Fire and Stone

Fire and Stone

by Ursula K. Le Guin, Laura Marshall

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This intriguing myth is vividly illustrated by newcomer Marshall. A dragon terrorizes a town until a boy and a girl, Min and Podo, realize that the dragon's cry, ``RRRAAAHHHX!'' is his attempt to ask for rocks, which he then eats. The townspeople join the children in throwing rocks to the dragon who is ``as quick as a barn swallow catching gnats.'' When ``all its fire and hunger'' is filled up, the dragon turns into stone, and Min and Podo, sitting among the scaly stones of Dragon Hill, sing the sunrise song: ``Sun is fire, Earth is stone. / Sing together at the dawn!'' Like a yellow-orange costume from a Chinese dragon dance, the dragon is appropriately fearsome before fading to a mossy green. Marshall's colors are clean and clear, but her plump, glassy-eyed people remain inexplicably and eerily solemn throughout, even when the danger has passed. Ages 6-8. (Mar.)
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 1-3-- Nobody knows what the dragon wants when it comes flying, with flames and dreadful cries. Each time it comes, the villagers run in fear to jump into the pond until the dragon is gone. One morning, two children listen to the dragon, hear what it wants, and simply give it to him. Satisfied, the dragon transforms into a stable, benign form, becoming Dragon Hill. The double-page paintings, while uncluttered, are full of details that build a sense of environment and atmosphere, and that offer, particularly in the affectionate handling of the rotund figures, comic balance. The luminous, dense coloring and the texture of canvas showing through echo the layers of meaning in the story itself. Multi-layered, this works as a simple, well-shaped dragon tale, as a treatment of the theme of conquering fear with love and understanding, and as a vehicle for resonant mythic overtones. --Karen Litton, London Public Libraries, Ontario, Canada

Product Details

Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
10.63(w) x 8.27(h) x (d)
Age Range:
6 - 8 Years

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