cover image Rip Van Winkle

Rip Van Winkle

Washington Irving, John Howe. Little Brown and Company, $14.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-316-37578-8

Howe, working in a style that is just as realistic as Locker's (see above), highlights the comic gifts of Irving's story: his Rip waves jauntily to a scarecrow, sneaks away from the house unaware that a stern Dame Van Winkle looks on and, in one frame, is seen scrambling out the door away from the shrewish, pointing finger of his wife (the rest of her is offstage). Henry Hudson's crew are a wild-eyed, caricatured bunch; Rip, upon awakening, has ivy and brambles clinging to his hat and pants, and his beard sails down past his knees. He returns to his village and is mistaken for a soldier of the American revolution; but soon settles into a serene life with his daughter and is lastly shown carving from wood the figures of the small men from his ``night'' on the mountain. This is a vivid piece of storytelling, which takes full advantage of the atmospheric Catskill setting. Howe good-spiritedly taps the elements of the tale that make it an American favorite. Ages 4-8. (September)