Stone Men

Nicki Weiss, Author Greenwillow Books $14 (1p) ISBN 978-0-688-11015-4
``Tell me a story, Grandma . . . one you never told before,'' requests Arnie, and grandmother obliges with an original tale about a valiant peddler. The always-silent Isaac sells his wares ``from one isolated village to another'' and, presumably to assuage his loneliness, constructs a man out of stone as he leaves each stop along his route. When the peddler overhears a group of soldiers plotting to ransack a nearby village, he hatches a singular solution to protect its inhabitants. In a piquant final twist, Grandma brings this forceful narrative full circle. The creator of Maude and Sally and Where Does the Brown Bear Go? illustrates her unaffected prose with uncluttered, cartoony illustrations in pastels and colored pencils. (The present-day pictures, showing an affable Arnie and a commendably youthful grandmother, are distinguished by their variegated borders.) Economy in prose and art produces a picture book with the power and pungency of the finest folk tales. Ages 4-up. (Mar. )
Reviewed on: 03/01/1993
Release date: 03/01/1993
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