de Patacrúa; Ilustração: Evelyn Daviddi
Sobre o livro
Halfwit Harry insisted on finding work just right for him, and he tries different jobs: on Monday he looks for work at the tailors, on Tuesday at the house of a couple of peasants, on Wednesday at the inn… After amusing setbacks and spectacularly failing at work, and when nobody else would employ him, his insistence and optimism will be compensated on reaching the undertakers house, in the next village.
A free version taken from the traditional tale, The Silly Groom, made popular by the writer Isaac Bashevis Singer in the stories from the village of Chelm.
The silly groom story has interesting parallels in distant traditions: Lazy Jack in England, Pedro Malasartes in Portugal, Maung Htin Aung in Burma…, with notable coincidences, obviously not by chance.
The common element between these variants is that of literally following the instructions in diverse situations: The mother shows the boy what he should say or do in each situation and he obeys without complaining and without analysing the situation for himself, which comes down to incoherent and absurd happenings.
Regarding the outcome of the story, in the European versions, quite often, the boy is compensated in a situation indicating evidence of independence; in the oriental versions there appear more cruel outcomes, like ending up being eaten by a tiger who the main character has treated with respect.
Halfwit Harry takes features of these variants, respecting the plot and the traditional motives in the story; giving an agile and original rhythm marked by the seven days of the week as an indicator to time and cycle which is completed with the abandoning of the dependent link (the mother) and the achievement of a satisfactory state of independence.
Regarding the imagery, Evelyn Daviddi stages a very present-day story, with expressive and amusing characters, with fresh strokes, good sense in the composition and well defined spaces that favour every child’s understanding and enjoyment of the work.