THE PAPER BAG PRINCE by Colin Thompson
Kirkus Star


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A gaunt old man spends every day at the town dump, feeding the many creatures that live there, poking through junk for firewood, clothes, and paper bags, and trying to ignore the thundering trucks. His name long forgotten, he has been dubbed the ""Paper Bag Prince"" by a truck driver. Then the dump is closed; a woman comes to explain that rubbish will now be burned, and the land--taken over 40 years ago after the old man's farmhouse burned--is his once more. Pleased, he gets two railroad cars to add to the one already there and moves back his belongings. As winter comes on, nature also begins to repossess the ravaged ground. In Thompson's lovely, intricate art--meticulously penned details relieved by broader expanses of earth or sky, all cleverly bordered with amalgamations of bits of junk and homely articles, tiny animals and irrepressible plants, bleak evidence of reckless waste and comic pictorial commentary--signs of life and renewal creep in everywhere, even in a grim spread of the ""Poison Pool."" More than just another ecological fantasy, this dump is a compelling symbol of the earth itself; it's to be hoped that, like the old man, humanity will be here to welcome nature back if the pollution ever abates.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1992
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Knopf