The Man Who Kept His Heart in a Bucket

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Love is always worth the risk--that's the message pulsing through this thoroughly captivating story firmly rooted in the folktale tradition. Jack is a lad whose heart was once broken, and he now keeps it in a bucket, safe from harm. Fearful of rejection, he holds himself aloof from friends and neighbors, allowing nothing--neither delicious food generously shared, a lilting melody, a baby--to move or engage him. Magic cracks his resolve, though, when a carp is transformed into a maiden who steals his heart, promising to return it only when he's solved a riddle. He does so, losing his heart to the maiden but thereby gaining the richness of spirit he lacked. Levitin ( Incident at Loring Groves ; The Return ), is in fine form here; her eloquent, fluid story is a celebration of life and of love. Pinkney's ( The Talking Eggs ; Mirandy and Brother Wind ) dreamy, evocative watercolors, as subtly shaded as the dawn, are brimming with vitality and joy, though some readers may find his rather toothy characters--all of whom bear a curious resemblance to one another--a bit off-putting. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)
School Library Journal
Gr 3-5-- Young Jack, the village tinker, can keep his mind on his busines of making pots and pans as long as he carries his heart--once broken--in a bucket. Of course, he feels no delight in tasting the baker's finest pie, or hearing the piper's music, or hugging a new baby at a farm. But when he stops for water, dipping his bucket into a stream, he loses his heart to a great carp that leaps into the air and becomes a beautiful maiden. She gives him a riddle in exchange: Jack will get his heart back when he finds three golden scales. By the time Jack accomplishes this, he knows that a heart is useless in a bucket. Levitin's cleverly created story, structured like a traditional folktale, is enhanced by Pinkney's watercolor and pencil scenes of ruddy-cheeked Eastern European peasants, thatched roof cottages, and lush green countryside. The moral of the story, that a heart should be in the right place, brings a touch of romance and a satisfying ending to the tale. --Shirley Wilton, Ocean County College, Toms River, NJ
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780140554618
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/1/1995
  • Edition description: REPRINT
  • Pages: 40
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.32 (w) x 10.94 (h) x 0.15 (d)

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