Tall, Wide, and Sharp-Eye: A Czech Folktale

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9780805027846: Tall, Wide, and Sharp-Eye: A Czech Folktale
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In a read-aloud rendering of a Czech folktale, a young Bohemian prince enlists the help of three extraordinary, quick-witted friends to rescue his beloved from an annoying sorcerer.

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From Publishers Weekly:

Grubby, cheerful illustrations lend an oddball appeal to Gabler's ( Brakus Krakus ) retelling of a Czech folktale. All the traditional ingredients are here: the prince; the helpless princess; the evil sorcerer who has locked the princess in a castle; and the prince's helpers, in this case the wonder-working trio of Tall One (who stretches his legs to walk great distances), Wide One (who expands his girth) and Sharp-Eye (who wears a blindfold to inhibit his X-ray vision). The prince and his friends, assigned by the sorcerer to guard the princess for three nights in a row, accidentally fall asleep every night. Each time, the princess vanishes while they nap, but when morning comes, Tall, Wide and Sharp-Eye use their powers to retrieve her, thus breaking the wizard's hold on her. Some loose ends might distract young readers: What is the significance of the wizard's three iron hoops, which fall apart one by one as the prince's test progresses? What is the wizard's role in the princess's vanishing? Gabler's raffish humor goes a long way toward camouflaging these gaps; his glee percolates through his depictions of the villain's warty face or Wide One's oversized behind. The author's palette, muddy in his earlier work, has brightened considerably but retains its slapdash spirit. Ages 5-9.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal:

Kindergarten-Grade 3-It is time for a young prince to choose a bride, and, as often happens in such situations, the only acceptable choice is "kept under lock and key in an evil sorcerer's castle. Many brave knights have gone to free her, and not one has returned yet." Of course, the young man sets off immediately. Along the way, he encounters three strangers who prove extraordinarily helpful in rescuing the princess and breaking the spell over her castle. Gabler's plot and individual motifs are almost identical to Evaline Michelow Ness's Long, Broad and Quickeye (Scribners, 1969; o.p.). He omits the detailed description and depth of emotion that characterize that retelling, opting instead for a brief, breezy adventure. His broad, cartoon illustrations (reminiscent of Quentin Blake's style) suit his pared-down version, the large pen-and-ink and watercolor pictures are suitable for group sharing. Both versions use a generic medieval setting: Gabler deviates slightly, in keeping with his humorous tone. His last page depicts Tall, Wide, and Sharp-Eye bouncing away from a hi-rise on a red motorbike complete with sidecar- after all, it does say "they are wandering the world to this very day!"-Susan L. Rogers, Chestnut Hill Academy, PA
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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