THE GIRL WHO LOVED CATERPILLARS by Jean Merrill

THE GIRL WHO LOVED CATERPILLARS

adapted by & illustrated by
Age Range: 6 & up
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 A 12th-century Japanese story, adapted from three credited translations, about a young woman of respectable rank who defies convention by refusing to pluck her eyebrows or blacken her teeth; more significantly--unlike ``the Perfect Lady'' next door, who collects butterflies and flowers--she's fascinated by small creatures like insects and frogs. Ragged boys who bring her insects are Izumi's friends. She also has an admirer who values her true worth; he sends her an ingenious mechanical snake, and they exchange some subtle verse, but he goes on his way, ``amused and wondering.'' Perhaps, Merrill suggests, what followed has been lost. What remains is an intriguing glimpse of an independent-minded woman, deplored but not thwarted by her family. Merrill's adaptation is dignified and energetic, with touches of humor. Cooper's three-quarter-spread paintings (the text is nicely accommodated at one side) feature subtle, beautifully modeled portraits and exquisite fabrics against impressionistic, elegantly composed backgrounds in glowing, mellow earth tones. A lovely, unusual book. (Fiction/Picture book. 6+)

Pub Date: Oct. 21st, 1992
ISBN: 0-399-21871-8
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Philomel
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 1992




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