Zebra-Striped Whale With the Polka-Dot Tail

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Overview

With illustrations featuring a wide variety of materials, including string, coins, glitter, paint, and fabric, this enchanting modern-day fairy tale follows two young sisters as they travel through a fantasy world in a crystal boat accompanied by a whale with a polka-dot tail. Along the journey, the girls view a world quite the opposite of what they know: where no belly is hungry and no soul is poor, where no baby cries and nothing living dies. However, the girls eventually realize that all that glitters is not ...

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Overview

With illustrations featuring a wide variety of materials, including string, coins, glitter, paint, and fabric, this enchanting modern-day fairy tale follows two young sisters as they travel through a fantasy world in a crystal boat accompanied by a whale with a polka-dot tail. Along the journey, the girls view a world quite the opposite of what they know: where no belly is hungry and no soul is poor, where no baby cries and nothing living dies. However, the girls eventually realize that all that glitters is not gold and that no life can be perfect.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
After the death of her father, the author wrote this poem about a journey taken by her two daughters. They travel in a crystal boat accompanied by a whale with a polka-dot tail. They spiral higher and higher to a place that is the opposite of the world they know; all that is false is true, all that is true is false. As they observe this new space where no baby cries and nothing living dies, they realize that it is not perfect. No new children can be born and they are not themselves. It is revealed that all that glitters is not gold. The illustrations are collages of a wide variety of materials, including string, coins, glitter, paint and fabric. They are jarring and lack visual focus, and the intended message is as unfocused as the artwork. 2001, Arimax, . Ages 4 to 8. Reviewer: Kristin Harris
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-Two children enter a fantasy world in which "No belly is hungry./No soul is poor," where volcanoes are made of fudge and trees are made of pretzels. The author/illustrator explains that the inspiration for this book was the sudden death of her beloved father and that she worked for 10 years to create the illustrations to the verses that poured out of her in response to her loss. Despite an extravagant use of varied materials including glitter, faux gems, metallic lace, different papers and paints, and an exuberant palette, the collages do little to engage children. Moreover, Donahue's words range from the oblique ("-all trues are FALSE/And all falses are TRUE") to the platitudinous ("All that glitters is surely not gold!"). Although the author and her family undoubtedly found solace in working on this book, it has nothing that is revelatory or useful for the rest of us.-Miriam Lang Budin, Chappaqua Public Library, NY Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780963428738
  • Publisher: Arimax, Inc
  • Publication date: 3/1/2001
  • Pages: 48
  • Age range: 2 - 6 Years
  • Product dimensions: 11.30 (w) x 11.30 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Shari Faden Donahue is a children's picture book author and illustrator whose titles include Celebrate Hanukkah with Me and My Favorite Family Haggadah. She lives in New Hope, Pennsylvania.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2001

    Reminiscent of a book by Shel Silverstein

    I originally purchased this book for my neices because of the colorful illustrations, however, I ended up getting a copy for myself after I read the book. The book reminds me of 'The Giving Tree' by Shel Silverstein. I loved that book as a child and keep it on my bookshelf today. As with 'The Giving Tree', there's a moral behind the story of Maxime and Ariel's adventure with the 'whale with a polka-dot tail.' It seems to me that the author is conveying that while we may all have the inevitable 'grass is greener' syndrome, we have plenty to be content with. Our family and friends are the true source of happiness! Now that's refreshing!

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