The Stonecutter

Pam Newton, Author, Patricia Montgomery Newton, Author, Pam Newton, Illustrator Putnam Publishing Group $14.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-399-22187-3
This stylish retelling of a folktale from India, reminiscent of the story of the flounder and the fisherman, concerns a poor stonecutter who prays to the mountain spirit for comfort and wealth. After each of his wishes is granted, the stonecutter is surprised to find that he is still discontented. As a rich merchant, he longs to be an even richer king; as the wind, he longs to be an immovable mountain. Finally, he realizes that ``stone by stone, even a mountain is nothing compared to a stonecutter,'' and having become a stonecutter again, he is ``truly happy.'' Newton's pastel art ingeniously blends abstract, rounded shapes with Indian motifs. The stonecutter's face appears in the center of the sun, ``as his thousand wheeling arms searched the earth for a king.'' Especially noteworthy is the lyrical text, which is as smooth and polished as the stonecutter's well-wrought blocks. Ages 4-8. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/01/1990
Release date: 10/01/1990
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