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‘We need the literature of other countries to expand our
horizons and stimulate our ideas. Without it, we are not only
diminished, we are starved’
(The Times, Magnus Linklater 29/06/05)
Mellops Strike Oil (The)
by Tomi Ungerer
Age Range: Under_5
One day Mr Mellops and his four sons Isidor, Ferdinand, Casimir and Felix decide to stop for a picnic where Mr Mellops discovers that the mountain water has an awful taste – just like oil in fact. With the help of some books from the library and a handy invention designed by Mr Mellops himself, the family embark on a quest to dig for oil. Things do not quite go according to plan and Mr Mellops discovers that some things are best left to the professionals.
There is an educational element to this story too. The discovery by the Mellops’ of the different fossils – ammonites, belemnites and ceriths are accompanied by an illustration of each to show what they look like. Even the exploration for oil is carefully explained in the illustrations and text. The wooden tower the Mellops’ build is called a derrick and the dangers of oil are emphasised when a discarded cigar causes a fire in the forest with the flames threatening to set the oil alight. Luckily, Mr Mellops is able to save the day.
This is a delightful picture book in the Mellops series, reissued by Phaidon, from the internationally acclaimed Alsace writer and illustrator Tomi Ungerer. Its retro feel will appeal to a brand new audience of children and be as popular now as when it was first published more than 50 years ago confirming that the Mellops’ really are the world’s most adventurous family of pigs.