Tortot, the Cold Fish Who Lost His World and Found His Heart

£12.99

Tortot dismisses the questions of the boy George, who runs through his kitchen. After all, he is Tortot, the Cold Fish Who Lost His World and Found His Heart. Yet, what of Half George whom Tortot finds hiding in the gherkin barrel on the very day the twin Emperors arrive, expecting a banquet. Every day must include gherkins, the magical ingredient that restored the emperors’ pock-marked complexions- allegedly. Yet Tortot has a heavy cold, lost sense of smell, and now has no gherkins. What is he to do? It seems as though his luck during an age of wars, has run out. Or has it?

Thereafter, should he survive, what will he do for the rotting Half George? Tortot is a man who travels light, with no history it appears, and no allegiance. While he dreams of his home, eight elder brothers and mother, he dismisses these and shares nothing of himself with anyone. It is enough to Tortot to be an observer, light on his feet, careful with his donkey, able to create dishes out of nothing, that enable his survival. However, what of Half George?

Tortot, the Cold Fish Who Lost His World and Found His Heart is a magnificent work. This is an allegory of the nonsense and futility of power, position, avarice and blind faith. Yet it is also a call for love and home. Benny Lindelauf’s story is complex, interwoven, heartfelt and inspiring. It is celebrated by Ludwig Volbeda’s intricate, descriptive, elegiac pen illustrations.

Tortot’s story is not a children’s book; it is very definitely a title for teenage and adult readers. This is a work of contemplation and consideration, delighted to share this book with you.

Description

Tortot, the Cold Fish Who Lost His World and Found His Heart

Benny Lindelauf, illustrated by Ludwig Volbeda,

translated by Laura Watskinson

(Pushkin Children’s)– hardback

Tortot, the Cold Fish Who Lost His World and Found His Heart would dispute this title. For it seems that he has no heart. He does not care about Half George, confined to the gherkin barrel, or the blind and deaf donkey upon which he depends. However, he is wily enough to weather constant wars and keep his head.
It seems that Crookleg, overlooked for promotion by his great battle strategist father, Nilliewasser, is suspicious of Tortot. How does the cook manage to float to the top of his magical dishes through conditions that defeat everyone else? While the  warmongering twin Emperors insist on gherkins at every meal, Tortot is obliged to comply. It seems gherkins have contributed to the emperors’ legendary complexions (allegedly). Further, how does Tortot manage to choose the right team on every occasion, something no fighting man can do?
Yet, there is more to the cook. Could it be something to do with the stories told to the ninth son by the mother with the Eternal Soup? It seems that Eternal Peace makes him prickly. In addition, Tortot announces that he does not dream of home, for ‘Dreams are Lies’. Yet, can Tortot survive the nonsense, the painful monotony, pretence and hypocrisy of wars without being affected? Furthermore, who is Tortot? Will he really protect Half George? What is the truth?
Tortot, the Cold Fish Who Lost His World and Found His Heart is an astounding work of humanity, wonder and philosophy.
 Winner of the 2017 Golden List award for the best work of Dutch children’s fiction for ages 12-15. Nominated for the Boekenpauw prize for best illustrated children’s book. 

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