Quote of the Month

When love and skill work together, expect a miracle. John Ruskin

Friday, September 23, 2011

To Be Scared or Not To Be Scared...

On the farm, the critters knew,
At night, while they were sleeping,
Past barn and pens,
Past lambs and hens,
A HAMPIRE went out creeping.

What a delightfully, shivery beginning to this barnyard tale of dread during the dark.  From the pen of Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen jaunty rhyming five line paragraphs weave the story of a porker with peculiar nighttime cravings, Hampire! 

Critters cower each night as the caped figure lurks in the velvet blackness leaving drops of red sprinkled about for them to examine wide-eyed and suspicious in the morning.  Sleepless one evening, regardless of the peril, Duck seeks a midnight snack to quell his hunger. 

Quickly and quietly he raids the refrigerator inside the farmer's home.  Laden with goodies he treks back to bed when a shadow crosses his path, it's none other than HAMPIRE!  It seems that the relentless snout has sniffed him out.

Soon Duck and a few frantic farm animals flee with the hungry hog in hot pursuit.  They hide but are discovered with an abrupt bang.  Quaking with fear eyes closed they anticipate his first bite; but wait...what's that?  He's not eating them!  He's...

Yes, this tale has a delicious twist perfect for reading aloud to the crowd not quite ready to be too scared.  Not only do readers rhyme their way through the terrifying trio's trauma but puns push the action forward with perfect timing.

Howard Fine's characters explode off the page in humorous exuberance.  Fine begins his visuals with a multitude of sketches done in pencil filling in more detail as they progress toward the finished piece.  He states on his web site:  My drawings are the footprints that I leave on the journey from blank paper to finished artwork.  In this title his choice of acrylic paint colors reflect the hidden unknowns in the dark of night as well as the hilarious plight of Duck, Red and Pony. (I thank Dr. Howard Fine for his response to my email questions.)

Bardhan-Quallen and Fine paired together spell splendiferous, spooky shrieks of silliness.

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