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Kampung Boy by Lat

Kampung Boy

by Lat

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225None51,512 (3.83)3
(4) 1950s (4) 2007 (5) Asia (4) autobiography (7) BBYA (4) biography (6) childhood (7) comics (12) coming of age (5) family (9) fiction (7) graphic novel (56) humor (7) Islam (4) Malaysia (37) memoir (16) middle school (3) Muslim (9) Muslims (5) non-fiction (11) read (3) school (3) Southeast Asia (6) teen (6) to-read (4) unread (3) village life (7) YA (4) young adult (7)



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Mat is a young boy growing up in rural Malaysia. Kampung Boy is written in the first person. It begins with his birth and ends with his leaving his small village to go off to school in the nearest city. He of course does not remember his earliest years so he relies on those who were present to recall the details. There is a lot of attention given to the details of his everyday life. They live on a rubber plantation, so Mat witnesses people working in various capacities throughout his childhood. He spends a long time and many pages explaining his circumcision ceremony. He goes to a Muslim school to learn the Koran, and befriends two a pair of brothers who he plays with quite a bit. But when his father tells him that the plantation will be gifted to him at some point, he puts down his play and takes up studying. He hopes to get into a good school in the nearest city, Kampar. He studies hard and passes the exam and is seen off by the village as he rides the bus out of town.
  davetomscholten | Jan 28, 2014 |
An amusing autobiographical comic about a boy growing up in a small village (kampung) in Malaysia. ( )
  questbird | Jan 17, 2014 |
This was a very cute book and has some interesting information on the culture and religion. It is a story of a boy who lives his life in the out skirts of Kampung. Being from a very traditional family (culturally/religious) this little book takes you on a journey through out his life up until he leaves his beloved country-side to a school in the nearest city. It includes the birth of his siblinings and how he has to put up with them but also shows his uneasyness but eagerness to hang with the big boys in the "village". Kampung Boy is kind of like a coming of age in a different culture and how he deals with growing situations and his repurcussions of not following the rules, sometimes. ( )
1 vote ginarentz | May 3, 2012 |
Lat takes us on a journey of his childhood growing up in the Kitna Valley in Perak in the 1950’s. Lat is master storyteller as he takes us down the wandering path of his memories showing us the ceremonies that were still practiced--such as asking the local teacher to take on students, the feeling of swimming in a river as the cool water washes over you, and the warmth and somewhat craziness of family--like the dad that takes off his shirt to scratch his back on the pole when he gets home from work, caring for siblings, and the discussions of future. But the modern world is gradually approaching with tin dredges and trains and automobiles. And Lat is about to head off to school in another town away from his family.

This book is done in a sketchbook style, with written descriptions of the events and illustrations accompanying them. The deceptively simple illustrations are compelling and catch that slice of life that seem to be missing in many modern comics. He doesn’t hesitate to illustrate what life was really like growing up for him, even if it means depicting his own backside as he and his friends strip down to take a swim in the river. Most importantly even though Lat illustrates how things are different in his world, there is much that is similar to our own way of life. The time spent with family and friends, the time spent at school..the more things seem to be different the more there is that is the same.

I highly recommend this book and it's sequel (Town Boy) to anyone and everyone, but particularly to the younger generation. Not just as a chance to illustrate the differences between cultures, but a chance to illustrate the similarities between them. ( )
1 vote zzshupinga | Jan 11, 2012 |
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Book description
'Sweet, funny, and brilliantly drawn, Kampung Boy is one of the all-time great cartoon books' - Matt Groening (The Simpsons)

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'.

Australian edition: http://www.wilkinsfarago.com.au
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Relates the life experiences, from birth to beginning boarding school, of a boy growing up on a rubber plantation in rural Malaysia.

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