August 10, 2012

Review: Lamberto, Lamberto, Lamberto

Lamberto, Lamberto, Lamberto by Gianni Rodari, translated by Antony Shugaar

This strange novel is the story of a rich Baron, named Lamberto of course, who discovers an ancient secret: if his name is spoken continuously his aging will stop and even reverse. He hires a group of people to live up in his attic and recite his name, so that he will return to a healthy, younger self. Problems arise as a greedy nephew and some bandits try to get their hands on his vast wealth. This modern fairy tale was quite fun to read, with zany illustrations and a less than comfortable (though to my mind, perfect) ending. Although I greatly enjoyed this book, I am not sure that it would appeal to my students. There is a great deal of Italian geography mentioned in the book, but mostly in lists rather than being described. Another problem I had in reading it was the detached manner that it dealt with some of the bandit's actions. Al in all, I think this book would be great for someone looking for something new or unique to read, but I'm not sure it's really a book that will have appeal to elementary students. There is some marketing that compares it to The Little Prince. I was very excited when I read that comparison, but honestly it's nothing like the innocence and depth of that great work of fiction. Read if you'd like a zany take on humanity, otherwise, skip this one. This review is based on a publisher supplied electronic copy.

Until next time, bon voyage and happy reading.

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