A Small Tall Tale from the Far Far North: (New York Times Best Illustrated Book of the Year, ALA Notable Children's Book; Eskimoan)

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9780679843450: A Small Tall Tale from the Far Far North: (New York Times Best Illustrated Book of the Year, ALA Notable Children's Book; Eskimoan)

With the help of Eskimos, Jan Welzl survives a perilous journey from central Europe to the Arctic regions in the late 1800s

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About the Author:

Peter Sís is the author and illustrator of many books for young readers, including Madlenka, and the Caldecott Honor-winning Starry Messenger: Galileo Galilei and Tibet Through the Red Box. He lives in New York City with his wife and two children.

From Publishers Weekly:

Sis ( Follow the Dream ) draws on boyhood memories for this imaginative yarn about a maybe-real, maybe-fictitious Czech explorer, Jan Welzl. As the tale begins, Welzl breaks free from a drab existence and lights out for the Far North, where he encounters treacherous storms, a mysterious golden mountain on the horizon, northern lights, and kindly Eskimo hunters who teach him their traditions and a host of survival skills. When gold diggers arrive and threaten his newfound friends' peaceful existence, Welzl outwits the intruders. The story itself is slight, a fragment really, but readers are borne rapturously along on Sis's exquisitely intricate artwork. At times recalling Da Vinci's sketches, Sis's handsome pen-and-ink washes are filled with maps, intriguing borders, eclectic details and a pervasive sense of the fantastical that provides just the right balance for the story's nostalgic tone. Vignettes dropped onto antique-like papers suggest the look of an old picture album, while other spreads are joyfully quixotic (Eskimos dine under the canopy of a dinosaur skeleton; Welzl is carried down a tunnel decorated with pseudo-pictographs which illustrate a folktale). Whether or not Welzl existed is irrelevant; he certainly lives on in Sis's imagination, and will continue to thrive in the memories of Sis's readers. Ages 5-10.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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