________________ CM . . . . Volume XII Number 19 . . . . May 26, 2006


The Dachshund's Very End and Other Fiddle Fumble Stories.

Paul Driessen.
Montreal, PQ: Smith, Bonappétit & Son, 2005.
155 pp., pbk., $14.95.
ISBN 1-897118-01-5.

Subject Headings:
Humorous stories.
Children's stories, Canadian (English).

Grades 1 and up / Ages 6 and up.

Review by Lorraine Douglas .

*** /4


There once was a dachshund who could see his other end, but did not know how to get to it. So one day he set out on a long stroll to see if he could get to it. He walked on for many hours, but he never reached his other end.


Six droll and unusual tales are told in this small format paperback. The first story, “The Dachshund,” is about a dog who goes off looking for his tail. The dachshund never does see his other end but meets his own end when he is gobbled by the snake. The other stories have the same kind of weird and slightly tilted perspective as in story of “The Young Bird” in which the little bird sees all these interesting things from its birds-eye view and then is shot by a hunter. The last story, “The Sheet,” has a whimsical flair in that the sheet cannot decide what to do and presents itself to us as a blank slate for us to draw in on the last page.

internal art

     At first glance, this book appears to be a board book because of its small square shape and thickness, but these stories are not intended for a young audience of preschoolers. The cover gives us a hint of the quirkiness to come with its off-kilter hand lettering and the dachshund staring intently at a dog's bum exiting the picture. Those who like the sense of humour in Terry Gilliam's big animated foot stomping on everything would enjoy these very easy to read stories.

     Paul Driessen is an award-winning film animator who has made over 20 short films. He works in Canada and Europe, and his small size black and white drawings are deftly drawn and enclosed in a box facing each page of text. With a minimum of line, the artist is able to create comic images. The drawings remind us of the cels used for animation, and the drawings would be a good source for art teachers looking for simple drawings to stimulate the creation of flip books.


Lorraine Douglas is an artist and writer living in Sidney, BC.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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