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Magic Fishbone Paperback – March, 1995

ISBN-13: 978-0950926766 ISBN-10: 0950926760 Edition: New edition

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Paperback, March, 1995
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 24 pages
  • Publisher: Imprint unknown; New edition edition (March 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0950926760
  • ISBN-13: 978-0950926766
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 2-6-Dickens's marvelously descriptive turns of phrase and Florczak's pencil-and-oil illustrations bring to life this story of an endearing and rambunctious Victorian family. Things couldn't get much worse for seven-year-old Princess Alicia. As the eldest of 19 children, she copes as best as she can with her mother's illness, the cook's desertion, and accidental injuries to siblings. However, when her father reveals that the family faces utter penury, Alicia calls on the magical powers of a fish-bone from the Fairy Grandmarina. The resultant pile of golden coins assures them of a solvent future; a visit from the imperious but kindly Grandmarina cures all injuries and illness. And in true fairy-tale style, the patient, intrepid child is wed to a handsome young prince and promised a happy ever after. While animal lovers may cavil as the fish-bone effectively chokes a rather nasty pug dog, it's certainly consistent with this tale of "deserved comeuppances." The tongue-in-cheek wit and the lengthy text demand a degree of listener sophistication but the many oversized illustrations and the open typeface increase the tale's accessibility. The realistic tintype complexions and meticulous outlines of the characters play against detailed backgrounds that artfully blend the prosaic with the fantastic. Unusual and beautifully rendered in words and pictures, this is a fine addition to a unit on literary fairy tales, a droll introduction to Dickens, and an example of purely entertaining wish fulfillment.
Carol Ann Wilson, Westfield Memorial Library, NJ
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Gr. 3-5, younger for reading aloud. Originally published in a children's periodical in 1868, this oddly down-to-earth fairy tale is told in a decidedly mannered style. The Fairy Grandmarina gives Princess Alicia a magic fishbone. To her father's confusion and consternation, she declines to use it until "we have tried very hard, and tried all ways" to make do without magic. Her reward is marriage, which does seem a fantasy, as she and the groom appear to be about 12. Still, it's a fantasy that may appeal to some children, especially as interpreted in Florczak's lively and suitably stylized illustrations. The characters are depicted with a soft-edged realism that sometimes has the quality of tinted photographs, while the colors, settings, and composition are more reminiscent of an old volume of nursery rhymes. A quirky but amusing interpretation of Dickens' tale in a handsome, large-format book. Carolyn Phelan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

One of the grand masters of Victorian literature, Charles Dickens was born on February 7, 1812, in Landport, Portsea, England. He died in Kent on June 9, 1870. The second of eight children of a family continually plagued by debt, the young Dickens came to know not only hunger and privation,but also the horror of the infamous debtors' prison and the evils of child labor. A turn of fortune in the shape of a legacy brought release from the nightmare of prison and "slave" factories and afforded Dickens the opportunity of two years' formal schooling at Wellington House Academy. He worked as an attorney's clerk and newspaper reporter until his Sketches by Boz (1836) and The Pickwick Papers (1837) brought him the amazing and instant success that was to be his for the remainder of his life. In later years, the pressure of serial writing, editorial duties, lectures, and social commitments led to his separation from Catherine Hogarth after twenty-three years of marriage. It also hastened his death at the age of fifty-eight, when he was characteristically engaged in a multitude of work.

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