THE FISH PERI by Ariane--Adapt. & Illus. Dewey


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In this latest story of a suitor assigned impossible tasks, the maidenly prize is a Fish Peri (or magic spirit) whose fish scales Ahmed the fisherman threw into the fire: ""'You shouldn't have done that. Now I cannot go back into the sea,' the girl said calmly."" The flatness of the statement and the girl's complacency set the tone--unemotional through and through. To keep her for himself, Ahmed must then do the tasks assigned him by the covetous Padishah--apprised of which, his beloved says, ""hugging him"": ""Don't worry. We can do it."" And with the help of her uncle the Genie they readily produce a palace in the sea, a crystal bridge to reach it, and a feast for all the Padishah's subjects. He, enraged, demands ""an egg with a mule in it"" and finally a walking, talking infant not more than a day old--which, in the book's second sign of life (the kicking mule is the first), so terrorizes the Padishah that he's ready to consent to the marriage of Ahmed and the maiden to get rid of it. The pages are attractively laid out and colored but the pictures themselves are inert--until, again, the appearance of that funny, fighting baby. (He can even get away with the words, ""Let's go."")

Pub Date: March 12th, 1979
Publisher: Macmillan