The Bitter Sweet Philosophies by K K Jart

The Bitter Sweet Philosophies

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A series of illustrations interpreted and captioned by a collective of writers.

In this debut picture book, Fedaeff’s illustrations are accompanied by a series of captions written by the writers’ collective KK Jart. The book’s introduction explains the philosophy behind the book’s structure: “A picture is worth a thousand words—but each Fedaeff painting contains a thousand stories.” The stories suggested by KK Jart are amusing, pathetic, thought-provoking, sentimental or cringe-inducing, in some cases all at once. For instance, one image shows three figures on a podium, and the accompanying texts range from “Inge was delighted with her Philosophy mark and felt no guilt that she had cheated by looking into the soul of little Albert Rider next to her” to “Pinocchio’s nose grew perilously close to the inflatable girl. One more lie and she’d pop. The medal was his.” Some of the text is likely to go over the heads of young readers (“Edgar was disqualified from the ‘Best Simulation of The Scream’ competition for covering his eyes” or “He wondered if she did indeed gyre and gimble in the wabe”), but “No-one sang about life on the rough side of the tracks quite as well as Miss Twinkle’s Bonny Daycare Sextet” and “It was a little teapot short and stout. There was a handle, there was a spout. And it matched her dress” will likely resonate. The artwork and text are closely intertwined, and Fedaeff’s color illustrations are simple, with a cartoonish style enhanced by a limited but appealing palette. While the book’s humor isn’t for everyone, and the more sardonic aspects of KK Jart’s interpretations may limit the book’s appeal to some of the youngest picture-book readers, others will delight in following the authors’ leads and using the images as inspiration for their own storytelling forays.

A whimsical compendium of illustrations and stories that will appeal to imaginative readers.

Pub Date: May 17th, 2014
ISBN: 978-1499300925
Page count: 116pp
Publisher: CreateSpace
Program: Kirkus Indie
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 2014


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