The Lost Sailor (A Laura Geringer Books)

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9780060216955: The Lost Sailor (A Laura Geringer Books)

A sailor famed for his seamanship and luck is shipwrecked on a tiny island, where his darkest hour gives rise to rescue and a new life.

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From School Library Journal:

Grade 2-4-- In the opening pages, the eponymous hero seems legendary, possessed of both incredible skill and amazing luck. Then a storm of unprecedented proportions sinks the Promise, leaving him shipwrecked. Suddenly human, the sailor becomes a Crusoe, salvaging, shifting, and waiting ``years and years'' for rescue. One night, his sadness leads to a moment's carelessness, and his hut and belongings are consumed by a great fire. He thinks all is lost, but the conflagration has served as a beacon, and a passing ship rescues him. The writing is enjoyable, but the story lacks cohesion. In his ``epic'' mode, the sailor doesn't exhibit the hubris that might account for his abrupt downfall; but in his ``human'' role he doesn't change as the result of his experiences. The turns of fortune are as swift and extreme as a medieval fable, but without a moral. By the time of his rescue, he is an elderly man. But while adults may be looking for meaning, children will doubtless be poring happily over Egielski's clear and colorful pictures. The romance of sail--billowing shrouds, slanting decks, huge waves, nautical costume--is as evident here as it is in Ted Rand's pictures for The Walloping Window-Blind (Arcade, 1992) or Van Allsburg's for The Wretched Stone (Houghton, 1991) . Egielski's scenes look impeccably neat and fresh as paint. The merciful artist has allowed the sailor to salvage an ax not mentioned in the text; and, in fact, shipwreck looks like grand vacation. Perhaps only the middle-aged will resent the pointless waste of years, and regret this book's unsuccessful melding of allegory and adventure. --Patricia Dooley, University of Washington, Seattle
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Publishers Weekly:

A sailor renowned for his skill encounters a storm that defeats even his abilities. His ship goes down, but he washes ashore on a desert island, where he lives for many years, until he accidentally starts a fire that destroys all he has but serves to beckon a nearby ship. Following Conrad and Egielski's exceptional previous collaboration ( The Tub People ), their latest offering comes as a disappointment. The story's only point--that luck can assume unlikely guises--is, as told here, thin, unconvincing and a bit facile. Conrad's evident attempt to make the protagonist a kind of epic figure--we know him only as "the sailor" or "the lost sailor," for he is not given a name or any other personal characteristics--distances the reader and results in a narrative that, despite some deft turns of phrase, is devoid of emotion. Egielski's watercolors pack more dramatic punch and, especially in his depictions of the solitary figure on the lush but abandoned island, contain more food for the imagination. Ages 5-9.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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