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CriticasGr 2-5-In this beautiful story, Tikul longs to be a singer. He spends hours gazing at the sea and listening to the sound of the waves on the rocks. He tries home remedies like honey and lemon to improve his voice. One day Tikul befriends an unusual snail and shares his secret with him. Tikul becomes so obsessed by his dream that he follows a vendor carrying canaries for miles to hear their enchanting song. He dives over and over to the bottom of the sea to hear the song the mother manatees sing to their babies. After saving his snail friend from an attack by seagulls wanting his food, he begs the snail to help him sing. That night the snail seeks out the magical music maker of the sea to grant his friend the gift for which he longs. The price is dear. Snail must give up his life for Tikul to make sweet music, even better than that of the sea, the canaries, and the manatees. The wind blows his empty shell back to the boy, who uses it as a gorgeous musical instrument. This wonderful lesson on the value of sacrifice definitely sends a message more appropriate for elementary students than preschoolers. Pastel watercolor illustrations accompany this tender story.
—Linda Shubert, Alief Ind. School District, Houston, TX Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.