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RIP VAN WINKLE’S RETURN by Eric A. Kimmel

RIP VAN WINKLE’S RETURN

By Eric A. Kimmel (Author) , Leonard Everett Fisher (Illustrator)

Age Range: 8 - 10

Pub Date: April 10th, 2007
ISBN: 0-374-36308-0
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Kimmel remakes the Washington Irving classic into a shorter, more moralistic episode, preserving major events but changing the original by having Rip, after his long sleep, suffer remorse for his lazy ways and go forth with his grown children to become an industrious farmer. Fisher adds strong figures with eyes that are usually downcast, hidden or averted—a device that makes Hudson’s gnomic bowlers in the mountains all the more mysterious, but keeps viewers at arm’s-length from the characters. He also takes some missteps, opting not to depict the arrival of shrill Mrs. Van Winkle among the tavern idlers, which is a significant plot point as it galvanizes Rip’s hasty trip into the hills, and for Rip’s return, choosing a color for the rents in his blouse that make them look startlingly like splashes of dried blood. Along with the problematic alterations, this consequently lacks the seamlessness of such other illustrated retellings as Freya Littledale’s, illustrated by Michael Dooling (1991), and Will Moses’s (1999). (afterword) (Picture book. 8-10)