Saturday, October 25, 2014

Charlie and Felicity Go Wild by David Driscoll

Charlie and Felicity Go Wild, by David Driscoll , is a uniquely original story about the bazaar adventures of two eccentric fishcakes.  Written for children, this story's synopsis on the back cover explains that the young reader will be introduced to Charlie, "a male fishcake who wants to meet a female fishcake", and after he meets Felicity, "everything goes wild".  The book delivers that promise as the reader joins the fishy middle-aged  couple on the inexplicable, action packed adventures of two eccentric and fun loving fishcakes.

The poignant and expressive illustrations depict Charlie and Felicity fishcake in unforgettable detail.  These middle aged fishcakes are a blend of human and fish in their physical appearance. Charlie's  masculine features, exaggerated cleft chin with subtle unshaven stubble is the perfect partner for the middle aged, full figured blonde haired Felicity.  Her face, adorned with just a hint of scaled texture, gives her a wizened middle aged, fishy appearance. The original impressionistic illustrations are quite unexpected in their graphic detail and distortion.

Their day is packed with more adventure than one could imagine.  In the first paragraphs of the story, not only does  Charlie's bathing suit slip off as he takes a swim, he also meets Felicity and their long day together begins on a "funny shaped boat". They watch hippos together, and then they chase a snake. It isn't long before Charlie decides to catch the snake, and gives it to Felicity to hold. An illustration depicts a grinning Charlie as Felicity holds on to a big snake.  Nevertheless, rather than finding it to be fun, Felicity stealthily releases the snake back into the water when Charlie turns to paddle.  In the next scene, their boat becomes stuck in big, shiny bulbous rocks and twigs.  Charlie fishcake, with his sagging pants and exposed  buttocks, is still able to come to the rescue. Not long after, they escape from a crocodile attack .  And without a break "a gray snake- thing" that "reared up from underneath them", turns out to be a playful mischievous elephant. Charlie becomes jealous, feeling left out of the fun, as Felicity rides the elephant's trunk and seeks revenge when he tricks the elephants into entwining their trunks together. And if that wasn't enough, they drift off into a magical woods with gigantic red and white mushrooms. Felicity has fun bouncing on the mushrooms until Charlie finds her and bounces with her.  Then pulled back into reality, Charlie finds that he must explain to Felicity that their boat has a hole in it, which would leave them stranded.  They come up with an idea using teamwork to find a "big mushroom to plug the hole". It is so large that Charlie hesitates, but with some encouragement from Felicity, he pushes and heaves it out of the ground and with effort they "squeeze the mushroom"  and "plugged the hole".  The boat repair is short lived when they become hungry and engorge themselves on a giant mushroom binge.  With the demise of their boat, their day at sea comes to an abrupt end as an illustration of depicts them walking hand in hand into the bright orange sunset.  In the end of the incredible saga of these two fishcakes, the reader most likely will feel as if he was on a big adventure himself! So many events are packed into this story. Yet in the end, there is a lesson about teamwork, and that even with  poor choices, things can still work out in the end. As a blogger I received a copy of this book published by Strategic Book Publishing and Rights Co. 

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