the story, had I been telling Pattu, would have been something like, 'the clown got scared when the man threw him up in the air'. However, without this influence, Pattu's version was, 'the man threw the clown up in the air and the clown was super exited to go so high up in the air'. Also, in Pattu's version, the clown was seldom sad...he enjoyed his adventures just as much as he enjoyed finding the home at the end. Am I happy that I didn't narrate the story to Pattu - I like her version better.

So, what's your version?


JS said...

A story in pictures - sounds interesting.

Uma said...

JS - It is very vividly illustrated I would say.