From two-time Newbery Honor Book author, Avi, three humorous, thought-provoking, and poignant tales of metamorphosis that explore physical and spiritual change. Natchev's striking black-and-white illustrations enhance the spell cast by Avi's stories.
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Grade 3-6?In the first and most successful of these quirky tales, a bored boy envies his cat Charley, who sleeps all day, and wishes he could do the same. The neighborhood wizard-cat transforms human into cat and cat into human, and, in a truly Hitchcockian twist, Charley refuses to change back into a feline when Tom is ready to be a boy again. It seems that all over the world, bored children agree to be turned into cats, and the only way out of the enchantment is to trick another child into switching. Babette gives new meaning to the phrase "self-made woman." Her mother will accept only a flawless child, and so the princess is born invisible. Everyone in the kingdom convinces themselves of her beauty, and without mirrors to contradict, Babette believes them. She is horrified to learn the truth, but she finds a place where she may choose her own eyes, feet, thumbs, etc., and becomes a person of her own making. In the parable of "Simon," even a thoroughly unlikable character receives grace. The young man's greed leads him in pursuit of the Golden Bird, and when he kills her, he is changed into a bird from the neck up. Captured and put on display, he is eventually cast out. He returns to the forest filled with self-pity, but when the Golden Bird reappears, Simon is remorseful. She transforms all of him into a majestic bird, and he flies away forgiven. These sophisticated short stories are witty if a bit odd. Read them aloud or share with a child who enjoys something out of the ordinary.?Cheri Estes, Dorchester Road Regional Library, Charleston, SC
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Gr. 4^-6. Bored with home and school, Tom wishes he could sleep all day like his cat. With help from a wizard, Tom and his cat switch places, but soon Tom decides that he wants to be a boy again. At this point, readers might expect Tom to go back to his old life, but Avi's conclusion is more unsettling. The second story involves a princess who was born flawless, as her mother had insisted, but invisible. When she realizes that no one can see her, the haughty princess undergoes trials to discover how to become visible. The third tale concerns a spoiled lad who grows into a vain man. Transformed into a bird from the neck up, he endures the scorn of men and birds until a selfless act sets him free. Although the first tale has a modern setting and tone and the others are closer to fairy tales, the stories share themes of the outward and inward transformation of the main characters. Reminiscent of Joan Aiken's short stories, these brief tales will intrigue young readers. Carolyn Phelan
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Book Description Macmillan Book for Young Readers, 1995. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0027077659
Book Description Macmillan Book for Young Readers, 1995. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0027077659
Book Description Book Condition: Brand New. Book Condition: Brand New. Bookseller Inventory # 97800270776501.0