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Shadows and Moonshine
     

Shadows and Moonshine

by Joan Aiken, Pamela Johnson (Illustrator)
 

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The prose of Joan Aiken, her uncanny ability to tell a great story in language that is classically beautiful, her fascinating characters, riveting dialogue, and compelling action, should be better appreciated. Like her father, Conrad Aiken, she is adept at a number of forms but is a master of the short story. In this fetching collection of what she herself considers

Overview

The prose of Joan Aiken, her uncanny ability to tell a great story in language that is classically beautiful, her fascinating characters, riveting dialogue, and compelling action, should be better appreciated. Like her father, Conrad Aiken, she is adept at a number of forms but is a master of the short story. In this fetching collection of what she herself considers thirteen of her best tales, she can be scary (everyone knows her fascination with wolves and witches) and poetic (as in "Moonshine in the Mustard Pot" or "The Lilac in the Lake"). But whatever she sets her hand to, it reads like the work of a master. And set against the lovely and luminous pencil drawings of Pamela Johnson, we have a a baker's dozen of magical tales that will stay with readers long after the last page is turned and the lights turned out.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publishers Weekly
Royals, witches, enchanted pigs, mermaids, wolves and mortals star in the 13 radiant stories included in Shadows and Moonshine by Joan Aiken, illus. by Pamela Johnson, gleaned from a trio of the author's earlier collections. The settings and plots are as varied and imaginative as the characters. In "The Gift Pig," for instance, a spell turns a princess and her friend into pigs and the two are "packed off (in hampers)" to finishing school. Aiken is equally adept at conveying the poignant as the preposterous, as evidenced in "Moonshine in the Mustard Pot," and her dry, at times acerbic wit surfaces in "Cat's Cradle," featuring a mean-spirited young woman who tries to snare the suitor of her deceased sister. ( Jan.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 4-8-With a baker's dozen of those stories Aiken herself considers among her best, this new anthology contains tales originally found in Not What You Expected (1974), Smoke from Cromwell's Time (1970), or The Faithless Lollybird (1978, all Doubleday; o.p.). With delightful imagination and beautiful language, she takes readers to magical places in the back of beyond, where one can don long black gloves to reach the stars and pull them down, or meet weather witches whose job is to provide suitable weather for the citizens' activities. Mermaids, dragons, fairy godmothers, magic harps, and spells with protective powers are woven into the stories in such a way as to make all things possible and believable. Magic has a way of bringing justice into the world and good triumphs over evil. The power of music and song is a theme in many of the stories. Whether scary, satiric, or poetic, Aiken's tales have strong settings, memorable characters, insight, and humor. Several lovely, luminous pencil illustrations accompany the text. An excellent and engaging introduction by the author reveals much about how she writes, where she gets her ideas, and how much she loves short stories. It is unfortunate, then, that this otherwise fine collection is marred by sloppy proofreading.-Connie Tyrrell Burns, Mahoney Middle School, South Portland, ME Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781567923469
Publisher:
Godine, David R. Publishers, Inc.
Publication date:
06/28/2008
Pages:
171
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

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