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The Fate of Fausto

The Fate of Fausto

Oliver Jeffers
ISBN: 9780008357917

Bullying and unpleasant, Fausto is a tyrant who demands everything. One by one, a flower, a sheep, a tree, a field, a forest and a lake bow to his demands and agree to his ownership. A mountain offers some resistance, but when Fausto 'put up such a fight you would not believe and showed the mountain who was boss', even it concedes. Only the sea stands against him and uses his vanity and acts of petulance to defeat him.

The Fate of Fausto is a wise and timely tale about the power of calm resistance to the demands of the selfish and the bullying. Food for thought indeed! Sadly, those who shout the loudest often get the most yet whilst they might offer temporary, often superficial rewards, the things in life truly worth having often pass these people by.

The story would make an excellent starting point for discussion and could be used with children of different ages in a variety of ways. With younger children, the focus might be on relationships and how we should treat one another; political ideas might feature more with older ones.

Both the illustrations and text are minimal, allowing each reader to glean their own version of the story. The squiggles about Fausto's head, which indicate his great fury, emphasise how petty and small-minded his ideas are. Colour and space have been cleverly used to encourage thought and discussion: the changing colours of Fausto's reflection on water, his change in colour from sepia to blue... Beautifully crafted, The Fate of Fausto is a story to return to time and time again.

96 pages / Ages 4+ / Reviewed by Sue Wilsher, teacher


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