GOOD AND PERFECT GIFTS by Barry--Adapt. & Illus. Moser


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An illustrated reworking of O. Henry's ""The Gift of the Magi,"" set in present-day Appalachia. The struggling newlyweds are Fenton, an auto mechanic who is acquiring his own set of Snap-on tools, at the rate of one piece at a time, and Rebecca, a hairdresser and Sunday school teacher whose prized possession is a quilt that was a wedding present from her late mother. Fenton sells his tools to buy an antique chest for the quilt, but Rebecca has sold it to buy her husband a toolbox. Moser retains both the sweetness and the irony of O. Henry's story; the only jarring notes occur in some of the characters' names and in the region's speech patterns, which are overdone to the point of caricature. For the masterly illustrations, Moser works in watercolor on brown paper, keeping the pictures nearly monochromatic but for subdued touches of red, green, and blue. The timeless plot, painstakingly particularized in both text and pictures, will resonate with young readers.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1997
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: "Little, Brown"