From School Library Journal
Grade 2–4—This light reinvention of the myth of Pygmalion gives the ancient Greek sculptor access to French perfumes, a modern-day spa, and an apprentice named Jane. Pyg is obsessed with his masterpiece, a sculpture of a goddess so beautiful that he wishes she were real. Jane finds her hard, flawless beauty a little off-putting, somehow, but he sees only perfection. Then he gets his wish and his work of art comes to life, but she turns out to be vain, humorless, demanding, and disloyal. As the end of his unhappy day with the "perfect" girl comes to a close, Pyg goes home to find Jane waiting for him with a blazing fire and a game of Scrabble. The pleasing, painterly cartoon illustrations combine ancient and modern elements. This fairy-tale/nursery-rhyme spoof, one of several by Stanley, has its own personality, tone, and palette, all of which work together toward a happy ending for everybody.—Catherine Threadgill, Charleston County Public Library, SC
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Stanley has written and illustrated several previous fractured fairy tales, including Rumpelstiltskin's Daughter
(1997). Now, in a mischievous turnaround on the Pygmalion myth and The Sorcerer's Apprentice,
she blends the classical and the contemporary with sly exaggeration. Jane, who wants to be a great sculptor and carve creatures from hunks of stone like her best friend, Pyg, becomes Pyg's apprentice. One day Pyg carves a masterpiece, a beautiful goddess, absolutely perfect. To Jane, however, the goddess statue seems heartless. When the goddess comes to life, she does, indeed, prove to be self-centered and mean, and she eventually leaves Pyg and his "dump" for the prince's palace. Then, to help Pyg get over "the girl of his dreams," Jane carves him the perfect pet companion. Stanley's fresh artwork, which mixes the grandeur of old classical forms and the absurdity of the new, is in perfect balance with the parody. Children older than the target audience may also enjoy this. Hazel RochmanCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved