Monday, April 16, 2012

The Bremen Town Musicians retold by Brian Wildsmith

An old donkey knows that his master wants to get rid of him, so he decides to leave the farm and join up with the musicians of Bremen Town. He still has a fine voice, after all. After he sets out he comes across some more animals: a dog, a cat, and a rooster. Little do they know about the adventures that they will have on their way to Bremen Town.

The story of the Bremen Town musicians (the original folktale) is not one that I was familiar with as a child; I was definitely in my late teens before I even came across it. So I don't have the cultural association with the story and I didn't know how the tale was going to unfold. It definitely zigged and zagged from where I thought it was going to go, but I was happy to see a (spoiler alert) happy ending. Animal lovers will be drawn to the theme of animals taking charge of their lives and triumphing over adversary, although some could find the idea of older animals facing their mortality (often at the hands of humans) to be kind of dark. The illustrations are strong at depicting the different textures of animals and wildlife (a common theme in Brian Wildsmith's work), and there are a lot of details and smaller things to look for. This looks like a reissue of an earlier edition, so if your library is looking for a shiny new copy of this folktale, definitely give this one a look.

For more information on Brian Wildsmith, check out his website.

I received a review copy from NetGalley courtesy of Star Bright Books.

Find it at IndieBound.

Read it with:
Jungle Party by Brian Wildsmith
The Bremen-Town Musicians by Ilse Plume
The Bourbon Street Musicians by Kathy Price

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