The Walking Stick

Overview

In this exquisitely wrought tale, young Van finds a walking stick at the foot of a huge teak tree. Blessed by Buddha, it becomes his talisman, his life long link to the past, and the support he will need to carry him into the uncertain future. For when the winds of change blow, not even the deep forest of Vietnam remains safe. With the walking stick and his indomitable spirit, Van leads his family to safety and new land. Though the years pass in peace, the ever present tap tapping of the brass-tipped walking ...

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Overview

In this exquisitely wrought tale, young Van finds a walking stick at the foot of a huge teak tree. Blessed by Buddha, it becomes his talisman, his life long link to the past, and the support he will need to carry him into the uncertain future. For when the winds of change blow, not even the deep forest of Vietnam remains safe. With the walking stick and his indomitable spirit, Van leads his family to safety and new land. Though the years pass in peace, the ever present tap tapping of the brass-tipped walking stick is Van's constant reminder of the customs, voices, and land he will always remember with love. When the stick's long odyssey is finally over, it is Van's granddaughter who carries it home and places it at Buddha's feet.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Kathleen Karr
Several generations of a Vietnamese family are explored through the device of a walking stick lovingly made from a fallen branch of an ancient teak tree growing near a Buddhist temple. Under the watchful shadow of Buddha, Van and his family leave their war-torn country for foreign shores. It is his granddaughter who finally returns to offer the stick back to Buddha. Trottier's story describes change and inter-cultural growth with simplicity and charm. Golouchko's pictures catch the brilliant colors of both worlds, while defining their differences.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3 A simple, well-crafted tale. Van, a young Vietnamese boy, finds a teak stick near a Buddhist temple where his uncle, a monk, lives. The man fashions the wood into a brass-tipped walking stick for his nephew and says that now the Buddha "will watch over you no matter where you go, and bring you safely home." Van carries the stick with him always, even when he and his family flee their war-torn country and cross the ocean. On long walks years later, he tells his granddaughter stories of his homeland. When she decides to go there, he gives her the walking stick; which she leaves as an offering at the foot of a Buddha during her travels. The expressionist-style paintings vibrate with dots, sinuous lines, and bold colors on a flat plane. Intriguing faces peer from trees, mountains, and sky. The walking stick, however, seems to change appearance, while the oceangoing "rusty vessel" resembles a luxury liner. Overall, though, the story satisfies and the illustrations are striking. Diane S. Marton, Arlington County Library, VA Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781554552399
  • Publisher: Fitzhenry & Whiteside, Limited
  • Publication date: 10/30/2012
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 6 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.30 (w) x 11.30 (h) x 0.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Maxine Trottier is a prolific author of books for young people. Born in Michigan, she moved to Canada with her family ten years later. She lives with her husband William in Newfoundland where her studio overlooks the Atlantic Ocean.
 
Annouchka Gravel Galouchko was born in Montreal. She won the Governor General's Award for Illustration in 1995 for Sho and the Demons of the Deep.

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