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School Library Journal
Gr 3-6- This handsome picture book remains true to the tone of Mary Mapes Dodge's original, 19th-century novel. Coville highlights the action of the original story, in which Hans Brinker bravely acquires medical help for his ailing father, finds his family's missing money, reunites a lost son and father, and unselfishly gives of himself during the famed ice-skating race. A note at the end provides additional information about Dodge and her book. In it, Coville addresses the melodramatic tone of the novel and encourages readers to view Hans Brinker as a positive role model. The oil illustrations are perfect for this story and setting. Paying homage to Brueghel, Long's winter landscapes and depictions of village life are subtly lit by a chilly sun, and many pictures are reminiscent of the paintings of great Dutch masters. The artist used white, gray, and blue tones to capture the sense of ice, winter, and cold. Composition suggests still-life paintings and portraits executed by Vermeer and Rembrandt. The text, which is best suited for older readers, is set on light beige pages that resemble the crackled pottery glaze of antique Delftware. This striking work is an ideal way to introduce a classic story to a new generation of readers.-Shawn Brommer, South Central Library System, Madison, WICopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.