The House Where Cockroaches Live to a Ripe Old Age
Written by Yoram Kaniuk; Translated by Yoram and Miranda Kaniuk
Illustrations by Tapas Guha
Published by Scholastic India Pvt. Ltd.
This book is about a little girl, Naomi, whose love for animals makes her convert her house into a mini zoo. All she wants is more and more animals around her and sure enough, she does manage to get them!
Originally written in Hebrew by Yoram Kaniuk, this English translation is brought alive by the black and white line drawings of Tapas Guha which bring out the humour of the story. If you are an eight to 10 year-old, you will enjoy reading it. Actually, so did I.
Naomi’s house has more animals than people in it. She has a cat and several kittens, a pair of dogs, a horse, a turtle, a porcupine, a pigeon, an aquarium and, now, an army of cockroaches.
Everyone in the house loves the animals, except father. Father is tired of living in this zoo where all the animals are free to do what they wish. They munch his papers, make strange noises when he is trying to work, lick him on the face and drive him crazy. But he doe not dare do anything to them, for fear of Naomi’s wrath!
But sometimes, Naomi can be very trying, especially when she does not allow her mother to kill the pesky mosquitoes in summer.
An excerpt from the book:
Father bought a spray which was supposed to clear the house of mosquitoes and mother stood there; tears rolling from her eyes and she said in her soft voice; I can’t, I can’t. Naomi said I can’t either; even little creatures have a right to live.
The story is easy to understand and is enlivened by a dash of humour here and there. What is interesting is to see how father undergoes a change of heart…
The translation into English, by Yoram and Miranda Kaniuk, is delightful.