Saturday, November 27, 2010

El Pato y la Muerte

Published in 2007, El Pato y la Muerte  (published in English as Duck, Death, and the Tulip) happens to make it to my hands while visiting Chile in 2008. The character illustrations immediately take hold of my feelings.  I meet Duck, who is oblivious to Death; but I also  sympathize with  Death, whose words seem to make a lot of sense. I know Duck will probably die, but I do not want it to happen. "I've been around since the day you were born ... just in case" - tells Duck to Death. Suddenly I witness a surprising but brief relationship between  Duck and Death. I did not expect this or Death's reaction to the inevitable.

This is a book for everyone. Right now I admire it as a book for adults, especially those like me who have been affected by the death of our loved ones. But I also think it should be a book to read to children to prepare them for life and death. The cordial and friendly relationship between death and the duck, the casualness of their relationship, and the depth in their farewell to the pond, as well as their comments from the top of the tree, make this book one to think and ponder, and feel and absorb.  The illustrations, which focus mainly on the two characters, are remarkable.

Thank you for this work of genius, Wolf Ehrlbruch. 

 Several reviews on this book can be found in the editorial: Barbara Fiore. The translation in English can be found as: or as Duck, Death, and the Tulip.

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