MAGIC AND THE NIGHT RIVER by Eve Bunting

MAGIC AND THE NIGHT RIVER

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

A low-keyed, cross-cultural visit with Japanese Yoshi, who goes out each night on his grandfather's fishing boat but must give half their catch to Kano, who owns all the boats. Yoshi is worried because Kano threatens to take the boat away from his aging grandfather, whose catch has fallen off; he also hates Kano for the way he handles his cormorants, as Yoshi and his grandfather are kind and appreciative of theirs. But that night on the water a sort of traffic jam entangles everyone's cormorant lines, and Grandfather's gentleness pays off when he frees his birds to get them clear of the mess, and they unexpectedly return to him, bearing fish. Heartened by Kano's awe-struck response, Yoshi anticipates ""many more nights"" on the river, for though ""[grandfather's] strength grows less every day, my strength grows greater."" Aided by Say's charming, softly lit illustrations, Bunting gives children a pleasantly personalized glimpse of the old fishing practices--ringed cormorants, wood-burning lanterns, exploitative owner; as a story, it is thin and conventional.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1978
Publisher: Harper & Row