Hi ! It’s Book-I-liked-when-I-was-young Time !
This week it is about “A good little devil” (“Un bon petit diable” in French), from the author Pierre Gripari.
Now, I am French, and Pierre Gripari was/is a very popular and successful children writer in France, which is probably why a lot of his work was available at the local library and why I was able to read (I should say devour) most of his children books, for I was a huge fan.
I remember little-me eagerly waiting to go back to the library, arms full of books to be returned, then snooping in the shelves, looking for another of his book I hadn’t miraculously found yet.
His stories were always somewhat weird, and definitely really hard to predict. Some of them were funny, others were quite sad, other were absurd (I love absurdism. Special mention to his book “Je-ne-sais-qui, Je-ne-sais-quoi, ou la femme de bon conseil”, unfortunately I’m not sure an english version exists :/) - or just.. weird. But no matter waht would be the story, it would never miss to make me dream and travel. And they definitely influenced me, both in my view of the world and in my writting style.
I’m pretty sure “A good little devil” was one of the first book I read from Gripari. That must explain why I’ve kept a really vivid memory of it. His children books were mainly short stories, so you would often have several other stories in the same book.
[SPOILER ALERT] It’s hard to not completely spoil the whole story, but in short, it’s about a little devil who doesn’t like to be evil, and he can’t find his place were his devil parents lived, so he left to try and find a place were he could be happier - heaven, for example. When he goes there, he must pass several tests; one of them includes playing with numbers (sort of). Happens I really really like figures and numbers (talk about a nerd..), so this specific part of the story definitely resonated in me, when he have to think “differently” about a specific number, then he redraw the number in a slightly different way, and then the number came to life, popped out the paper sheet, and walked away. Sight. Simply thinking of it makes my day.[END SPOILER ALERT]
So, if you’re got young children/nephews/nieces/peeps who likes to read, from 8 to 12/13 years old, I would definitely recommend to give it a go; not sure the english versions are easily accessible though, will try and find another author (hopefully more widely known and translated) for next time :)
Byebye and see you next week!
PS: English is not my first language, feel free to point out mistakes I wrote!