Sailing with the Wind

Sailing with the Wind

5.0 1
by Thomas Locker

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A girl's sailing adventure is lushly illustrated with a series of riverscapes that PW called ``an enduring work of art.'' All ages. (Sept.)
School Library Journal
Gr 4-6 In the pencil-acrylic-watercolor world of children's books, Thomas Locker's Old-Masterly oil paintings cannot help but make an effect. His landscapes evoke such a rich tradition, and are composed of such idealized clouds, trees, and water, that objections may seem not only carping but a positive affront to High Art. His latest book again offers visual pleasures on a level not often reached in children's book illustration: that said, nevertheless it raises problems. Despite the river journey (entirely through an unpopulated and unpolluted wildernessa fantasy voyage) there is a certain monotony to the barely-differentiated settings, inadequately relieved by a sailboat as undetailed as a toy. No dramatically-lit horses, seasonal changes, or even remarkable features of landscape provide interest. The text asserts that this is an adventure, but the relentlessly poetic American pastoral unfolding in the pictures contradicts that claim. The second problem lies with the story. Its symbolic subtext is hardly ambiguous. Elizabeth's bachelor Uncle Jack carries the banner of Romance, and sails his pre-adolescent niece down the river to the ocean she's never seen. Before they're overtaken by a frightening storm they return: ``My uncle was a fine sailor. Now I felt safe again.'' This initial venture onto the waters of adulthood, a deux with a strong and attractive, but ``safe'' and ``understanding'' man, with just enough danger to thrill, and a climactic baptism in a drenching rain, ends with the line, ``I knew my parents were waiting for me and the day was just beginning.'' One must suppose that this book's ideal audience is the pre-pubescent girl, but will she look at a picture book? And if this book does find its readers, those readers will not find in it what they may need most: a hint that sailing against the wind might be what life is all about. Patricia Dooley, formerly at Drexel Univ . , Philadelphia

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Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
8.36(w) x 10.28(h) x 0.11(d)
Age Range:
8 Years

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