Just finished reading this delightful book ‘Fruit Salad’ by Richard Swan. I read it along with 6 children age ranging from 5-10 and the unanimous verdict has been 5 out of 5 stars. As we read a page each from the book which has 35 delightfully illustrated pages, I found the kids laughing out loud many a time at the antics of the cute little fruits, especially the bummed out banana with his black bum. https://autoankaufuri.ch
The story follows the apple as it tries to determine what it must do with it’s life. Other fruits seemed to have well charted the course of their lives and after bidding goodbyes, they disperse from the cocoon of their fruit bowl and venture out. The story then goes on following the hero of the story, the apple as it gets old and wrinkly without still having a clue as to what it wants to do in life. After finally figuring out that it wants to be a model, the apple meets all it’s old pals. Its a little bit sad to read what happens to each one of them as they narrate how they did not reach their goals and ended up trying to be models. All of them get unceremoniously thrown out and once again they find themselves in the same predicament they were in the beginning of their story, but now they are not as young as they were when they had set out to be and as such they decide to basically retire from life enjoying their last days in the compost pit with each other.
Profound message, eh? Yes most definitely if you read from an adult’s perspective. But if you read from a children’s point of view (which is what the view is supposed to be) then you will enjoy the book as the apple goes through a roller coaster of emotions. Sometimes the narration is funny, sometimes it is silly, sometimes it is serious but always echoing the sentiments of life as one goes through the phases of being young and enthusiastic to being discouraged and thinking that everyone must be doing great things, while you are languishing in the same old place to being old and wise. Finally realizing that you are all in the same old place only now there is no pressure to become something since your life has gone by and you can just sit around enjoy each others’ company narrating tales of what one had seen in life.
The credit would go to Richard Swam for subtly introducing all these deeper meanings of life into a children’s book. He does so with ease, though sometimes it feels like it might hurt a child’s sentiments like the time the apple runs away from the bowl because newer fruit are coming in and he feels unwanted and scared. Instead of running scared maybe the apple could have gotten out thinking it was time he had to do something and the couldn’t languish in the same place for a long time. That would have been an easier way of letting a child understand why the apple leaves instead of making him run scared.
All in all a fun and silly story for younger children and a great way for older children to read it and try to understand the deeper context of the author is trying to portray.
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