By Leroy Douresseaux
September 30, 2006 - 13:30
Woodsman Pete lives alone in a cabin in the North Woods (U.S. or Canada), but wait! Pete isn’t completely alone. He does have one reliable old buddy – a bearskin rug from a bear he likely killed (Pete seems to be a skilled and prolific taxidermist) and named Philippe. Pete’s life is practically the same each day, except for the occasional new adventure involving him and a forest inhabitant. Pete’s also a storyteller, and he regales the listener (usually Philippe) with stories about two well known folk tale heroes, the lumberjack Paul Bunyan and his giant ox, Babe, and their tales become intertwined with Pete’s.
Coming across as unusual from the moment you first open it, Tales of Woodsman Pete by Chicago-based cartoonist, Lilli Carré, rewards the patient reader. Mixing droll wit with lonesome yarns (the origin of the ocean), Carré presents a gentle homespun philosophy that’s almost like something from “A Prairie Home Companion.” A delightful little book of folk tales and folk tale types, Tales of Woodsman Peter may remind readers of David Collier or Chester Brown. And like a good old-fashioned story, I didn’t want this to end.
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