THE WRECK OF THE ZEPHYR by Chris Van Allsburg


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The wreck of a small sailboat, on a cliff high above the sea Inquiring, the narrator is told of a boy who, many years earlier, had set out on a stormy day. . . and had come-to on the shore of a strange land where ships flew. After first failing to ""catch the wind that made the boats fly,"" he succeeds, and flies the Zephyr home; but before he can show the villagers that he's ""the greatest sailor of all,"" the wind shifts and the boat falls at the cliff's edge. No one ever believed his story, we hear--in a typical we-know-better, one-against-the-world ending. A couple of the broadly stylized full-color paintings do indeed have an empathic appeal--the sailboat passing over dark, heavy clouds, then clearing the village church--but most of this is pretentiously banal. It's also less contrived and keyed-up, however, than Van Allsburg's earlier work.

Pub Date: March 23rd, 1983
ISBN: 0395330750
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin