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THE THREE GOLDEN ORANGES by Alma Flor Ada

THE THREE GOLDEN ORANGES

By Alma Flor Ada (Adaptor) , Reg Cartwright (Illustrator)

Pub Date: May 1st, 1999
ISBN: 0-689-80775-9
Publisher: Atheneum

Ada (Under the Royal Palms, 1998, etc.) reworks the traditional story of Blancaflor, taking swipes at greed, vanity, and the practice of arranged marriages in the process. Some well-traveled types help make the points: older brothers full of themselves and not above treachery; the innocent, well-intentioned youngest brother; a wise older woman; and a young woman in dire circumstances, with the moral fiber to endure. Here the story revolves around three brothers wishing to wed, and how they seek the advice of an elderly woman and then ignore all her warnings. The two bad-of-heart brothers wind up in a castle jail, and then marriageless; Mat°as, the pure one, liberates a family under a sorcerer’s spell, gains love and marriage, and fulfills his mother’s wishes. Ada invests her lengthy retelling with a quiet musicality that softens the predictability of the narrative. Meanwhile, the Spanish countryside comes blazingly alive under the bold illustrations of Cartwright’s stylized, utterly transporting artwork. (Picture book/folklore. 5-8)