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Nightingale and the Wind

Nightingale and the Wind

by Paul Mandelstein, Pamela Silin-Palmer (Illustrator)

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Opulent paintings illustrate a mythical tale of love and freedom in this unusual but ultimately unsuccessful picture book. A wordy text tells how Falcon has imprisoned Nightingale so that she will sing to him and relieve his sadness. Yet, unhappy in her cage, Nightingale can sing only one melancholy melody until the Wind offers her freedom. In an operatic face-off, Falcon learns to accept Nightingale's independence and a new era of love descends on the world. There is little in the way of plot, and the concerns of the text--the nature of love and freedom--are not developed with sufficient imagination to maintain the interest of most readers. Newcomer Silin-Palmer's ornate artwork follows the melodramatic narrative with a range of compositions, from baroque still lifes spilling grapes and foxgloves, to wispy pastels, to a full-spread formal portrait of animals in Shakespearean attire. The artist's impressive attention to detail and the dapperly dressed animals are enjoyable, but the overall effect of the volume is overblown and even garish. Ages 8-up. (June)
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-Mandelstein updates Hans Christian Andersen's The Nightingale by changing the emperor into a falcon and tossing in huge doses of New Age philosophy. The Wind, represented as a mystical lion that looks more like a cloud formation than anything else, offers to help free the Nightingale, but only if the Nightingale ``truly wants'' its freedom. Later the Wind tells the angry Falcon, ``...it is not I who created the pain that you feel-it was there deep inside you before I arrived.'' And finally, the Wind offers the raptor these words of advice: ``Until you practice giving love, you will not receive love.'' Of course, the Falcon frees the Nightingale, whose beautiful sad song turns into a beautiful happy song. The illustrations of the birds in Renaissance-styling clothing and other animals, done in oils, are unappealing, at times even bordering on the repulsive. The wordy text is sometimes difficult to read since it is occasionally slapped on over the illustrations. Skip this didactic and poorly designed book.-George Delalis, formerly at Oakland Public Library, CA

Product Details

Publication date:
Product dimensions:
8.87(w) x 10.31(h) x 0.38(d)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

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