The Well of The Wind

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In language as resonant as bells, a renowned novelist tells of young courage outwitting old evil. To begin, a boy must confront a subtle witch, next, a great cat who sleeps with its eyes open, then, a giant oak encircled by wolves and a worm-all to reach the Well of the Wind. When the boy does not return, his sister starts out alone to seek him. "Who hates you so much that they send you there?" asks a thin stranger when he hears of her brother's quest. The girl journeys on, whistling, and comes to a gate between ...
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Overview

In language as resonant as bells, a renowned novelist tells of young courage outwitting old evil. To begin, a boy must confront a subtle witch, next, a great cat who sleeps with its eyes open, then, a giant oak encircled by wolves and a worm-all to reach the Well of the Wind. When the boy does not return, his sister starts out alone to seek him. "Who hates you so much that they send you there?" asks a thin stranger when he hears of her brother's quest. The girl journeys on, whistling, and comes to a gate between two trees in the wood of the witch, then a tower filled with rising water, a bird and a bow and arrow, and finally her brother, turned to stone. "We got from that," the girl tells the boy once she has freed him from the witch's enchantment. "Perhaps we shall get from this." Like all good endings, theirs is both surprising and perfect .

Two orphaned children manage to outwit a witch and return to their rightful home.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Kathleen Kelly
This book is less a fairy-tale than a melange of fairy-tale elements. Centering around a boy and girl who were found drifting, Moses-like, in the sea, the story bounces from their upbringing by a poor fisherman to a series of quests undertaken by both children years later. In between, several fairy-tale standards are thrown in: a wicked witch, a talking bird, a mysterious forest guide, and people turned to stone. In the end, the children are reunited with their true parents and identified by the stars marked upon their foreheads. The story reads like a dream, bouncing from image to image, and Blondon's atmospheric illustrations reflect that quality. Although the tale lacks the coherence of many traditional fairy tales, fans of the darker classics, such as the tales of the Brothers Grimm, may be intrigued by the emotionally charged imagery found here.
School Library Journal
Gr 3-5-Though there are no source notes, this selection bears many classical motifs: three tasks, foster children with surprising identities, and even a spinning building. The narrative begins with a fisherman finding two babies in a crystal box. They have a red silk cloth between them, from which the man fashions headbands to hide the stars on the children's foreheads. Their guardian dies when the youngsters are half grown, leaving them in his shack on the beach. Then a witch starts coming around, sending the boy off on quests designed to kill him. With a little help from a thin man on the road, he survives the first two trials, but does not return from the third. It is up to his whistling sister to achieve a happy conclusion, which of course is a reunion, not only of the siblings, but also of the children and their birth parents, the king and queen. This is a big disappointment from Garner. The spare writing style that made The Stone Book (Collins, 1978; o.p.) so breathtaking leaves too many gaps here. The brevity also robs the story of any emotion. There is no grief over the dead foster father, no worries about the brother, and the king and queen show up too late to be of any use, except to tie up the tale. The artwork is as sterile as the text and makes as much sense. Done in an abstract, realistic style, the muted earth-toned pictures are full of sharp angles and odd perspectives. In combination with the weak story, the dreary illustrations create a leaden whole.-Patricia A. Dollisch, DeKalb County Public Library, Decatur, GA
Kirkus Reviews
A man in a boat, fishing, finds a boy and girl floating in a crystal box. He takes care of them, but soon dies. Growing up alone in the man's hut, the children are visited by a witch, who sends the boy on three impossible quests. He accomplishes the first two with help from a mysterious thin man in the woods, but fails to return from the third. His sister finds him turned to stone and rescues him, acquiring a diamond on the way; they decide to present it to the king and queen, who turn out to be their real parents. Stylized prose is matched by highly stylized, almost geometric illustrations done largely in warm shades of orange. The story has the rhythm, repetitiveness, and threefold structure of classic fairytales; it's without characterizations, while the reasons for the children's abduction and manipulation by the witch remain mysterious. Still, it is satisfying, and casts a lovely spell. (Folklore. 7-11)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780789425195
  • Publisher: DK Publishing, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/15/1998
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 48
  • Age range: 6 - 9 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.79 (w) x 8.32 (h) x 0.38 (d)

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 6, 2014

    Awesome....!Beautiful....!Wonderful....!I really enjoy it.....!

    Awesome....!Beautiful....!Wonderful....!I really enjoy it.....!

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