The Django

Levi Pinfold, Author, Levi Pinfold, Illustrator . Candlewick/Templar $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-7636-4788-9

Pinfold's debut is narrated by a gypsy boy named Jean whose life takes a nasty turn when a Django shows up in his caravan one day. What's a Django? “It's like a thing. A sort of it. A kind of cozzler that always seems to find trouble.” The Django, half Jean's size, has a lifeless, carved-wood face and the temperament of a two-year-old. It smashes Papa's treasured banjo—Papa blames the boy—then spends several days causing further mischief. Delight in Pinfold's wordplay (“There were suspenders buttoned at bizarre angles, laces in spaghetti tangles, necktie, thumb and finger mangles”) will alternate with dismay at the chaos sown at Jean's expense. As it happens, all he has to do to solve the problem is send the Django away; it goes without protest, though Jean comes to miss the creature. Pinfold has talent to spare, but although the book carries an admiring afterword about jazz guitarist Reinhardt, this is an odd homage. The tale of a small monster that destroys musical instruments and manipulates humans like puppets feels distinctly off-key. Ages 5–up. (Mar.)

Reviewed on: 03/01/2010
Release date: 03/01/2010
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 33 pages - 978-1-84877-101-7
Hardcover - 40 pages - 978-89-97279-15-9
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