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The Nightingale Hardcover – September 16, 2002


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 and up
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten and up
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Phyllis Fogelman Books; 1st edition (September 16, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0803724640
  • ISBN-13: 978-0803724648
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 9.4 x 11.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #269,663 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Pinkney (The Ugly Duckling) sets this retelling of Andersen's classic tale in Morocco instead of the original China, inspiring a score of lush illustrations and a fresh, piquant narrative. The tale of a king who learns humility from a kitchen girl and a "little, plain, simple" bird unfolds with familiar grace. Pinkney incorporates such atmospheric details as traditional Moroccan fare (mint tea and "pastries made with honey and almond milk") into his smooth prose. He also makes a few concessions to younger readers: when the nightingale's mechanical rival breaks, the emperor eventually turns to "the Great Fixer-of-All-Things" (instead of Andersen's watchmaker), and when the king slips into a decline, he introduces Death as "Old Man Death." He fills his watercolors, rendered in lines as loose and fluid as his characters' beautiful garments, with such exotic touches as palm trees, camels and a pet monkey, and evokes the country's gorgeously ornate architecture and ethnically diverse inhabitants. The sumptuous treatment will easily please Pinkney's many admirers. Ages 5-up.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 3-Pinkney has once again applied his considerable talents to the retelling of a traditional tale. He offers a unique presentation without compromising or straying from the original story of the nightingale's power. Like her song, the narration is smooth and flowing. Frequent dialogue adds to the drama and makes the story accessible to contemporary children. While the book will be an effective read-aloud, it is the illustrations that bring the tale to life. Pinkney has moved the story from its traditional Chinese setting to Morocco, and the paintings are a celebration of its cultural richness and ethnic diversity. Single pages and spreads are filled with the lush landscapes; grand architecture; and ornate textiles, silver, and pottery of the region. Traditional designs are also used to frame the text. Liberal use of color, ranging from earth tones to jewel hues, underscores the theme of natural versus manmade beauty. Young readers will enjoy looking for the playful monkey who appears in many of the scenes. A delightful melding of narration and illustration, this book will introduce a new generation to one of Andersen's tales.
Heide Piehler, Shorewood Public Library, WI
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

A native of Philadelphia, Jerry studied at the Philadelphia College of Art (now the University of the Arts) where, in 1992 he received the Alumni Award. He has been illustrating children's books since 1964, illustrating over one hundred titles, and earned the Caldecott Medal for his nearly wordless picture book The Lion & the Mouse in 2010. Among his many other accolades he has also been the recipient of five Caldecott Honor Medals, five Coretta Scott King Awards and four Coretta Scott King Honors, five New York Times Best Illustrated Book awards, and in 2006 the Original Art's Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society of Illustrators, New York, NY.
In addition to his work in children's books, Jerry has had over thirty one-man retrospectives at venues ranging from the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL to the California African American Museum, Los Angeles, CA. He has exhibited in over one hundred group shows in the USA, Japan, Russia, Italy, Taiwan and Jamaica. Jerry has illustrated for a wide variety of clients, including the U.S. Postal Service, National Park Service, and National Geographic. Jerry created art for the Harry Chapin Run Against Hunger commemorative poster, a foundation that helps bring food to those in need. He was invited to create a painting for the 30th Bologna Book Fait, Bologna, Italy and the NASA Art Collection at the John F. Kennedy Space Center. He was appointed to serve on the U.S. Postal Services Citizens Stamp Advisory Committee (1982-1992). In 2001 Jerry was invited by Laura Bush to illustrate and design the White House Christmas Program. He has held professorships teaching art at Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY; the University of Delaware, Newark, DE; and the University of Buffalo, Buffalo, NY. In 2003, Jerry was appointed to the National Council of the Arts - NEA (2003-2009). His art can be found in the permanent collections at the Library of Congress, the New York Public Library, the Delaware Art Museum and the Brandywine River Art Museum.
His works have been featured in The New York Times, Arts Section, American Artists Magazine, The Horn Book Magazine, The CBS Sunday Morning Show and PBS Reading Rainbow Room. Pinkney is also a past trustee for the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art and the Katonah Museum of Art. He lives with his wife, author Gloria Jean, in Westchester County, NY.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This is our second-favorite version of this story, but only because the one by Paul Birkbeck is so extraordinary.

Jerry Pinckney is always magnificent. He sets this story in a town like Morocco or maybe somewhere in Andalusia, judging by the architecture and scenery. The setting lets him mix European, Middle Eastern, Bedouin, and African characters into the story. The richness of the fabrics and the furnishings will knock your socks off, and when death sits on the Emperor's chest -- Wow!

The contrast between the wealth of the court and the simplicity of the mockingbird is very appealing. We love this book.
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By Ulyyf on February 17, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This story seems to me to hew very closely to what I remember of the original Nightingale by Andersen... but then, I don't have it directly in front of me to compare. Regardless, the only big change I see is moving the setting to Morocco instead of China (which is just as well, China was only chosen as a shorthand for "far away and mysterious", and who doesn't know all about China by now?) and having a "Fixer-of-all-Things" instead of a clockmaker.

The illustrations are colorful and lovely, and the story is as touching as always, with the classic Andersen theme of valuing the real above the fake.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Pinkney is amazing...his books are top of my list for children's gifts...the art is beautiful, rich and detailed...and words have a gentle flow ...great to be read aloud and shared
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
An updated twist on the classic tale of the little nightingale who is caged and loses her life energy in captivity. When released, she returns to her beautiful singing and freedom and saves the life of the king. Fabulous illustrations and a beautiful rendering of the story. This wonderful book should be read by any adult or child who enjoys fairy tales - a message for everyone.
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