Kubi by Erik Speyer
Published by Cuento de Luz SL, Spain
This is a classic Lassie story about a lost dog, only this time the cute little fluffy dog is in Vietnam. Set in a small village, Kubi the dog has a special friendship with the animals on the farm, especially Ang, the water buffalo. Kubi is separated from his friends and his home after falling sleep one noisy night on a small boat, which drifts down river to the fishing boats and market town of Hoi An.
The text, written in third person from Kubi’s perspective, is simple yet effective in drawing the reader into Kubi’s world, with a story arc that is engaging and satisfying. The water colour illustrations, however, steal the show. They are stunning. The use of colour, tone and perspective are masterfully managed. The book is visually beautiful and evocative of the sights of Vietnam.
Speyer has made a gem of a book using a cuddly dog to introduce readers to rural Vietnam: Kubi plays with his friends in the flooded rice fields; rides on the back of his water buffalo friend; crosses a village monkey bridge; hides from noisy firecrackers; is adrift in a boat on the river; explores the markets, streets and harbour of Hoi An and even eats fish soup from a lady who 'carried the whole kitchen on her shoulders... every day to sell soup'; before hitching a lift home in a cyclo to rejoin his farming friends.
This is a delightful and visually beautiful way to introduce children to rural village and town life in Vietnam.
CKT Book Reviewer
Author/Illustrator: Erik Speyer
Publisher: Cuento de Luz SL, Spain
Published: September 2015