Thursday, October 8, 2015

[BOOK REVIEW] The Fisherman and the Turtle by Eric A. Kimmel

Title:  The Fisherman and the Turtle

Author:  Eric A. Kimmel

Artist:  Martha Aviles

Genre:  Fantasy / Animals / Aztec / Fairy Tale / Family

Year Published: 2008

Year Read:  2015

Publisher:   Marshall Cavendish Children

Source:  Library

Content Rating:  Ages 5+ (Some Rude Behavior)

Now, I have read like over a million versions of “The Fisherman and his Wife” (and other fairy tales for that matter) and they basically have the same theme as the original story.  So, when I heard of a story called “The Fisherman and the Turtle” written by Eric A. Kimmel, along with illustrations by Martha Aviles, I knew that I stumbled upon a new and interesting twist to the classic Brothers Grimm tale!

The story starts off with a poor fisherman and his wife living in a small hut and capturing fish every day to have something for their dinner table.  One day, the fisherman captures a green turtle in the sea and it turns out that the turtle was one of the seven sons of Opochtli, the god of the sea.  In exchange for its freedom, the turtle promised to grant the fisherman a wish and the fisherman ended up wishing to have four fishes, since he never had four fishes before.  When the fisherman came back home and told his wife about the turtle, his wife grew extremely angry and she told the fisherman to go back to the turtle and wish for them to live in a stone house and become rich.  The fisherman then heads back to the sea and told the turtle about what his wife wanted and the turtle ended up granting the fisherman’s wish.  The fisherman and his wife were happy for a while until the wife decided that she wanted to become king of the land and she tells her husband to go back to the turtle and grant her wish!

Will the fisherman’s wife ever be happy?

Read this book to find out!

Wow!  This story was truly interesting to me!  Eric A. Kimmel had done a fantastic job at implementing the Aztec culture in this version of “The Fisherman and his Wife” as it made the story even more exotic in tone than the original classic story and it allowed me to learn more about Aztec culture.  I also loved the fact that we have a turtle god granting the wishes of the fisherman in this version instead of a fish since I love turtles and I was literally giggling with joy when I saw a fairy tale feature a turtle in it!  Martha Aviles’ artwork is truly gorgeous to look at and I loved the Aztec inspired artwork as I enjoyed seeing the Aztec structures of the buildings such as the images of the people living in stone houses and temples.  I also loved the imagery of the turtle itself as it stands out from the rest of the artwork as the turtle looked more realistic than the human characters themselves and it really brought in the otherworldly feel of the turtle god in the story.

The only problem I had with this book was that the ending was a bit too abrupt for me.  The fact that it ended with *SPOILER*The fisherman’s wife being turned into a statue because she wanted to become a god*SPOILER* and there was not much happening after that event just left me wanting more from the ending and I felt a bit disappointed in not having a full on ending.

Overall, “The Fisherman and the Turtle” is a truly fantastic take on “The Fisherman and his Wife” and it is a great story for fans of “The Fisherman and his Wife” and Aztec culture.  I would recommend this book to children ages five and up since there are some Aztec terms that might be hard for younger children to understand.

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