Salt: From a Russian Folktale

Jane Langton, Author, Alse Plume, Author, Alice Plume, Translator Hyperion Books $14.95 (1p) ISBN 978-1-56282-178-4
Everyone thinks Ivan the Fool, the youngest of a wealthy merchant's three sons, is too preoccupied with such questions as whether the world is round or flat to be trusted with a sailing expedition of his own. But Ivan protests and is given a boat with the least risky cargo imaginable: wooden spoons. He quickly finds a more lucrative replacement when he chances on an island with a mountain of salt. Sure enough, his newly acquired barrels of salt bring him good fortune: he wins the love of a princess wasting away from gustatory boredom when he secretly flavors her soup, and he wrangles a ride home from a giant by sprinkling salt on his wounded thumb until the giant promises him anything he desires. Despite interference from his brothers, who go so far as to dump him overboard after he has rescued them from their own failed expeditions, Ivan returns home victorious. Caldecott Honor recipient Plume's richly patterned illustrations are filled with Russian folklore motifs and framed in decorative golden borders, as is the text, a formal effect nicely balanced by the soft, glowing palette. The result: a dignified simplicity well-matched by Newbery Honoree Langton's fairy-tale vocabulary and graceful prose. Ages 5-8. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/31/1992
Release date: 09/01/1992
Genre: Children's
Hardcover - 1 pages - 978-1-56282-179-1
Prebound-Glued - 978-0-606-06709-6
Paperback - 32 pages - 978-1-56282-681-9
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