'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Sunday 6 November 2011

Review: The Boy and the Crocodile: The Legend of East Timor

This is not the first time the good people at Affirm Press have got behind a worthwhile literary project. This beautiful book, illustrated by the children of Familia Hope Orphanage, was created to help fund the orphanage – a place of refuge for 30 full-time children, and a drop-in centre for many more.

In 2002, East Timor declared independence from Indonesia, after a long and traumatic struggle for independence. The effects of this fractious struggle are still healing, and after civil conflict in 2007, which saw more than 150,000 people displaced from their homes, the country will hold its first general election, hoping to unite 13 very separate districts under one national flag.

It’s believed that the three things these 13 districts do have in common is their official language (Tetum), a desire for better education, and the legend of East Timor – showcased in this book.

This beautiful story, about a crocodile and a boy who travel the world together, poignantly tells of the way the Timorese islands were formed – from the back and scales of the crocodile. It's also a book about the importance of kindness.

Illustrations by the children of Familia Hope are tear-jerkingly beautiful. I particularly love the illustrations of places and people of ‘the world’. The story has been translated into Tetum at the back of the book, and there are notes on contributors as well a list of people who pre-ordered the book - and quite literally made this project possible.

All profits from the sale of The Boy and the Crocodile go directly to the orphanage, and each book sold will help fund the printing of more books, which will be distributed to children all over East Timor. Head to the Affirm Press website to buy your copy now. A must-have for schools and libraries.

Oh - and don't miss this inspirational YouTube trailer.

Title: The Boy and the Crododile: The Legend of East Timor
Illustrator: The children of Familia Hope Orphanage
Publisher: Affirm Press, $19.95
Publication Date: November 2011
ISBN: 9780987132628
Format: Paperback
For ages: 3+
Type: Picture Book