Czech / Czech Republic

Chrudošův zvěrinec
(Chrudoš’s menagerie)

Valoušek, Chrudoš (text/illus.)
Praha: Baobab, [2013]. – [94] p. + 24 p.
ISBN 978-80-87060-84-1

Pop culture | Media | Television | Topsy-turvy world | Anthropomorphism

Chrudoš Valoušek (b. 1960), Czech master of the linocut and creator of many ≫Most Beautiful Books of the Year≪, follows his ≫Mix of Proverbs≪ (2010) with this off-kilter menagerie. Th is box set for the whole family is like a curio show inspired by the current media and pop culture. It contains a booklet with funny animal portrayals and rhymes for younger children, animal masks for a cat and mouse game a la Tom & Jerry. For older readers, there is a large-format volume that features an absurd television show where humans and animals switch roles. So, for instance, one sees linocut TV images of a carp gathering enjoying a traditional Christmas dish of poached human, or a trashy cat cabaret from the ≫Darling≪ station, or a soccer game between A.C. Mosquito and F.C. Bedbug.

This ≫show≪ is both cryptic and crude, repellent and appealing – in the end one feels pegged a voyeuristic ≫TV watcher≪, while still eager to zap a few more channels. (Age: 3+ and 13+)