It is raining bullfrogs. Inside the coach to Cricklewood sit a blacksmith, a thief, and an orphan boy named Touch.
"The haunt, lad!" shouts the blacksmith suddenly. "If you want to see a live ghost, stick your head out the window. He's on the roof." That is Touch's first glimpse of the roguish ghost of The Great Chaffalo, a magician once celebrated for his trick of turning straw into horses. They meet again when Touch, fleeing from his wicked great-uncle, gathers an armload of straw and seeks out the phantom.
The Great Chaffalo obliges the runaway boy with a high-legged stallion with a golden mane and "a hide as fine as China silk." But Touch discovers that not even this bedazzling horse can put him beyond reach of the troubles pursuing him. He is forced to confront rascals and wrongdoers with imagination and courage--and a ghostly word now and then from his new friend, The Great Chaffalo.
With his gift for comedy and robust storytelling, Sid Fleischman tells a tale of innocence in a world of high villainy and low, of things seen and not what they seem, of mystery, suspense, and wonder.
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
It all began during a stormy coach ride, when Touch, an orphan boy, was traveling to meet his evil great-uncle, Judge Wigglesforth. That's when Touch first sees The Great Chaffalo, a magician's ghost.
From the moment Touch meets his nasty great-uncle he has troubles. Not only is the judge trying to cheat Touch out of his inheritance, he's also trying to force Sally Hoskins to sell him her Red Raven Inn. Is Touch all alone against the powerful judge? How can he get what belongs to him in the first place?
Where is The Great Chaffalo now?About the Author:
Newbery Award-winning author of The Whipping Boy, Sid Fleischman is surprised that he grew up to be a writer. "I had a childhood much like everyone else's," he writes in his newly published autobiography, The Abracadabra Kid: A Writer's Life. "What went wrong?"
But his childhood was not so typical after all. Born in Brooklyn, he grew up in San Diego during the Great Depression and decided in the fifth grade to become a magician. Just out of high school, he traveled widely in vaudeville and with a midnight ghost-and-goblin show. "I was on the way to becoming a writer. I just didn't know it."
After wartime service with the U.S. Naval Reserve, he finished college and worked as a reporter on the San Diego Daily Journal. When the paper folded in 1950, he turned to fiction writing. One of Fleischman's novels was bought for a major motion picture, and he was offered a contract to write the screenplay.
"My young children led me into writing children's books. They didn't understand what I did for a living. Other fathers, they learned, left home in the morning and returned at the end of the day. I was always around the house. I decided to clear up the mystery and wrote a book just for them." Today he divides his time between writing films and children's books.
Fleischman says that when he knew very little about writing, he wrote very fast. Now it takes him longer: three months to a year to complete a short book, and sometimes much longer if he can't figure out how to get his characters out of the jams he has put them in. "I write my books in the dark. I don't like to know what's going to happen next until I get there. It sustains my interest. I'm anxious to get to my desk each morning to find out what is going to happen."
Fleischman finds ideas lurking everywhere. His novel The Thirteenth Floor began with the superstition that there is something evil and magical in the number thirteen. The Ghost in the Noonday Sun arose from the folk belief that anyone born at the stroke of midnight has the power to see ghosts. The problem for the writer, he says, is not so much in finding an idea as in figuring out what to do with it. That may take years.
As a children's book author Sid Fleischman feels a special obligation to his readers. "The books we enjoy as children stay with us forever -- they have a special impact. Paragraph after paragraph and page after page, the author must deliver his or her best work." With more than 35 books to his credit, some of which have been made into motion pictures, Sid Fleischman can be assured that his work will make a special impact.
Sid Fleischman writes his books at a huge table cluttered with projects: story ideas, library books, research, letters, notes, pens, pencils, and a computer. He lives in an old-fashioned, two-story house full of creaks and character, and enjoys hearing the sound of the nearby Pacific Ocean. He has always lived by the ocean and now lives in Santa Monica, California.
"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.
Book Description Book Condition: Good. Former library copy, has library associated stamps/stickers. Good used condition, shows average signs of use or wear for its age. Ships fast secure, expedited available!. Bookseller Inventory # 3UBC9S00043H
Book Description Paw Prints 2008-05-09, 2008. Library Binding. Book Condition: VERY GOOD. Light rubbing wear to cover, spine and page edges. Very minimal writing or notations in margins not affecting the text. Possible clean ex-library copy, with their stickers and or stamp(s). Bookseller Inventory # 2688647985
Book Description Paw Prints 2008-05-09, 2008. Library Binding. Book Condition: Used: Good. Bookseller Inventory # SONG1435272455