cover image Girl with the Green Ear

Girl with the Green Ear

Margaret Mahy. Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers, $15 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-679-82231-8

Despite a rather ponderous title, this collection is full of airy, light-hearted mirth. Nine tales, like much of Mahy's previous work, proclaim the eventual triumph of the imagination over greed, prejudice and stultifying convention. In ``The Trees''--a particularly powerful story--even the loss of a beloved stand of pines has an unexpected bright side: when the trees are felled, a sweeping view is revealed. Economic difficulties bog down the outrageously rainy town of Trickle, until its ``Thunderstorms and Rainbows'' are parlayed into tourist attractions. Mahy recreates the archetypical cadence of a fairy tale in ``Green Needles,'' the story of Teddy and his encounter with a magical little man who can ``thread a needle with sunshine and sew gold, or with moonlight and sew silver.'' These lilting anecdotes, suffused with a serene allure, will appeal to readers who seek the sparkle of enchantment in even the most commonplace events. Ages 8-12. (Apr.)