Celie and the Harvest Fiddler

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/Vanessa and Valerie Flournoy /James E. Ransome, illustrator Celie loves a spooky story. She's heard some pretty wild ones about a mysterious fiddler who always seems to appear out of nowhere; but no tall tale could match the wild All Hallows'

Celie, a young African American girl living in the South in the 1870's, wants desperately to win the costume contest at the All Hallows' Eve harvest festival.

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Overview

/Vanessa and Valerie Flournoy /James E. Ransome, illustrator Celie loves a spooky story. She's heard some pretty wild ones about a mysterious fiddler who always seems to appear out of nowhere; but no tall tale could match the wild All Hallows'

Celie, a young African American girl living in the South in the 1870's, wants desperately to win the costume contest at the All Hallows' Eve harvest festival.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
Who is the mysterious fiddler who appears at celebrations? Will he come to the All Hallow's Eve harvest festival? Celie wants desperately to win the costume contest, but when she dances to the fiddler's music, her costume just doesn't hold up. She flees in embarrassment, but then the fiddler magically appears and gives her an unusual mask to wear. The tale gets more complex, and is handsomely depicted by Ransome's rich oil paintings that move from early evening to the dark of the night and all its mysterious happenings.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3Celie, an African American girl who lives in the South in the 1870s, plans to win the prize for the scariest costume at the All Hallow's Eve parade. She has heard tales about the mysterious fiddler who appears at such celebrations, but always thought he was make-believe until he shows up to play. When Celie's handmade costume falls apart in front of the crowd, she runs away in embarrassment; the fiddler follows and lends her an African mask with marvelous powers. Although the mask delights and frightens the crowd, when Celie realizes that she has put her brother and his friend in peril by wearing it, she returns it to the fiddler. She has learned a lesson about what is truly important, and now she has a good ghost story to tell as well. Ransome's oil paintings glow with the vivid colors of autumn harvest and firelight, set against the shadows of All Hallow's Eve. Celie's lively personality comes through in her face and movements as well as in her bright clothing, and is played against the subtle changes of expression on the ghostly face of the mask. This book might be paired with Patricia McKissack's Mirandy and Brother Wind (Knopf, 1988), another tale of an exuberant child's encounter with a spirit, or with other eerie Halloween tales such as Chris Van Allsburg's The Widow's Broom (Houghton, 1992).Barbara Chatton, College of Education, University of Wyoming, Laramie
Julie Yates Walton
When Celie, an African American girl of the 1870s, discovers her Allhallows Eve costume has fallen apart, she flees the laughing crowd to the forest, where a mysterious fiddler gives her a magic African mask that grants wishes to its wearer. Masked, she returns to the party, where her wish does come true--sort of. She wins the prize for best costume but is chased back to the forest by two wolves--her brother and his friend, who had grabbed the mask and inadvertently received their wish for a Halloween costume. The fiddler turns the wolves back into boys and disappears, leaving Celie pleased with her win and her shivery adventure. Suffering from crisscrossing plot lines, the story seems a bit schizophrenic as its elements vie for dominance. That said, the book still has merit for its appealing spookiness and its historical value, but mostly for Ransome's lush, autumn-hued oil paintings, which have a pleasurably chilling undertone. For larger collections.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780688114589
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/1/1995
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.60 (w) x 11.31 (h) x 0.36 (d)

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