- Paperback: 192 pages
- Publisher: HarperCollins; Reprint edition (Feb. 15 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0060726083
- ISBN-13: 978-0060726089
- Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.2 x 21.6 cm
- Shipping Weight: 272 g
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #970,525 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Bears' Famous Invasion of Sicily Paperback – Feb 15 2005
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About the Author
Dino Buzzati (1906-1972) was an Italian editor, novelist, poet, playwright, and short story writer. He has been lauded as one of Europe’s foremost experimental writers of the twentieth century.
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The plot reads as a magical-realist, forgotten history lesson of Sicily and the long wars and strife between bears and humans. The overriding themes of the book involve the corruption of humans and the real moral risk faced by the bears when they begin to adopt the airs and aspirations of their human counterparts. Few children's books deal with war or politics and none so inventively. It works beautifully for the child reader and adult reader alike. A mature young reader (for example a child who easily picked up on the allegory of the Narnia Chronicles) will discern much about human/bear nature and an adult with some exposure to history will read more into the sections on war and politics. In spite of basic premise (the ease with which power and decadence corrupt) it has a healthy dose of humor, magic and hope to balance the reality.
The New York Review of Books deserves high praise for bringing back the neglected classics for the enjoyment of both children and adults.
Maybe it's too violent for some children, but I ordered one for my 6 year old granddaughter and I highly recommend it. Translated from the Italian, part prose, part poetry, and never a dull moment. It's not like anything else I've seen in children's books. And the drawings are fantastic!
For what could bears do, armed with arrows and spears and such trifles
Against culverin, cannon and grapeshot, and muskets and rifles?
The rifles crack, the unsullied snow turns red;
Who'll dig a grave to hold so many dead?
The Duke upon a sheltered slope
Observes it through a telescope
While the courtiers, to show how victorious their team is
Have painted his lens with a bear "in extremis"
So wherever he looks as the bloodshed increases
He sees only bears cut into pieces.
"Tell me, Your Excellence, what do you see?"
"A bear with his leg chopped off at the knee."
"And now, Your Excellence, what see you there?"
"Nothing but dead bears everywhere."
Now begins a hurly bur-
Ly, shrieks and yells and /Sauve qui peut!/
One runs away, one leaps the ramparts
And falls into the ditch's damp parts.
On the whole, I found it precious and depressing, but that's how I feel about the Lemony Snicket books too. Maybe if I was a little boy, I'd get a kick out of it.