THE SWEETEST FIG by Chris Van Allsburg

THE SWEETEST FIG

Age Range: 4 & up
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

 Marcel has the misfortune of belonging to a totally self- absorbed, repressive, and humorless Parisian dentist--one M. Bibot--who is without compassion for his dog (first seen menaced by a disciplinary newspaper) or his patients: he smirks with sadistic pleasure while extracting a tooth and withholds a painkiller from one sufferer when she offers, in lieu of money, two figs that ``can make your dreams come true.'' Still, when his dream does come true after he eats one fig (it's mortifying--he finds himself in his underwear in the street, while the Eiffel Tower ``droop[s] over as if it were made of soft rubber''), Bibot is filled with greedy anticipation; he's determined to dream a dream that will make him ``the richest man on earth.'' But justice remains poetic. Marcel snitches the other fig, and next morning Bibot discovers just what kind of vengeance the dog has chosen to exact. Children amused by the offbeat tale will probably miss its adult overtones, but Van Allsburg's soft, luminous illustrations, in warm tones of brown refined with deeper grays, should please everyone. His precisely rounded caricature of the dentist is as merciless as the supercilious man himself, while the masterful play of patterns--elegant Parisian stonework glimpsed from a roomful of antiseptic modern furniture, the tower pointing down at the fleeing dentist, the short-legged dog struggling against a taut leash on a polished stair--is delightful. Rather wickedly clever, but fun. (Picture book. 4+)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1993
ISBN: 0-395-67346-1
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15th, 1993




MORE BY CHRIS VAN ALLSBURG

ChildrenTHE MISADVENTURES OF SWEETIE PIE by Chris Van Allsburg
by Chris Van Allsburg
ChildrenTHE CHRONICLES OF HARRIS BURDICK by Chris Van Allsburg
by Chris Van Allsburg
ChildrenQUEEN OF THE FALLS by Chris Van Allsburg
by Chris Van Allsburg