Melanie is blind. When her grandfather tells her of a healer who may be able to restore her sight, she begs to go to him....

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MELANIE

Melanie is blind. When her grandfather tells her of a healer who may be able to restore her sight, she begs to go to him. Instead, the grandfather undertakes the difficult journey alone--beyond a great forest and across a bridge, below which lives a troll who turns wayfarers into gulls and keeps their gold--to fetch the healer, and doesn't come back. Melanie sets out to find him, negotiating the forest with the help of an elk, and unaffected by the troll's magic because she can't see him. The troll pulls her off the bridge, he drowns, she lives, and the gulls change back into people, one of whom is her grandfather. There is no healer, after all, but Melanie is content. Carrick (Whaling Days, 1993, etc.) includes all the elements of a good fairy tale except timing: There is too much labored description and too little plot, with most of the action condensed into a few paragraphs. Dianov's watercolors are framed in baroque swirls and packed with tactile details. Everything from the knobs on Melanie's spinning wheel to the troll's red shoelaces house is in sharp, bright focus--everything, that is, but the story.

Pub Date: Aug. 16, 1996

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Clarion

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1996