Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Parents' Choice Awards : Books : Picture Books
Rip Van Winkle's Return

Rip Van Winkle's Return

Spring 2007 Picture Books
Ages: 5 & Up
Author: Eric A. Kimmel
Illustrator: Leonard Everett Fisher
ISBN: 978-0-374-36308-6
Hardcover Price: $17.00
Even those who have never read Washington Irving's original tale of Rip Van Winkle can recognize the image of the lazy man who falls asleep under a tree and awakens years later with a long white beard. This new picture book by Eric A. Kimmel retells the story for a new generation of readers. Irving was very fond of lengthy descriptions, particularly of the Upstate New York landscape, while Kimmel's emphasis is more on the characters. Similarly, Leonard Everett Fisher's lovely paintings of colonial America focus on Rip and the townspeople much more so than the region. An author's note makes mention of Kimmel's changes and gives a brief biography of Irving. Despite the changes to Irving's classic text, the spirit of the story and its message about the precious nature of life remain the same. This is a good choice for schoolchildren interested in folklore, and for libraries as well.
Zarina Mullan Plath   ©2007 Parents' Choice
Zarina Mullan Plath has undergraduate degrees in both biology and English. Her interests include cookbooks/culinary history, South Asian literature (especially in regards to South Asians in America), and, of course, children's literature. Her poetry is included in the anthology Sweeping Beauty (U. of Iowa Press, 2005). Zarina lives in Central Illinois with her husband, two children, and assorted pets.

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