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Jabari AsimBarthelme, who died in 1989, chose 19th-century wood engravings to illustrate his fabulous fable, and they match his words perfectly. He has crammed the slender book with memorable characters, a story-within-the-story and flashes of "flawless flourishy footlooseness" that all but beg to be read aloud.
Mathilda's djinn describes their adventure as an escapade. That, he explains, is "something you didn't expect which surprises you, pleases you, and frightens you, all at once." Originally published in 1971…should enchant a new generation of youngsters. There is nothing between these pages to frighten a child, but much that will surprise and please.
—The Washington Post