N’s current school allows them to borrow a book daily, and even though I encourage him to borrow different books daily, he sometimes chooses the same book, because he likes it a lot. ‘Eric!’ is one such book, and I think he has borrowed it THRICE in one term, which shows how much he really enjoys reading it.
‘Eric!’ tells the story of a boy who, well, isn’t quite the brightest, but has a kind heart. He’s been called all sorts of names by the people around him, and sadly, he comes to believe them. When a monster arrives in his town, Eric overhears the adults saying that they needed a hero, but that only someone stupid would be one, he decides to stay to face the monster, instead of running away with everyone else. To Eric’s surprise, the monster has also been called similar names by its peers, and they end up becoming friends. Eric therefore becomes the unwitting hero of his town, and the townsfolk cheer for him.
N really enjoyed the illustrations in this picture book, especially since the text was presented in speech bubbles at times. I liked that different fonts were used for the various characters, and N was most amused by the different orientation of the page when Eric confronts the monster. I guess it helped him to see how big the monster was supposed to be?
Personally, I felt that the ending of the book would have been better if the adults praised Eric for his courage, and apologised to him for calling him names just because he’s not clever. After all, it takes all sorts to make up the world, and one does not have to be book smart to succeed in life. The story itself illustrates this point, but I think it should have been more explicit, since this is a children’s picture book.
However, the fact that N loves this book and asks me to read it to him repeatedly probably shows that he appreciates the story, and I think I’ll try to have a proper conversation with him about it the next time he brings the book home. So far, we’ve talked about how it wasn’t kind of the people to call Eric names, but my dear son found it funny that Eric got the Math question wrong, and started giggling when he saw the monster looking confused at the end of the story, because he thinks the monster doesn’t know how to do simple addition as well. Kids. *rolls eyes*
******* Buy the Book Eric! on Book Depository