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The Pied Piper of Hamelin

Holden, Robert

42 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0395899184 / ISBN 13: 9780395899182
Published by Houghton, Mifflin, 1998
Condition: As New Hardcover
From Northmont Books and Stamps (Farmington Hills., MI, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

A mint copy of this wonderful re-cration of the old fable. Size: 8x10. Bookseller Inventory # 001280

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Pied Piper of Hamelin

Publisher: Houghton, Mifflin

Publication Date: 1998

Binding: Hard Cover

Illustrator: Zak, Drabos

Book Condition:As New

Dust Jacket Condition: As New

Edition: First Edition.

About this title


Hamelin town has a plague of rats, and if something isn't done soon, everyone will starve. The people vow to give up everything to rid the town of the rats. And so the help of the Pied Piper is enlisted to dispose of the nasty pests. He plays a sweet tune and the rats, dancing, follow the music to their end. But when the townsfolk refuse to pay the Piper, he takes up his flute and plays an even sweeter tune. This time, it's the town's children who follow. In this splendid retelling of one of the most enduring folktales to be passed down through the centuries, Drahos Zak's evocative and intricately detailed illustrative style complements Robert Holden's sensitive and poetic text. Their collaboration brings new dimensions to this universally human story.


This magnificent picture book--originally published in Australia--is as tall and creepy as illustrator Drahos Zak's personification of the Pied Piper himself. "Hamelin Town was a town divided. / Rats and men lived side by side. / And where the difference truly lay / Some say was undecided!" begins Robert Holden's poetic retelling of the 13th-century German tale. The town of Hamelin is infested by rats--rats biting babies, chasing dogs, pillaging food supplies, and worse. Enough is enough: "The crowd grew angry, the crowd got mad. / They vowed they would give up all that they had. / Their most treasured possessions, the town's greatest riches, / To remove all the rats--they'd even use witches!" The next thing they know, the Pied Piper arrives--not a witch, but a musician--piping a captivating, cheese-promising tune that disarms the rats and lures them out of town.

When it's time to literally pay the Piper for the rat eradication, however, the townspeople, unkind and ratlike in nature themselves, refuse to give the Piper his due. And so he takes the town's only real treasure, its shining-eyed girls and boys, across a crumbling, ready-to-crack bridge, and "the children left singing for a future much brighter." Zak's gorgeously painted, intricately crosshatched, deliberately unfinished illustrations render the mean, distorted faces of the townspeople as disturbing as the scuttling rats. Each scene explodes in brilliant architectural perspectives, with beams, rooftops, and arches oozing with vermin and vile villagers alike. Zak's visual world is a grotesque, unsettling mix reminiscent of the work of Pieter Bruegel and Ralph Steadman, and equally stunning. The Pied Piper of Hamelin is sure to be deliciously chilling for youngsters, as any story about mean people and rats would be, but young readers will also learn that greed and injustice are bad, and indeed, indulging in those vices may generate serious, irreversible consequences. On a lighter note, we are secretly relieved that the children are escaping the horrid town to a better place. We look forward to many, many more books from Drahos Zak. (Ages 5 and older, but more likely all ages.) --Karin Snelson

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Returns are accepted according to the Abebooks Returns Policy. We respond to all inquiries within 2 business days. The company name is Northmont Books and Stamps a dba of Northmont Publishing, Inc. The address is 35375 Northmont, Farmington Hills, Michigan 48331, U.S.A. The E-mail number is: and the fax number is 248-553-7677. The company's EIN number is 38-2914314. The share capital value is $1(U.S.)

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