The Happy Hunter
Written and Illustrated by Roger Duvoisin
Published by Enchanted Lion
Mr. Bobbins, a nature lover who watches the forrest around his house from his front porch observes the manly hunters in their hunting gear, carrying their guns and supplies into the trees, and he thinks how wonderful it looks, to do what they do. He gears up himself, and sets out into the woods to do some hunting himself.
But when he gets an animal in his sights, rather than pull the trigger he emits a sound to scare them off. Over time the animals grow to look forward to the hunter’s visits, and in the end, when he has grown too old to make his trips into the woods, they visit him back on his porch.
Originally published in 1961, to today’s reader The Happy Hunter‘s message might seem a bit muddled, considering the idea of having guns in one’s house at all is controversial. Indeed, our daughter’s questions echoed our own following the first read: “Why did he bring the guns with him? Why didn’t he hunt with a camera instead?”
Duvoisin’s artwork is a product of the sixties, undoubtedly. It’s charmingly imperfect, and benefits from not being overworked. There is loads of personality in these images, and one almost feels as though they get a sense of Duvoisin from merely looking at the pictures.
Not an essential reprint, to be sure, but a worthwhile one.
Kinderlit received a copy of The Happy Hunter in exchange for an honest review. Read about our Review Policy HERE.