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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)
by Pablo Albo
Age Range: 6-8
It is grandmother’s birthday and to celebrate her special day she invites her three granddaughters to visit her. In order to bake the cake she asks the eldest girl to get the flour, the middle girl to fetch the milk and the youngest to get the eggs. As a reward for their help the old woman wants to surprise the girls by giving them some delicious bread and honey which is located in the cellar. Unknown to all of them Greedy Glutton is hiding there waiting for an opportunity to devour whoever comes his way. As the girls go down to fetch their treat he ends up gobbling them up, one after the other. When grandmother discovers this terrible tragedy she desperately cries for help alerting a whole army of soldiers and also an ant who all come to the rescue! The reader will be reassured that all ends well as everyone, including the Greedy Glutton, celebrate the grandmother’s birthday round a table eating the much anticipated cake.
The story is told in the classic narrative style of traditional fairy tales and its content and subject is clearly based on stories that are rooted in the past and that have been told verbally from generation to generation. Italian artist, Maurizio Quarello’s artwork augments the highly atmospheric narrative and adds a tense, edgy feel to the story. Great emphasis has been put on the cover of this book depicting the sinister, surreal portrayal of The Glutton looking directly at the reader behind a mountain with the shape of his hat echoing his macabre face. The end papers also feature two big eyes that confront the reader as they open the book. Certainly not be suitable for the faint-hearted, this is a highly distinctive picture book suitable for older readers.
Maurizio Quarello trained as an artist in Turin. His illustrations are highly original and evocative of the best tradition of European art. He has won numerous international prizes for his work and his illustrations have been exhibited in many countries including Bratislava and Italy at the Bologna Book Fair. For more information about the artist visit his website (in Italian) www.quarello.com.
OQO’s books www.oqo.es are also produced in Galician, Catalan, Spanish, Portuguese and French. The English titles are now available in the UK distributed by the Roundhouse Group.