Five Fingers and the Moon

Kemel Kurt, Author, Kemal Kurt, Author, A. Blau, Author
Kemel Kurt, Author, Kemal Kurt, Author, A. Blau, Author NorthSouth $15.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-55858-801-1
Paperback - 32 pages - 978-1-55858-802-8
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With eccentric charm, this tale tells of a crisis in the land of Elsewhere whose citizens ""slept by day and lived their lives by night,"" and is rendered with a dark, muted palette and an expressionist style. The moon is stuck, and for the dwarves, fairies and other Elsewhere inhabitants--a shadowy, rather ghoulish crowd, not the sweet fairies of traditional tales--this is a calamitous event. The Queen and her glum Council call in Thumbkin, Pointer and the other fingers of the hand, noting ""there's nothing the five fingers of the hand can't do."" The fingers get to work (e.g., stout Thumbkin throws back a missing piece of the moon, thieving Pointer steals back one last evasive bit from the Lord of Darkness), and throughout, the moon's broad face looks down, transformed by emotions that range from pained to hopeful to blissful. Blau, in his picture book debut, fabricates a smoky blue and moss green world in which tall buildings stand alongside canvas tents and devils cavort with unicorns. The elongated faces of his Dickensian characters reflect the pallor of sunless decades, but his benign midnight crowd will elicit no nightmares. Like the tales of Grimm, this sophisticated story by a European author-illustrator team will appeal to children ready to delve into the realm of the mysterious and the magical. Ages 5-8. (Sept.)
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