THE PEARL by Helme Heine


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In Heine's latest watercolored fable a happy Beaver finds a treasure, a freshwater pearl mussel. Without opening the mussel, he begins to dream about his animal friends' envy. Then, in the dream, the others insist on hunting for their own mussels; Beaver claims the right to them all; and the ensuring war destroys ""everything, even Beaver and the pearl."" This is one of those pious moral tales that elicit nods of complacent assent without touching reality. (How many of Heine's readers would throw away a treasure? If we learn anything, it would be to keep our finds a secret.) The artist's combination of cartoony animal characters with sparkling pastel watercolor is uncommon, but just as immaterial.

Pub Date: April 18th, 1985
Publisher: Atheneum