Another of Sendak's magical, mystical fairy tales, illustrated in kind with Miller's mistily dreamlike pictures. The boy...

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THE MAGIC TEARS

Another of Sendak's magical, mystical fairy tales, illustrated in kind with Miller's mistily dreamlike pictures. The boy Yanos (blessed with no background or characterization except the memory of his father's words, ""Yes. Yes. Why not? Perhaps someday you will be a hunter"") leaves his room one night to follow a strange dog (really a wolf) who is walking on his hind legs like a man. The animal leads him to a forest where he is befriended by Marvo the Magician and sent to destroy the evil wolf and fetch the tears of a witch girl. Gradually Yanos comes to realize that the girl and the wolf are innocent, and Marvo proves to be diabolic when he melts away under Yanos' kiss. The confusion between good and evil is effectively projected, but there is really no moral ambiguity here, only a factual question of who is telling the truth. Similarly Yanos' strange encounters -- among them a conversation with a disembodied head that bites the finger Yanos dips into a stream -- having a haunting kind of unreality, but there is no organic connection between them or any compelling progression from one to the next.

Pub Date: Nov. 24, 1971

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Harper & Row

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 1971