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The Story of Wali Dad

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Adapted from Lang's Brown Fairy Book , this tale is a parable of the ways in which one generous act begets another. Its central figure is Wali Dad, a humble man living in India. Even the little he earns exceeds his needs, so he buys a beautiful bracelet and has it sent to a princess renowned for her kindness. Greatly touched, the princess sends Wali Dad some fine silks, which he in turn passes on to a noble prince. The prince responds with a gift of horses, which Wali Dad immediately consigns to the princess; and so on. In the end, Wali Dad receives the satisfaction of bringing the prince and princess together in marriage and of seeing his initial gift still cherishedrich rewards indeed. Rodanas has created brilliant tableaux for this pleasing tale. With vivid royal colors and a profusion of patterns (marketplace wares, elegant silks and jewel-bedecked menageries) she evokes the opulence and pageantry of imperial India. Quieter scenes aptly mirror Wali Dad's continued satisfaction with a humble life. Ages 5-8. (September)
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2 Wali Dad, an Indian peasant, had saved a few pennies each day, and he spends his earnings on a small gold bracelet. Wishing to share his treasure, he asks a merchant friend to bestow the bracelet upon ``the kindest and most beautiful woman he had ever met.'' However, when the merchant presents the bracelet to the Princess of Khaistan, she shows her appreciation with a camel-load of fine silks for Wali Dad. Overwhelmed by her response, Wali Dad asks the merchant to deliver the silks to ``the most honorable young prince in the land.'' The prince reciprocates with a thank you gift of 12 splendid horses, and from then on each gift becomes more extravagant. Through Wali Dad, the prince and princess meet, fall in love, and are married. Adapted from the version in Lang's The Brown Fairy Book (Dover, 1965), Rodanas has trimmed the text, sacrificing some of the rich images and humorous details for a more concise retelling. She has also ``taken the liberty of substituting an act of human generosity for the fairy transformation'' because it would seem more ``plausible.'' Unfortunately, the tale loses much of its enchantment with this change, and the ending of this version is not as satisfying as Lang's. Comparisons aside, the tale does stand on its own. The real strength of the book lies in its lavish, jewel-toned paintings, which are filled with brilliant color and fascinating detail. The effective use of perspective commands readers' attention in the foreground and invites them to delve into the background. The text reads well aloud, and when combined with the illustrations, proves a good choice for sharing with a group. Starr LaTronica, North Berkeley Library, Calif.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780688072629
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/1/1988
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years

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