LILY AND THE WOODEN BOWL by Alan Schroeder

LILY AND THE WOODEN BOWL

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KIRKUS REVIEW

On her deathbed, Lily's grandmother extracts from her a pretty wild vow: to wear a lacquered bowl upon her head to protect her innocence from all men. Lily, now alone in the world, keeps her vow, even when she is called to the landlord's house to care for his hateful wife. The wife, Matsu, torments Lily from the word go, but Matsu's son is much taken with the bowl-bedecked Lily, to the point of seeking her in marriage. The despicable Matsu tries to sabotage the event by challenging Lily to perform impossible feats, but one of the two unusual gifts Lily's grandmother left her comes to save the day. Matsu is banished, the marriage goes forth, and -- on cue -- the bowl splits open to rain precious stones down on the wedding party. Schroeder (The Stone Lion, p. 309, etc.) has written a weirdly wonderful adaptation of the Japanese tale (adaptation is putting it mildly, much has been diddled with here). Ito's paintings are enthralling, often resembling the panels of a delicate Japanese screen, with a beautiful sense of space. It's hard to believe that a story of a girl with a bowl on her head could have the credibility, and power, shown here.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1994
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Doubleday