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Pied Piper of Hamelin

Pied Piper of Hamelin

by Barbara Bartos-Hoppner, Annegert Fuchshuber (Illustrator)

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School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 1-3 This is the second retelling of this famous folktalk to appear recently. The first, by Mercer Mayer (Macmil lan, 1987), used many familiar elements but bent them towards didactic ends, turning the story into a fable, complete with moral (``a promise is a promise''). Bartos-Hoppner has chosen a more tra ditional retelling using her creativity not to change the story, but to deepen it with detail and some characterization. Thus, Hamelin and its rodent problem are given concrete background and de scription before the piper quietly ap pears at the local inn to make his pro posal. Although Bartos-Hoppner concludes with the traditional specula tion that the children lived happy lives in Transylvania, there are hints of the Children's Crusade, and Bartos- Hoppner suggests that the piper may have taken the children to ``an under ground realm from which he himself had come.'' Thus her retelling pre serves the haunting ambiguity of the story and its power, as well as its moral underpinnings, but subtly, by using style and concrete description to bring Hamelin and its residents to life. Fuch shuber, whose style echoes Barbara Cooney and Adrienne Adams, aids her in this, offering large, colorful paintings done in medieval perspective and full of movement and detail. Lovers of the Pied Piper myth will prefer this book over the Mayer version as it is truer to its spirit of mystery and regret. Chris tine Behrmann, New York Public Li brary

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HarperCollins Children's Books
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Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

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