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The Gold at the End of the Rainbow Hardcover – March 1, 1997

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 2. In this low-key departure from a familiar folktale motif, kind treatment wins its just reward from a captured leprechaun. His head filled with Grandpa's tales of what lies at a rainbow's end, young Brendan begs the old man to row him out to the tiny island where a morning rainbow descends. As the two head back to the boat after a day of fruitless digging, Grandpa snatches at something that flits past, and finds himself holding a tiny man. At its polite request to be let go, Grandpa releases him with an apology. Laughing, the leprechaun tweaks his nose and vanishes?but next morning, Brendan and Grandpa find their byre filled with livestock, plus an ever-full bottle of elderberry juice. The story's gentle tone is better served by Koopmans's hazy, slightly dreamy seascapes than his sometimes awkwardly drawn people and caricatured, rainbow-hued leprechaun, and readers may find it hard to understand why, considering how hard Grandpa and Brendan have labored in their search for treasure, they should suddenly be so generous when it's within their grasp. The presentation leaks too much to keep the worthy premise afloat.?John Peters, New York Public Library
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Ages 5^-8. During their search for the gold at the end of the rainbow, young Brendan and Grandpa encounter a leprechaun. Although the old man inadvertently lets the pixie escape, the duo agree that it would have been wrong to steal the creature's treasure. For their generosity and honesty, Brendan and his grandfather are rewarded with the food and livestock they really need. Koopmans' watercolors, dominated by deep shades of blue, are strongest in their depiction of landscape; the scenes, infused with bright colors, are reminiscent of the work of Stephen Gammel. This tale steeped in Irish folklore isn't a first pick. However, larger libraries looking for picture books to meet the demands of St. Patrick's Day may want to give it a try. Julie Corsaro

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 and up
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: North South Books; 1st edition (March 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 155858692X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1558586925
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 0.4 x 11.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,323,557 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
John Peters (NYTBR) completely misses the point of the book, in my opinion. While Brendan and Grandpa live a meager existence, they still love each other. Grandpa provides as well as he can, and Brendan is content and uncomplaining.

When they miss out on the opportunity to have wealth beyond imagination, they don't plot and scheme to recapture the leprechaun. Instead, they realize they have at least enough to get by (they are both dressed well, and neither is starving). To quote Muddy Waters, "You can't lose what you ain't never had." And so they return home to find that the leprechaun has unexpectedly repaid their kindness. The gold was never theirs to begin with, and the story shows that their integrity matters. And they got to see a leprechaun. How many manage that feat?

I think this is an important lesson for children to learn. Whether we find something belonging to someone else, or fool them into giving it over to us, it isn't really ours--except by rationalization. I suspect that if Brendan or Grandpa found someone else's sack of gold, he would return it sadly, but willingly. And would be just as surprised by any reward for honesty. Character is more important than material gain.

While I agree with some of his points about the art, I like the leprechaun. Never having seen one, I have no idea of what they look like. A being who lives at the end of a rainbow might well be as colorful. Who knows for sure? Imagination trumps literalism, IMHO.
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