Lat's Kampung Boy is a timeless favourite of millions of readers in Southeast Asia.
With masterful economy worthy of Charles Schultz, Lat recounts the life of Mat, a Muslim boy growing up in rural Malaysia in the 1950s: his adventures and mischief-making, fishing trips, religious education, and work on his family's rubber plantation.
Meanwhile, the traditional way of life in his village (or kampung) is steadily disappearing, with tin mines and factory jobs increasingly overtaking the village's agricultural way of life. When Mat himself leaves for boarding school, he can only hope that his familiar kampung will still be there when he returns.
This delightful autobiographical graphic novel is hilarious and affectionate, with brilliant, super-expressive artwork that opens a window into ordinary Malay life. Such is the affection for this book in his native Malaysia, Lat has been honoured as one of that country's national treasures, entitled to the honorary title, 'Datuk'.
For 4+ year olds.
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Kampung Boy (9780980607000) by Lat, Paperback, September 2009, Wilkins Farago