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ERIC IN THE LAND OF THE INSECTS by Godfried Bomans

ERIC IN THE LAND OF THE INSECTS

By Godfried Bomans (Author) , Mark Richardson (Illustrator) , Regina Louise Kornblith (Translator)

Age Range: 9 - 12

Pub Date: March 1st, 1994
ISBN: 0-395-65231-6
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

 With a schoolboy's certainty that something wonderful is about to happen, Eric is only a little startled when the ancestral portraits in his bedroom become animated. Through these relatives, he learns that he can enter a picture of industrious insects, about which he is studying in school. Once bug-sized and inside the frame, Eric discovers a class system not unlike its human counterpart (nobility is important, as is the presence of a stinger). For his knowledge of Solm's Concise Natural History (a sort of Baedeker of the bug world), Eric is admired, envied, suspect; more than once he reminds the insects that they don't need his book information to perform their tasks, that their intuitive survival skills are perfect. Eccentric b&w line drawings reflect the novel's comic spirit, making Eric's size and adventure more real. As translated by Kornblith, the telling is sharply satirical; its occasional preciousness may be attributed to the fact that the book was first published in Holland in 1941. Modern sensibilities may be impatient to find that it was all, apparently, a dream. Still, those with an eye for the unusual (or who are fresh from James and the Giant Peach) will find much to savor here. (Fiction. 9-12)