Opossum's Landing. A Review
Have you ever read a book written in four languages, all on the same page? Well, I just did; it was a children's book in fact.
Written in English, French, Farsi, and Hungarian, Opossum’s Landing by Keenan Poloncsak is a tale of an opossum’s journey north with her litter of joeys, (joey is the name for baby opossums, which I learned in this book. Huzzah)! Throughout the opossums’ journey, they encounter different animals that either help or hinder them on their quest to find a sustainable environment for them to live in.
It’s a story steeped in the topical issues of today, such as immigration and climate change, among others, and shows that acceptance and community are the best ways to resolve these issues. I enjoyed the fact that Poloncsak lets the reader discover that for themselves throughout the tale, as some of the themes are hidden, while others stand out. It weaves a delicate tale of respect without being too obtrusive with its message.
When asked about why an opossum, Poloncsak told me simply that they’re interesting, being the only marsupial in North America. Since he lives in Montreal, Canada and the opossum is beginning to creep up along our southern borders in Quebec, Ontario, and British Columbia, he felt the need to educate children on why it’s such a cool animal “...since it can now be found in your backyard…”
The book is hand bound by Poloncsak at his traditional bookbindery in Montreal. When asked why he wrote the book in multiple languages, he told me that “The idea with the languages is a couple of things: first of all to reach more people,” and “for kids to learn or discover different languages and alphabets.” In fact, this isn’t Poloncsak’s first foray into a book with multiple languages. He’s written three other children’s books in varying languages: “always English, French and something else.” Some other languages include Inuktitut and Spanish.
Poloncsak’s goal is to get the book into as many libraries as possible, so kids can read it for free. Since he’s a self-published author, this is a much harder task than one would think. It takes someone to specifically ask for the title at their library for it to get placed on a list to be acquired, so, take this as your call to action and email your local library about obtaining a copy! Go now. I’ll wait for you to come back before I finish this article.
Done? Cool. Where was I? Oh yes, I remember now. Along with the four children’s books, Poloncsak has also published three series’ of comics. His newest creation, The Fart Slide Gallery will be out shortly, with the book launch being hosted at his shop (more info to come). Once again, he does all the bindings himself and you can check out his webpage here!
Well, that’s it. I enjoyed the book, along with the artwork which Poloncsak also illustrates; he really is a multi talented human. If you’re looking for a good book for your kids, aged three to eight, or are trying to learn another language, look no further than Opossum’s Landing.
Enjoy it, and don’t forget to support local authors.