To Capture the Wind

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Gregory Manchess New York, New York, U.S.A. 1997 Hard Cover New 9 x 11 1/2. First Edition. First printing. Glossy pictorial hardcover. No DJ. Minimal shelfwear. A young Irish ... maiden must answer riddles while she and her beloved plot to escape from the pirate king. Read more Show Less

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1997 Hardcover New Type: Book-Since 1997 delivering quality books to our neighbors, all around the world!

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
MacGill-Callahan (The Children of Lir) combines the flavor of a traditional tale with a few gender reversals in this spirited story. Here, an Irish farm woman rescues her kidnapped beloved from a pirate king. Resourceful Oonagh learns that if she claims to seek the pirate king's son's hand in marriage, she will be set four riddles to answerand given four weeks to come up with a rescue plan for herself and her intended. She handles the first three riddles with ease, and the final riddle"How do you capture the wind on the water?"leads her to invent sails, which enables the prisoners' escape by boat. The simple, occasionally poetic prose ("White, blue, and scarlet wings blossom over the boats" when the sails are raised) maintains a lively clip. Manchess debuts with brushy, impressionistic oils that give the characters a stalwart, rough-hewn look. An often luxuriant sense of color, strongly modeled forms, unusual angles and dramatic close-ups also make his work more robust than a more strictly realistic treatment.While fairy tale lovers will find the structure of this story familiar, its animated revisions offer welcome twists on well-worn formulas. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Rebecca Joseph
In this beautifully written and illustrated text, Irish maiden Oonagh must answer four riddles to save her beloved Conal. He has been kidnapped by the evil pirate king, Malcolm, who wants to use Conal's spectacular weaving skills for his own selfish purposes. When Oonagh goes to save Conal, she pretends to be there to woo Malcolm's son. To win his hand, she must answer four riddles over a 28-day period. During this time, she and Conal plan their escape, but can she answer the riddles successfully to make their plan work? This fantastic book tells a gripping story and is accompanied by spectacular oil painting illustrations.
School Library Journal
Gr 1-3Oonagh's life is a happy one until the day that Malcolm, the pirate king, captures the best weavers and needleworkers of Ireland, including her betrothed, and carries them off to his island. After a princess (whose true love is also a prisoner) describes her experiences in Malcolm's clutches, Oonagh devises a plan to free the slaves and travels to the brigands' stronghold. Once there, she agrees to answer the pirate's demand that she solve four riddles in four weeks. During her month on the island, she wins Malcolm's approval with three clever answers. Her final response to the fourth riddle, "How do you capture the wind on the water?" becomes obvious when the prisoners make their perilous but ultimately successful escape using Oonagh's invention, which is also the riddle's answersails. This original story is presented in lyrical language that captures the traditional cadence of much-told tales. The text is so lean, however, that it occasionally moves from scene to scene without the background required to lend coherence to events. The accompanying oil paintings on full- and double-page spreads use color and bold brushwork in a manner reminiscent of N. C. Wyeth. The strong contrast of light and dark, heroic perspectives, and hollow-eyed pirates combine to add drama and depth to the spare prose. Well suited to reading aloud, this story will satisfy armchair adventurers with its resourceful heroine and swashbuckling intrigue.Carol Ann Wilson, Westfield Memorial Library, NJ
Kirkus Reviews
MacGill-Callahan (When Solomon Was King, 1995, etc.) explores the Celtic world in this story starring an ingenious Irish maiden, Oonagh, who answers a pirate king's riddles to win back her betrothed, an expert weaver named Conal.

Expert agriculturalist Oonagh will wed Conal on May Day; he's happy, she's happy. Then the warriors of Malcolm, pirate king of the islands, kidnap Conal and every other person skilled with needle and loom. Oonagh, rushing to rescue Conal, comes across Ethne, a southern princess pining for the love of Malcolm's son, Aidan, whom she thinks she's lost because she failed to solve a series of riddles. Undeterred, Oonagh rows to the pirate's isle, issues her challenge, answers the riddles, and escapes with Aidan, Conal, and the pirates' kidnapped slaves by inventing sails—"a new word for a new idea." As the book swashbuckles to its not unforeseen ecstatic end, all loose ends are knotted up as neatly as expert-weaver Conal would have wished: There's a double wedding, and Malcolm is laughed out of countenance, becoming "the proudest grandfather in all Ireland." In Manchess's first picture book, painterly oils answer the demands of this story, with fierce posturing on all sides. Oonagh's swagger and riddle-answering will appeal to young readers, even if the motives behind all the heroism isn't particularly germane to most in the picture-book set.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780803715417
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/1/1997
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 11.32 (w) x 8.84 (h) x 0.37 (d)

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