Philomene

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More About This Book

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This first-time author-illustrator has created a droll though somewhat insubstantial picture book reminiscent of Ludwig Bemelmans. Philomene, the tale's scrappy heroine, strides boldly into the woods to rout out the resident evil witch, the ``flea of the forest.'' The girl, armed with only her small red pocketbook, is transported to the witch's castle, where she proceeds to vanquish the hag. The whimsical illustrations, with their bright watercolors and delicate black ink lines demonstrate that in Philomene's capable hands things are not as frightening as they first appear: trees in the forest boast gnarled but rather comical human faces; the purple-frocked witch rides a huge batlike creature no more threatening than a Sendak Wild Thing; the castle laboratory, crammed with lizards and bubbling potions, holds the key to Philomene's triumph. Somewhat disappointingly, this victory comes too easily for most tastes--youngsters would probably like to see Wilsdorf's self-assured heroine toil a bit before her eventual conquest. Ages 4-up. (May)
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-- Philomene doesn't believe it when the other children tell her a witch lives in the forest, so she ventures there all by herself to find out. When the witch appears, riding an enormous bat, she whisks Philomene off to her castle. There, the plucky heroine not only tames the bat but foils the hag in the bargain. A wordless last page shows the witch, transformed into a small green frog, in the jaws of a hungry heron. Oversized, full-page watercolors add deliciously spooky touches--trees that look on with big eyes at the action, stuffed (or live?) alligators, snakes, and lizards in the witch's laboratory. Wilsdorf makes effective use of the turning page to highlight suspenseful moments; through it all, Philomene never loses either her composure or her sailor hat and red pocketbook. Although the language is not always as crisp as the fast-paced tale demands, this will be fun to share at story times for listeners who like Hansel and Gretel , or Nash's The Adventures of Isabel.--Caroline Parr, Central Rappahannock Regional Lib . , Fredericksburg, VA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780688103699
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/1/1992
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Pages: 1

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