Books by Kemal Kurt

THE FIVE FINGERS AND THE MOON by Kemal Kurt
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 15, 1997

Kurt's fairy tale takes place in Elsewhere, beyond the horizon, with its queen and assorted dwarves, brownies, elves, and other kindred souls. They sleep by day and live by night in the light of the moon. When the moon stalls one night, Elsewhere's citizens panic: The grain will stop growing, the cows will stop giving milk, etc. The five fingers are summoned (`` `There's nothing the five fingers of the hand can't do,' said an old fairy with a bent back'') and they go about working their various talents—Thumbkin's strength, Pointer's thieving, Long Man's height, Gold Man's healing, and Pinkie's storytellingto set the community to rights. Fantastical, problematical, and portentousthis is good solid folk material, with a suitably peculiar cast of characters. Blau, in his first book, brings out the story's eccentricities in craggy, shadowy illustrations, wrapped in color and tinged with menace; it's hard to care about this odd place, Elsewhere, but the illustrations have the austere beauty of a light in darkness. (Picture book/folklore. 5-8) Read full book review >