Brittany Young's Reviews > The Sweetest Fig

The Sweetest Fig by Chris Van Allsburg
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's review
Sep 18, 2011

really liked it

I am really becoming hooked on Van Allsberg’s writing. The illustrations and story are absolutely captivating. This book is a bit smaller than the other books are. It is also composed in a vertical fashion like “The widow’s broom” is. The illustrator chose dot illustration again, but this time with dark mauve, brown, cream, and dark colors in a lighter hue. I think the dot illustrations would be interesting for a young reader to look at, I think they would want to scan the picture and see how all the dots come together to create an image. The text for this picture book is contained in a cream colored bordered box in the top corner of the page, with no side preference. One picture spreads across both pages, which was not typical for the other Van Allsburg books. Upon reading the story, I noticed for the first time that this story takes place in France. That makes this book a good tool to use to introduce students to France, or Europe. The story reminds me of a fairytale that I have read before. The mean dentist was mean to an old woman who tried to pay for her work with magic figs. The dentist took the figs, but forced the old woman out. The next day, after eating the fig the man realizes that his dream was coming true and the woman was telling the truth. The man wanted to be the richest man on the planet, so with some preparation, he decided to eat the last fig, and wake up rich. His dog, which the man is cruel to, gets to the fig instead, however. And when the man wakes up he finds that he and the dog have switched places, and the dogs dream came true. This story was very interesting, and the ending was, once again, a shocker. However, I feel as though the story ended too abruptly. There is a very good moral to learn from this story: treat others how you would want to be treated. I would recommend this story to primary aged children. At that age they are learning this lesson.

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