On The Wall Paintings, Off The Wall Books.
In Northampton (somewhere in England) there is a French restaurant called "Sacre Bleu" with a solid reputation for good food. So good in fact that it became a regular haunt of an artist and writer who taught fine art at a college in that town but who hailed from The Crescent, Galway, and whose name is Michael A. Little.
Now, this artist, inspired by the wonderful dinners he and his family enjoyed in the restaurant, painted a whole series of humorous pictures which were hung on the walls of this culinary establishment thereby adding to its ambience and its solid reputation. The Patron, naturally delighted with his enhanced reputation, incorporated some of the images into his menu and his business prospered.
The artist greatly enjoyed all the kind comments he received relating to his paintings on the wall but noted after a while that his business didn't really prosper as sales were few and far between. In a curious way, he didn't mind this as he realised that people rarely if ever bought paintings while eating good food and drinking excellent wine. Furthermore the comments kindled his imagination and he decided that if the other diners in the restaurant were going to have fun with the paintings on the wall, he was going to have fun with off the wall books.
His creative talents now on fire, he penned three books (well! booklets) in which he regaled the readers with the adventures of Gaston the Chef, Madame Gigi and Gérome the Croissant Crusader, which were published by the aptly named Barny Books. The result is a delight which will charm and amuse young at heart readers of all ages.
First we meet Gaston the Chef who although from a long line of chefs decides instead to become an artist and to pursue this career emigrates to Martinique where he meets a fellow Parisian artist named Gogo. What befalls them and how our hero Gaston returns to Paris where he receives an offer he cannot refuse is told with energy and a great deal of tongue in cheek which is totally enjoyable.
In the second book Madame Gigi, the artists model in the first book and now Gaston's wife, revisits the letters she has received from her past admirers among them the artist Pablo, the confectioner Guilbert, Goulu the explorer and Gino the couturier.
Finally there is the delightful story of Gérome, The Croissant Crusader who by an inspired culinary trick, helped King Richard the Frogheart defeat Salamander the Lizard in the Holey land and how, as a result of this, he introduced the Croissant to Europe.
All of these stories are delightfully illustrated and it is refreshing to pick up three "Off the Wall" books which are written for the sheer fun of it. Thankfully, there are hints that there may be two other titles on the way.
|View Desi's Archive|