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THE MALACHITE PALACE by Alma Flor Ada

THE MALACHITE PALACE

By Alma Flor Ada (Author) , Rosalma Zubizarreta (Translator) , Leonid Gore (Illustrator)

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: May 1st, 1998
ISBN: 0-689-31972-X
Publisher: Atheneum

From Ada (The Lizard and the Sun, 1997, etc.), an original fairy tale that is predictable, elevated to beauty by Gore’s paintings. A princess—a child—is isolated in a palace, away from the “rude,” “ignorant,” and “common” children who play outside her gates. One day an exquisite yellow bird visits her, singing a joyful tune; the princess cages it and its joy fades. She frees the bird, and eventually frees herself, joining the children outside. The message is heavy-handed, the telling is without style, the setting is nondescript. The illustrations, however, are ephemeral: The princess and her surroundings are depicted in Gore’s paintings as if they are seen through gauze. The angles of the characters’ faces, the sharp definition of the cage, the detailed scrollwork of the windows and gates are all in perfect contrast to the hazy existence of a friendless princess—an isolation based on prejudice and hearsay, and one to be willingly shattered. (Picture book. 4-8)