Remember those boring history lessons when you would be busy doodling in corners of the notebooks while the teacher narrated years and years of war stories. Or maybe Maths made you doodle too . Doodling can be serious form of art and also an extremely entertaining form of story telling.
The Barber’s dilemma is a story compilation by Koki Oguma who loves people watching and wandering around the neighbourhoods of Tokyo. He loves to doodle too. And sometimes the doodles turn into life and he talks to them and they narrate him sometime funny , rarely odd but mostly delightful stories.
There are some beautiful sensitive life nuggets sprinkled across the book which perhaps would help young minds (and old) understand feelings of empathy and sadness in a better manner . Like on Shadow Mr. Naganuma says that when people are sad they cast a long shadow and if he eats a part of a lady’s long shadow will the lady feel better ? Then how Ms Momo’s son makes her a special necklace made of mud and stones and she puts it on her favorite dress even when it turns muddy and sticky. Then one day when Ms Isuyo puts on all the chairs on her back so that the chairs can get some rest too.
Mr Noguma celebrates the little child in him through his stories where the characters are splashing inside the muddy puddles and snakes and crocodiles are peeping out of Syoko’s magical jacket. Perhaps its the little child in him which celebrates the art through scribbles and doodles in the book.
Among all the life’s little lessons and innocent childlike stories its the subtle humour which makes the Oguma’s doodles talk to its readers. Its time you picked up this book because they have a story to tell you , which you would have never heard before.