As some of you might know, the theme of 2015 Taipei International Book Exhibition is New Zealand. Although the exhibition was held last month, I'm going to tell you which story book I shared with kids in the library.
I chose the book The Witch in the Cheery Tree because: 1) the author - Margaret Mahy - is from New Zealand; 2) according to a book review, it says, "It also teaches a lesson on kindness, as David eventually gives the witch a cake despite her trickery". The following content contains spoilers...
我選這本「櫻花樹上的巫婆」原因有二: 首先，作者是正港紐西蘭人。其次，有讀者表示這本書顯示，該書呈現人性本善的一面。這本書講的是一名小男孩跟一個巫婆之間的故事，巫婆千方百計想吃到小男孩跟他母親做的蛋糕，但是小男孩一開始不願意分享。到最後，當巫婆假裝昏倒時，小男孩瞬間有點於心不忍，於是最後他將幾個烤焦的蛋糕送給巫婆。有趣的是，巫婆正愛烤焦的味道! 接下來會稍微講一下本書內容，想要自己先去圖書館借閱的人先跳過囉...
The story started with a witch who smelled human beings' baking, and she then perched in a cherry tree, which was in the garden of David's house. She first knocked on the door, and asked David if she could go inside to taste the cake. She made a lie telling David that she was a "cake expert testing cakes in this part of the world", and if David's mom made great cakes, she could win a medal with her name on it. David didn't buy it, so he told the witch that those were family cakes, not witches' cakes. Then he shut the door.
故事一開始，我們就看到一個巫婆，她聞香而來。什麼香味呢? 就是大衛跟他的母親在烤蛋糕。巫婆超想吃人類的蛋糕，因為巫婆的蛋糕都是靠咒語變出來的，然而因為巫婆長期與灰塵為伍，咒語變出來的蛋糕也都充滿灰渣，簡直難以下嚥。首先，巫婆跑去敲門。應門的是大衛。巫婆騙大衛她是品嘗蛋糕專家，如果大衛母親做的蛋糕很好吃，就可贏得一面金牌，上面還可以刻媽媽的名字喔! 大衛一點也不心動，對巫婆說這些蛋糕是家庭蛋糕，不是巫婆蛋糕，隨即就將門關上。
Then the witch got furious and she made a spell and it started to rain heavily. Afterwards, she beat on a drum and shouted, "Great Cake Contest!" She said that if you won the contest, you could get a egg beater. David's mother was tempted, but David still believed that the witch was sly and this was her plan to eat up the cakes.
The witch felt very frustrated. She probably could never get a piece of the cake from David. It didn't stop raining, as if the raindrops were the witch's tear. Then she disappeared and only "a crumpled shape" lied on the lawn. David was shocked, as he didn't mean to be unkind, even to a witch. He got close to the cloak. All of sudden, the witch flew to the lawn. However, David was braver than the witch had thought. Just right before the witch could cast a spell, David lung at her with an umbrella.
The witch was totally defeated. She sat in the cherry tree, murmuring that it wasn't fun being a witch. While the witch was weeping, David found some of the cakes burnt. He also felt that perhaps the witch made them burnt! Then he gave some burnt cakes to the witch. The witch caught them and ate those cakes. She liked the cakes burnt!
As you can guess, the witch happily flew back to the sky, and a rainbow appeared. David finally could go out and play.
Margaret Mahy is famous for one of her books Bubble Trouble, but I prefer this one.
Besides sharing the NZ related books, one of the volunteers prepared some Maori tattoo patterns, so kids could make some Maori tattoo designs on paper! Interestingly, two of the children are half Kiwi and half Taiwanese. Ond of them happened to wear a piece of jade, which had the Maori tattoo pattern. It's fun to see a real Maori tattoo pattern.
Margaret Mahy: "A Tall Long Faced Tale" Documentary Promo