Monday 17 February 2014

MONDAY 17th of February

Today's title for 14:14 blog challenge is

Author: Armin Greder
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Year of publications: 2010
Original title La Citta 2009

Readership. Juvenile to Adult.

Main characters: Boy, Mother, travellers 

Themes: parenting, over protectiveness, love, death, loss, strength through adversity

illustrations:  Charcoal and pastels. Dark and grim to suit the message with very little colour used only on the cover and one other page. 

A widowed woman fearing for her child in a war ravaged city, removes him from all outside influences far from anything man made. She redirects travelers who might harm her child and over protects him then dies leaving him abruptly without the skills to cope. Isolation, fear and hopelessness are portrayed strongly in the dark illustrations.  I appreciated the art and found the story content sad and disturbing.It holds a strong message about smothering the growth of a child through over protectiveness. 
I chose all my books for this challenge at random and was surprised to find this in the young reader section of the library. I expect I will discuss both the Greder picture books with my library and suggest they move them to the teen section. 
I think this would be a very good picture book to generate discussion
 amongst more mature readers or writing students.

The book was recently translated into English.

I would recommend this book if only for the dark yet beautiful art work. It is thought provoking as is the story itself.

My art for the 52 week challenge week 7 Water Colour

My gardenia with more highlights, a dahlia painted on photocopy paper and my disco bugs highlighted with intense ink pencils over the water colours.
The bugs generated a new idea for my picture book marathon challenge. 

I wrote another flash fiction last night
another 350 word or less story for Write to Done
The prompt is in bold.

Scene Stealer #15

    In twenty years as a therapist, she was the only one I’d met who maintained eye contact. This was her third session, and she had yet to look away.  I found myself unable to maintain the contact. Every time I glanced up from my notes to ask her a question she was staring fixedly at me. I shifted uncomfortably in my chair. This was ridiculous, I am fully trained with decades of experience, I should not be so unnerved by a staring youth. Not a blink or flicker of lash broke that intensity. I reached up and rubbed my forehead imagining I would find blood from the hole in my skull. I sniffed at my foolishness.
“You got a headache Shrink?” her tone suggested concern and I managed a weak smile.
I was in fact developing a headache. She pointed at my glass of water and I picked it up to sip before I had realised I was doing it. I put the glass down very carefully. Her stare seemed to intensify if that was at all possible.
“Do you always stare like that? I hadn’t noticed it so much in our previous sessions.”
She shrugged one faux leather clad shoulder without shifting the arm draped across the back of the couch. I jotted the word faux on my notepad.
“It’s real leather Shrink. Got it in a yard sale. You should drink that water. For your headache.”
I had lifted the glass again and sipped the water before she had finished her sentence. I put down the glass wondering how she had seen what I wrote and wished she would stop staring. She dropped her eyelids slowly over her glistening orbs. My head ache eased and I smiled again but she was looking out the window and didn’t see.
“It must have cost quite a bit.”
“Nah they gave it to me for nuthin’”.
“That was generous of them.” I could not suppress the surprise in my voice. “Why did they do that?”
 “You’re fun Shrink.” She swung her face back toward me and smiled. “I stared them down.”



  1. I love the cover! It would definitely get me to pick up the book. I also like your paintings and your flash fiction story is awesome! You're a very creative person.

  2. Wow, sounds very strong on the theme, which it should be, considering the importance of letting children learn how to deal with the world. Amazing review.


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