Strangely enough, it's a book I remember too, and I had also been wondering why I never see it in the bookshops anymore.
I was learning to read in Malay. Used to conquer an article or two in the Malay newspapers each day. But I wanted to move on to real books and where better to start than with good kids fiction which wouldn't be too difficult, but would entertain too? I'm not sure where I came across the book of stories about this little boy called Si Pitak, but it must have been in one of the shops in Kuala Kangsar.
I just loved the stories of this naughty bald-headed lad (the result of ring-worm, I seem to remember) who was always up to mischief in his village with his little gang of followers. As I wrote in the comments yesterday, I can still remember one of the stories about stealing shoes from outside the mosque on Friday. I seem to remember another about stealing fruit. The writing was both funny and charming, and the language simple enough to for me enjoy without resorting to the dictionary too often. (I never quite made the transition to reading adult novels in Malay!)
Noor says that she didn't know author or publisher so a little detective work was in order. I love a challenge, and the first place to start was abebooks.com, where there was just one copy of a book fitting the description. Once I had the author's name, I checked on Amazon. Apparently there were several books about Si Pitak written by Indonesian author Soekardi, and of these two were published by Fajar Bakti (the local publishing arm of Oxford University Press) and I think may have been translated into Bahasa Melayu*. All are now out of print.
A lot of really good books here just seem to disappear. Perhaps we could twist the arm of this publisher to bring back Si Pitak for the sake of today's kids?
And meanwhile, if anyone knows of a copy mouldering in a forgotten corner somewhere, maybe they could get in touch? (Noor - I think that this could be the Indonesian publisher, and maybe they would also be able to tell us something?)
The search is on for the bald boy and any information leading to his recovery is very much valued!
And as suggests:
Sharon, when you are out of topics to blog, perhaps you can write one about books we have loved. The comments wd be so interesting.I kick this topic open to you. What books from your past have you loved and lost?
*The official languages of Indonesia and Malaysia are the same apart from vocabulary differences.