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Catskill Eagle Hardcover – September 18, 1991

5 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Locker paints a tribute to the eagles of the Catskills, using a brief passage from Moby Dick as his point of departure. In context, it's part of an extended section on the need for sorrow to give depth to the most exalted minds: "There is a Catskill eagle in some souls . . . even in his lowest swoop the mountain eagle is still higher than the other birds upon the plain, even though they soar." The text only loosely matches up with Locker's subject, and is almost certainly too sophisticated and abstract for young readers. It does, however, carry the cachet of Melville's name, and Locker parallels it with a series of double-page paintings in his Hudson River school style. Locker aficionados will admire the varied moods and lighting of his paintings, but this is more a fine-art portfolio for adults than a picture book for children. Ages 5-up.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Grade 3-6-- Locker's choice to illustrate two sentences plucked from chapter 96 of Moby Dick is a strange one. Melville employs the eagle as a metaphor about using one's sorrows to learn and rise above them, to improve one's life; yet Locker illustrates these lines as if they were literally about an eagle. While his panoramic oil paintings show off his prodigious talent as a landscape painter (there is an extraordinary number of waterfalls, sunrises, sunsets, and forest scenes), he is less able to illustrate correctly the bald eagle, at times shown soaring in an awkward pose and once painted with incorrect colors in the wing feathers. The typeface is very large, and because there are never more than ten words on any double-page spread, the book has the look of a picture book. It is doubtful that even upper-elementary students would have their interest engaged by Melville's words, even in this most literal of interpretations. The book will be most appreciated by Locker followers; others can soar on by. --Ellen Fader, Westport Public Library, CT
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 and up
  • Hardcover: 1 pages
  • Publisher: Philomel; 1st edition (September 18, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399218572
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399218576
  • Product Dimensions: 20 x 20 x 20 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,614,011 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I found the Editorial Reviews to be disappointing as I've purchased this book more than once for my sister, an artist and a teacher, who finds it to be very worthwhile for the age group for which it was intended. Here's what my sister had to say:

"This verse, that appears within a Caldecott winner, speaks to that part of Melville that is speaking not only of the power of nature but also of the sensitive nature of the human being. It is about soaring -- it is about the soul of the human being and Thomas Locker was speaking to that innate, DNA, quality of the human being to take that which is inside you and soar with it. All children need to know that there is a "Catskill eagle" in their souls."

Sometimes books are meant to be shared - adult and child together - in order to bring out that deeper meaning. My sister tells me that she plans to keep this book for herself this time. We'll see - perhaps I'll be back here again, looking for yet another copy.
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