Review Blog

Dec 07 2016

Caleb's cab by Sally Chomet

cover image

Ill. by Sylvain Chomet. Walker, 2016. ISBN 9781406342277
(Age: 8+) Recommended. Husband and wife team, writer Sally and comic-book illustrator Sylvain Chomet have previously collaborated on animated films - Belleville rendezvous and The illusionist. In Caleb's cab they have created another fantasy adventure story with the central character Caleb searching for his father in a dark world, where children have disappeared and hope has been lost.
Mopsy, Caleb's mother has given up hope; her husband has disappeared and she is at the mercy of evil loan sharks. Caleb is left to his own devices, forced to make meals like spam curry and take his dad's taxi out after dark looking for fares. He disguises himself with a large fake moustache, peak cap and trench coat. Their town Fethererham is rundown, municipal buildings closed, the airport abandoned and the only children and teenagers remaining are the SODs - Spoilt Over-educated Delinquents. Parents have been forced to sign their daughters and sons over to the Money Mongers for C.A.S.H. - Children Acquired to Settle Home Loans. Amongst this bleak setting, Caleb rescues strange Madame Zis from the SOD gang in his taxi, swings a hard left on the steering wheel and lands in an alternate world.
Time slips, Machiavellian enemies, eccentric characters, devious plots and a young hero and his sidekick Myra on a desperate quest to free Caleb's father, release the captive children and restore order to the city.
Sylvain Chomet's animated illustrations incorporate line drawings, painted backgrounds, expressive caricatures and entertaining scenes. Caleb's cab reads like a movie script, each setting ripe for showing on the big screen, with moody backgrounds and the play of evil characters pitted against the central cast.
Rhyllis Bignell

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