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The Winter Child Hardcover – October 2, 2001
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From Publishers Weekly
Flawlessly conceived and exquisitely produced, this gentle fable unites two favorite fantasy themes, the quest for a precious object and a duel between Good and Evil. As a doll and puppet maker extraordinaire, Froud follows her earlier successes (The Dark Crystal; The Empire Strikes Back; etc.), with this gentle fable, written with compassion and occasional sly wit by five-time World Fantasy Award-winner Windling. Beautifully designed by husband Brian Froud and handsomely photographed by Jones, the lovely illustrations evoke a beguiling faeryland where the real blends almost imperceptibly into make-believe. At the very bottom of Greenmoss Glen, deep in Old Oak Wood, the humble little furry tree root faery Sneezle dons his red holiday finery for King Oberon and Queen Titania's Midwinter Eve festival but Oberon's gold and amethyst cup goes missing on this too warm Midwinter Eve. Searching for Oberon's stolen cup, Sneezle and his engaging marsh thistle faery companion, Twig, find a mysterious baby hatching from a golden egg, then elude evil goblins sent by wizard-gone-wrong Malagan, whose wicked spell prevents Lady Winter from entering the land. When Malagan duels with Good Sorceress Tamaryst, Sneezle and Twig help right the mythic circle of the seasons, a graceful reenactment of Windling's familiar "the last shall be first" theme. Meshing seamlessly with her sensitive text, the photos of Froud's creations provide a delightful visual excursion into this land of childhood heart's desire. 7-city author tour.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
From School Library Journal
Grade 1-4-There's trouble in the faery court of Old Oak Wood. Though Titania and Oberon have made elaborate preparations for the Revels surrounding their annual Midwinter Eve rites, Autumn lingers in their small kingdom, for Winter will not come. To make matters worse, Oberon's favorite cup is stolen. Humble Sneezle, a tree root faery, and his friend Twig, a marsh thistle faery, embark on a quest to find it. (These two are veterans of an earlier quest, chronicled in A Midsummer Night's Faery Tale [S & S, 1999].) The young faeries find the cup and more: a mysterious faery baby hatched from an egg. Sneezle and Twig, along with the baby, encounter goblins, sorcerers kind and malevolent, beautiful women with unknown powers, and other magic beings, all depicted in Froud's elaborate tableaux. Her doll-like sculptures and props are arranged in detailed settings and photographed in rich color. Generations of creative children have imagined similar environments for faeries in woods and gardens. This slick production turns free-flowing imaginative play into a static commercial product, using archetypes skimmed from the froth of the cauldron of story. This title will find an audience, especially among collectors of the artist's dolls, lured perhaps through Froud's Web site. Librarians may need to satisfy that audience, but the book is too precious to make even a modest contribution to fantasy literature.
Margaret A. Chang, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, North Adams
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
Top customer reviews
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A lovely tale of good aganist evil, with the fairy art of Wendy Froud. Enjoyable for both young and old.
Sneezle, our beloved hero from the first book, is again teamed up with his friend Twig for a quest to find out why Winter has not yet reached their forest. Again they encounter many characters, in which Wendy's dolls never fail to amaze me. She is so incredibly gifted. I would like to show this book to anyone who does not appreciate winter as a season, because while it's not the "moral" of the story...it takes a look at winter as being the season for rest so that everything can be reborn in the spring. It tells a magnificent tale.
Not only is it a wonderful book to read and enjoy, but it's a treasure to put up on the shelf or coffee table for looking at again and again.