The Splendiferous Tale of Ferdinand Fox by Rose Morris
- a whimsical adventure and a cautionary fable -
posted 10 Dec 2015, 10:23
The Splendiferous Tale of Ferdinand Fox is the title of a newly published children’s fable, told in the form of illustrated verse by Rose Morris, with illustrations by Karolina Smorczewska. It is published by The Manuscript Publisher and is on sale now.
Ferdinand is a dashing, playful young fox, leading a carefree existence somewhere in the Irish countryside. That is, until one day when he receives a message from on high (delivered in the form of a bolt from the blue) that recalls a previous admonition given to him by his Mammy, 'to pull up his socks'.
Accompanied by his Mammy, and soon to be joined by Seagull Sam (a geographer and famous oceanographer) from Amsterdam, together they embark on a mission to help creatures in need and put an end to 'the Earth’s sad retrogression'. Their exploits and adventures climax on the banks of Lough Erne in Co. Fermanagh, as it plays host to an important G8 summit of world leaders.
The publication of this tale came about as a result of the SiarScéal Festival, which takes place annually in Roscommon, and the Hanna Greally Literary Awards that form part of the festival's programme of activities. As overall winner in 2014 for her short story, The Wall, Rose Morris was given the opportunity to have her work published professionally by The Manuscript Publisher, who sponsored the prize.
"Rose's story was a popular choice, both with the judges as well as with the festival goers," says Oscar Duggan of The Manuscript Publisher. Set in Ireland at the turn of the 20th century and evoking themes of class divide and social taboos, "it surprised a lot of people for its sombre yet powerful storytelling style. What was more surprising however, was the book that Rose chose to follow up on her success with."
The Splendiferous Tale of Ferdinand Fox is every bit as whimsical as its title suggests. [Splendiferous (adjective, informal, humorous): meaning splendid; magnificent; fine]. The story however, is underlined by a serious ecological message. It combines themes of folklore, mythology, world cultures into a globe-trotting action-packed adventure. It will appeal to children of all ages but is recommended for reading ages of 7-12 years. A glossary of difficult words is included, while the places visited by Ferdinand are listed in the book and have also been charted on Google Maps, adding an online, interactive dimension to the narrative.
Rose's experience as a primary school teacher is much in evidence throughout this book, using various techniques and devices to reach out to young minds, exciting and provoking a love of knowledge and an interest in learning as the story proceeds. She taught for forty years in her native Roscommon ("Ireland’s overlooked county," as she describes it). She writes in both English and Irish has enjoyed previous literary success at local festivals, competitions and events. While The Splendiferous Tale of Ferdinand Fox marks her first outing as a published author, it is unlikely to be her last.
The Splendiferous Tale of Ferdinand Fox by Rose Morris, with illustrations by Karolina Smorczewska, is published by The Manuscript Publisher. It is available to buy online. RRP €9.99.