Ogre Fun

written and illustrated by Loris Lesynski

published by Annick Press

1997, 32 pages



The adventures and misadventures of Gronny the ogre are the topic of Ogre Fun, Loris Lesynski's latest book from Annick Press. In the opening pages, Gronny has a problem most children share at one time or another: he's bored and doesn't know what to do about it. Despite the easy invitation, Lesynski doesn't take the obvious bait: Ogre Fun isn't a moral tale. Rather, it's an inviting rollick told in happy, staccato rhyme:


The ogres went hysterical!
The babies started crying!
The slugs-on-toast fell upside down, the sausages went flying.
They'd never seen a yawn before.
He heard his Mogre say --
-- "Gronathon, you wretched boy, you stop it RIGHT AWAY!"


Slugs-on-toast and flying sausages are just the sort of things that kids can enjoy: happy disasters that neither threaten nor teach. It's a refreshing change.

Lesynski's drawings are both fun and competent as well as deep enough to provide children with pleasurable viewing. That is, I think, something that is often overlooked in children's books. Kids see everything, because everything is new. Flaccid drawings bore them: growing young minds feed on detail. Lesynski has provided that detail in her loose but finished illustrations. Bright and glowing colors -- the ogres are mainly a very pleasant and ogre-like green -- that are both illustrative and inviting.

Like the illustrations, the story is competent and engaging. Her rhyming story is charming, well-metered and fun and the ogres are likable and understandable. Lesynski's previous book, Boy Soup also published by Annick Press was reprinted within six months of publication.


Linda L. Richards is the editor of January Magazine. Her fourth novel, Death was the Other Woman, is published by St. Martin's Minotaur/Thomas Dunne Books.