Lucas Fishbone

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9780060240905: Lucas Fishbone

In this Russian nursery rhyme, forty-four starlings keep house and have fun together.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

Language Notes:

Text: English, Russian (translation)

From School Library Journal:

Grade 2-5-- The unique blend of reality, fantasy, and spirituality so effective in Maguire's novels is overwhelming and confusing here. A little girl visits her beloved grandmother throughout the year. During each visit, Grandma talks of Lucas Fishbone, a mystical character from her youth, whose return she awaits. She is finally reunited with Lucas, seemingly in death. The little girl will now wait for a message from Lucas Fishbone, who will "send me word of one I cherish/ Who in leaving does not perish." This book proves that not all picture books are for young children. The girl's narration is at times innocent and naive, at other times sophisticated and insightful--and too long and ambiguous to hold a child's interest. Readers will wonder where the grandmother has gone, and will be confused by Lucas Fishbone's identity, especially with the visual portrayal of him as a man/lion. Even with adult explanation, the story isn't satisfying and may even frighten some. The illustrations are an effective extension of the themes, but also lack child appeal. Deep earth-tone paintings featuring solid ethnic characters and folk-art patterns underscore the sense of transcendent love and family bonds as basic elements of life. The layered, almost collage designs and unusual proportions point to the book's multiple dimensions. Overall, an artistic and sophisticated effort that isn't likely to connect with an audience. --Heide Piehler, Shorewood Public Library, WI
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Gregory Maguire, Frank Gargiulo (Illustrator)
Published by Harpercollins (1990)
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