Amy Ehrlich Lucy's Winter Tale

ISBN 13: 9780803706590

Lucy's Winter Tale

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9780803706590: Lucy's Winter Tale
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Lucy is kidnapped by Ivan the juggler who includes her in his miniature circus as he travels to a new town in search of his sweetheart Martina

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From School Library Journal:

Kindergarten-Grade 3 --On a cold winter's day, Lucy falls asleep in the warm hay of the barn and wakes to haunting music played by a strange man dressed in spangles. He is Ivan, a traveling performer who has lost his company. Lucy willingly goes with him on an adventure to help him regain his true love. In this day of missing children and cautions against speaking to strangers, adults may be startled by the casualness with which the child goes along with the man, yet this story must be read not as reality but as a tale of long ago and far away. The happenings are made magical, not by elves and fairies, but by the unfamiliar and by Ivan's innocent ability to enchant and amaze. The rather formal language of the well-written text reads somewhat like 19th-century prose. It is told, not as a reminiscence, but as an elderly person reliving a special event, highlighting the things that stand out most strongly to a child. Many of Howell's illustrations have a richly emotive quality, and both the text and the full-page, acrylic-and-pencil drawings are romantic without descending into sentimentality. Lucy is a solemn yet solid looking little girl, and there is a hominess about the beauty of Ivan's true love. Comparison with Van Allsburg's Polar Express (Houghton, 1985) is unavoidable. --Karen James, Louisville Free Public Library, KY
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Publishers Weekly:

A discordant mix of the romantic and the real, this picture book pivots on the painless abduction of its farm girl heroine. Framed by the narrator's claim that the story is true, it devolves in an indeterminate past, when Lucy, "the old woman who told me these things," is still a girl. Lucy, like the protagonist of the Narnia stories and similar fantasies, eagerly embarks on a journey, in this case occasioned by the appearance of Ivan, a flute-playing juggler who tells her, "You're the one I'm looking for," and incorporates her into his traveling circus. Clad in a red dress, Lucy, who "sings like an angel," performs with the other members of the troupe--a bear, a chimpanzee and a tight-rope walker named Martina. Only Martina recognizes that Ivan and Lucy have done anything wrong, and when she points this out, Ivan returns Lucy to her family (the much-anticipated consequences of her disappearance, however, go unremarked). Lucy is left with the red dress, which the narrator is shown as evidence of Lucy's adventure; the reader is left to wonder what Ehrlich's point might be. Howell's acrylic and pencil drawings, in the style of 19th-century illustrations, idealize their subjects and reinforce the story's artificially nostalgic undertone. Ages 5-up.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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