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The Well of The Wind Hardcover – September 15, 1998


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 490L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 48 pages
  • Publisher: DK CHILDREN; 1st edition (September 15, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 078942519X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0789425195
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 6.8 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,922,110 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this haunting, enigmatic tale, a pair of abandoned children unwittingly embark on a quest. A benevolent fisherman discovers a brother and sister floating in a crystal box and takes them into his home, then dies. Next a witch attempts to endanger the siblings by sending the boy on magical missions in which death seems certain: to the springs of silver, to the acorns of gold and to the Well of the Wind. Each time, the boy is saved from peril by warnings from "a thin man in the woods"Auntil the last, when the child disappears and the girl's search for him leads them both back to their parents. Sunburnt orange and smoky blue pastels, at times reminiscent of Cezanne's Cubist works, link the children's surroundings: the roof of the house to the cliffs and sand, and the sea to the sky above them. French illustrator Blondon uses flat planes and geometric shadows to create a topsy-turvy world that seems hushed and violent, soothing and affronting at the same time. His velvety-textured colors look dense enough to taste. Although the meaning of Garner's (Owl Service) tale may not be immediate to some readers, it shares enough with classic fairy tales (including a happy ending) to content novice readers and takes enough turns to stimulate aficionados. A thought-provoking fantasy full of enchantment. Ages 6-9.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Grade 3-5-Though there are no source notes, this selection bears many classical motifs: three tasks, foster children with surprising identities, and even a spinning building. The narrative begins with a fisherman finding two babies in a crystal box. They have a red silk cloth between them, from which the man fashions headbands to hide the stars on the children's foreheads. Their guardian dies when the youngsters are half grown, leaving them in his shack on the beach. Then a witch starts coming around, sending the boy off on quests designed to kill him. With a little help from a thin man on the road, he survives the first two trials, but does not return from the third. It is up to his whistling sister to achieve a happy conclusion, which of course is a reunion, not only of the siblings, but also of the children and their birth parents, the king and queen. This is a big disappointment from Garner. The spare writing style that made The Stone Book (Collins, 1978; o.p.) so breathtaking leaves too many gaps here. The brevity also robs the story of any emotion. There is no grief over the dead foster father, no worries about the brother, and the king and queen show up too late to be of any use, except to tie up the tale. The artwork is as sterile as the text and makes as much sense. Done in an abstract, realistic style, the muted earth-toned pictures are full of sharp angles and odd perspectives. In combination with the weak story, the dreary illustrations create a leaden whole.
Patricia A. Dollisch, DeKalb County Public Library, Decatur, GA
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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