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LITTLE ZIZI by Thierry Lenain

LITTLE ZIZI

By Thierry Lenain (Author) , Stéphane Poulin (Illustrator) , Daniel Zolinsky (Translator)

Age Range: 6 - 9

Pub Date: April 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-1-933693-05-7
Publisher: Cinco Puntos

Poking its way across the border more than ten years after its first exposure in Canada, this wry twist on the Penile Code provides direct reassurance to worried readers (of the male persuasion, at least) that Size Doesn’t Matter. Catching sight of nerdy Martin standing naked in a swimming-pool dressing room, swaggering Adrian sneeringly dubs him “Little Zizi”; when Adrian goes on to announce that the lads will all decide who’s to be pretty Anais’s boyfriend with a peeing contest, Martin determines to fight back—but despite hard practice, come the contest he can’t perform. No matter: Anais proceeds to hook up with Martin for a smooch. After a while, everything in Poulin’s finely-modeled illustrations, from a string of sausages to a peaked cowboy hat, begins to look like a phallic symbol. Perspective renders the anatomy in question only barely visible; more obvious is the contrast between Adrian’s piggy countenance and Martin’s hunched shoulders and opaque eyeglasses. Not a comfortable topic, at least in this country, but the frankness and humor with which author and illustrator address it will draw a (wait for it) swelling audience. (Picture book. 6-9)