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It is a long time ago in a village near Germany's Black Forest, and Erich, a foundling, has been left in the care of the good and charitable Frau Goddhart. Or, at least the publicly good and charitable Frau Goddhart; at home it's quite another story. Erich's young life of work and little love changes when old Ula, the town's most skillful clockmaker, offers him a job as his helper. Ula is patient and very slow worker, which is why his cuckoo clocks are the best anywhere. Ula teaches Erich about clockmaking, playing the fiddle, and many other useful and wonderful things.
One day as Ula works at his clockmaking and Erich looks one, Baron Balloon storms in demanding a clock. Ula refuses, and decided right then and there to make a clock for himself, a wondrous, beautiful clock that will be his last and best. The clock he makes - with Erich's help - is wonderful, beautiful, and magical, with a cheerful enchanted cuckoo bird that knows all the thirty-six songs of the birds of the Black Forest. Mary Stolz's story is alive with magic of art and creation and is sure to enchant, as are the warm pencil illustrations of Pamela Johnson.
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Pamela Johnson was born in Philadelphia and now lives in Maine, where she raises sheep. Her other books for Godine include Quentin Corn and The Cuckoo Clock, both by Mary Stolz.From School Library Journal:
Grade 3-6 Stolz tells a simple story in her own wry, distanced style, adding elements of fantasy to create a sort of fable. Set in the Black Forest of over a century ago, this is about Ula, an old and wise clockmaker, and Erich, a foundling who works with him as an apprentice at the reluctant consent of Frau Goddhart, his guardian whose kindness is more public than sincere. When Ula decides to make his last and finest clock, Erich works with him. When the clock is completed a miracle occurs: the carved bird inside comes alive, flying about the room and singing the 36 songs of the Black Forest birds. Shortly thereafter, Ula dies. Erich goes away, with a prediction from the Baron's daughter that he will become a great artist. The brief epilogue does not specifically confirm this, but tells of the clock existing today with the cuckoo singing its 36 songs with no one to hear them. Stolz' delicate ironies and precise writing style save her story from sentimentality, enabling it to teach an interesting and rigorous lesson about the liability of the self-involved to understand the true beauty of the world. Original, wise, and thoughtful. Christine Behrmann, New York Public Lib .
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description David R. Godine Publishers, Boston, MA, 2000. Soft cover. Condition: New. No Jacket. Johnson, Pamela (illustrator). 3rd printing. Orphaned Erich's life as an unloved drudge begins to change when old Ula, the town's most skillful clockmaker, takes him on as his helper. Seller Inventory # 008570
Book Description Condition: New. shipped within 1 working day from the UK. Seller Inventory # 024/RG/170P
Book Description David R Godine, 1993. Condition: New. Pamela Johnson (illustrator). book. Seller Inventory # M0879238194
Book Description David R Godine, 1993. Paperback. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX0879238194
Book Description David R Godine, 1993. Paperback. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P110879238194