Friday, February 26, 2016

Review of "Trickster’s Famous Deeds: A Trilogy of Theatrical Plays for Children," by Florentin Smarandache

Review of

Trickster’s Famous Deeds: A Trilogy of Theatrical Plays for Children, by Florentin Smarandache ISBN 9739856373.

 The player of jokes and tricks is a character common to many cultures. For example, in Norse mythology there is Loki and in Native American folklore there is the coyote. It is such an important character that the creators of the science fiction television series “Star Trek: The Next Generation” included the powerful, yet impish character “Q.”
 This book is a set of three short plays for children that feature a character called Trickster. He is a wanderer that relies on his wits and ability to fool others to solve his and other’s problems. The first story uses the classic plot device of a princess that is as yet unwed due to a powerful force. Rather than being a curse, in this case it is a very large and powerful bear that has eaten all potential grooms. It is up to Trickster to survive one night in a locked room with the bear in order to win the hand of the princess.
 In the second play, Trickster and his new friend the Bear encounter a ferocious fire-breathing dragon with  seven heads. With the powerful dragon in control of the region, it is up to Trickster to find a way to outsmart it.
 In the third play, Trickster and Bear are moving across a plain on a cold winter evening. They encounter a character called the Outerspacer that has just arrived on Earth. While very intelligent, the Outerspacer has to learn to speak by mimicking what Trickster and Bear say. The three are then joined by an Ogre that objects to creatures trespassing on his territory. The Ogre brags that no one has ever bested him and challenges them to a fight. Once again, it is up to Trickster to confuse the Ogre so that he can be captured and held.
 All three of these plays are short and easy to understand, making them suitable for a production  by schoolchildren in the last years of elementary school. Properly done, they will have a lot of fun as the player of jokes and tricks succeeds where other powers would fail.

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