‘Fuzz McFlops’ by Eva Furnari (Review)

IMG_5253As readers of my blog, you’re all very keen on books, that much is certain, and I suspect that many of you will have a soft spot for rabbits too (just a feeling I have!).  That being the case, today Emily introduces a book, courtesy of the kind people at Pushkin Children’s Books, that might well take your fancy.  It’s a tale featuring bunnies, floppy ears and a touch of romance – what’s not to like?  Without further ado, here’s Emily to tell you about the most literary rabbit in the western hemisphere 🙂

*****
What’s the name of the book, and who is it by?
The book is called Fuzz McFlops and it’s by Eva Furnari (and it’s translated by Alison Entrekin).

What’s it about?
It’s about an old bunny called Fuzz McFlops who had one ear shorter than the other.  He wrote sad poems and stories like Birds in a Cage and The Withered Carrot because he was always grumpy and upset.  And then one day he received a letter from Charlotte – she did not appreciate his sad poems and tried to write them happier.  At first, Fuzz is shocked that she had the courage to change his poems, but soon he grows used to these letters and is anxious to meet her.

Did you like it?  Why (not)?
I liked it mostly, especially the song Ears.  Fuzz looks quite funny and as well as one big ear, he has one big eye!

What was your favourite part?
My favourite part (apart from the end) was when Fuzz met Charlotte because they wrote the song together 🙂

Was it difficult to read?
No, it wasn’t difficult to read.

Would you recommend this book to other boys and girls?  Why (not)?
I would recommend this book to people who like bunnies, rabbits (not guinea pigs) and poems.  Also, this is a book for anyone with different ears!

Emily, thank you very much.

*****
I wasn’t overly convinced that Emily would be into this one (despite the presence of the bunnies).  Fuzz McFlops isn’t the longest of tales, and it doesn’t have an involved plot like many of the books she enjoys.  Happily, though, she seemed to enjoy it, getting on board with the story of the two lovestruck rabbits 🙂

It’s an interesting tale, a story of embracing your differences.  You see, Fuzz, despite his literary success, is one sad bunny:

“My name is Fuzz.  I am a poet and a writer.  I am a loner and don’t like to leave my burrow.  When I was young, I had a hard time because one of my ears was shorter than the other.  My classmates always made fun of me…”
p.9 (Pushkin Children’s Books, 2015)

Poor Flops needs to be dragged out of the shell he’s built to protect himself from the taunts of the outside world, and Charlotte proves to be the key to drawing him out.  It’s a clever take on the topic of difference for children, showing the reader that’s it’s our unique features which make us special.

This is also a very visual book.  The story is accompanied (and surrounded) by pictures, with asides in the form of songs, poems and instructions – there’s also a lengthy post-script which looks at the use of text types.  All of these features, text and illustrations, come courtesy of the writer, obviously a multi-talented person 🙂

Once again (and I make no apologies for mentioning this repeatedly in these posts), Pushkin have commissioned  a great translator, treating their children’s fiction as seriously as their adult books.  Alison Entrekin has translated, amongst other works, Clarice Lispector’s Near to the Wild Heart, Chico Buarque’s Budapest and Adriana Lisboa’s Crow Blue  – and it turns out that she’s yet another of those translators I never realised were Australian!  She’s rendered the story of Fuzz in a simple style, one which encaptures the sadness (and nervousness) of the courting bunny nicely 🙂

Fuzz McFlops is another fun, short read, and (most importantly) a book which receives Emily’s tick of approval.  Having polished this one off, she’s already checking the letter box, hoping to get more treats from overseas.  I do wonder what’s up next for my little reviewer… 😉

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