Darcy-Lee Tindale, Thumb Pickles and Other Cautionary Preserves, JoJo Publishing/Classic Author and Publishing Services Pty Ltd, December 2014, $16.99(pbk), 155pp., ISBN: 9780987609618
Did your grandmother ever warn you that if you screwed up your face and the wind changed you might stay that way? If so you may wish then to hear of what happens to Signor Stupido when he pulls rude faces about his wife’s delicious cooking.
In this collection of four cautionary tales, Darcy-Lee Tindale reworks old fables with a new twist. But before you look in the mirror to see if your face has changed you may like to start with Klaus Von Fohn who ate way too much horseradish and consider how ‘you are what you eat’ or perhaps you should contemplate just how often you really do wash behind your ears after reading the tale of Lorcan O’Reilly. You may very well find a few potatoes growing there.
The longest and perhaps most curious of the fables is the tale of Archor Chatelaine who was born with no thumbs; this story takes up three quarters of the book and is divided into sections that suggest the protagonist’s maturation from child to adulthood. It is the only story in which character development is a tool in exploring some of life’s thornier issues; Archor, an illusionist only discovers the magic of life after experiencing its real and darker side. A meandering story of magic and superstition and how the choices we make can affect other lives.
Teacher, performer and lover of stories and myth, Tindale writes stories and plays and has won a number of awards. Warning, some of these stories may be a little scary. A great read 13+
reviewed by Mem Capp