Title : The City of Wonder
Author : Arleen Amidjaja
Illustrator : Aaron Randy (Patricia Lestari?)
Publisher : Gemar Pustaka Capricorn
Year of Publishing : 2012
Age Suggestion : 5+
Type : Picture Storybook
It’s Indonesian book, again! Arleen Amidjaja, again! Last time, I reviewed one of her book, The City of Banana Fritters. (If you’re curious about book with delicious snacks in its every page, you can see the review here : The City of Banana Fritters by Arleen Amidjaja)
I must say sorry for mention a confusing thing in the book’s description. You can see I put two names in the illustrator information. It’s just because the editorial information mentioned the different names, too. So, in order to respect the illustrator, whichever they are, I just decided to mention those two.
The story is about Bran, the biggest and strongest animal in that forest. It’s not by election, though, Bran had self-proclaimed himself as the king of the forest. And he demanded every animal in the forest to obey and serve his every need. And everything that he wanted.
Until suddenly, he heard about “The City of Wonder,” where many wonderful animals lived there. Of course, Bran thought that he should be there, too. He thought himself as wonderful animal, didn’t he? There he went with many other animals guarding him. What did he get there? Wonderful animals it is, but in the way that Bran never expected before!
In classic fable anywhere of the world, there are some animals that’s always described as evil and selfish, because they followed their instincts, eat the other animals. In most of cartoon or animated movie nowadays, I still find it, too. Like in Finding Nemo, the trio Sharks that is considered bad because they eat other fishes. To prove they can be better, they choose to be a vegetarian.
I’m happy that Mrs. Arleen Amidjaja tried to change the image. Like one scene where Bran saw the snake (snakes are usually pictured as bad and sneaky –duh!– animals), he just jumped into conclusion that the snake is venomous. But the gate keeper of The City of Wonder denied it,
“He was the special snake. Instead of venom, he produced the anti-venom. So he had been extracting his anti-venom to cure those who had bitten by venomous snake. He is skinny because he has to produce lots of anti-venom every day!” Good thoughts, Mrs. Arleen Amidjaja!
Unlike her previous book, The City of Banana Fritters, the layout of this book becomes better. They put like brushed white background in every sentence. Although it makes easy to read, but it doesn’t look really good. It’s less appetizing, if you know what I mean. Unfortunately, they printed it so small that I don’t quite get it. It’s for small children, why would the publisher give the hard time for their young readers?
For the illustration, I love this one more than her previous book! It’s quite interesting and more interactive, although I don’t know which illustrator I must give my credit to, maybe both Mr. Aaron Randy and Mrs. Patricia Lestari. They said in the cover is from Aaron Randy, and in the editorial information they mentioned Patricia Lestari. Is it the same person, using a different name, maybe pen name?