The original ‘The Bomb and the General’ is a delightfully optimistic, anti-war children’s book – written by Umberto Eco (The Name of The Rose), and brilliantly illustrated by Eugenio Carmi. It was published in 1989 –
In Italian: By Gruppo Editoriale Fabbri, Bompiani, Sonzogno, Etas S.p.A.;
In English: By Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc.
Inspired by the original story, this version retains some of the original text (italicized), and maintains a similar naïveté to create an anti-war message for children. For adults, its a more complex tale about hegemony and insular faith.
The General of our story enjoys a life of ease and gluttony, till he is compelled to seek God, during a moment of personal crisis. This pivotal encounter awakens in him an unshakable passion for God’s word. But his myopic obsession with the minutiae of God’s message clouds its original intent, and provokes an ominous future. Will his country slumber on through the impending doom or will they arise to reclaim their right in a peaceful world?
‘The Wicked Dragon of Pelmel’ is a story about the addictive nature of power, and its potential to devastate, or, create. When the dragon accidentally discovers his ability to breathe fire, he uses it to terrorize the little creatures of Pelmel Forest. Alarmed by this sudden occurence, these forest creatures get all riled up to hunt down this horrible monster. When they do, they are in for a big surprise! Not only is the dragon sleeping quietly, but looks anything but the terrible monster they had imagined him to be. So they promptly include him in their circle of friendship. Will this innocuous invitation beget the scorching heat of his breath, or the gentle warmth of friendship?
There was a wicked dragon
And so wicked was he..
That every night
When all slept tight
He went on a burning spree..
“Whoo hooo, whoo hoooooo,
Has lost his grace utter-ly?
What can I do?
About this hullabaloo –
It wakes my chicks up so early!