Kirkus Reviews QR Code


by Jude Daly & illustrated by Jude Daly

Age Range: 6 - 8

Pub Date: July 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-8028-5369-1
Publisher: Eerdmans

Daly gives her version of the oft-retold “Stonecutter” a contemporary setting—dressing small figures in modern clothes and placing them as often as not against urban backdrops. Discontented with the small income he earns from carving huge and widely admired lions and other animals, Sivu wishes to be a rich merchant. Suddenly, he is just that…but his discontent only grows, and with successive wishes he becomes the Mayor, the Sun (looming with a smirk over a land that quickly becomes drought stricken), a rain cloud, the wind and finally a mass of stone. Being unrestrained and insensitive in all guises, though, he ends up being more hated than respected. Unlike Gerald McDermott (1975), Demi (1995), Jon J Muth (2009) and other retellers, the author lets readers draw their own conclusions by electing to end with Sivu feeling his rocky self being cut by another carver but not yet figuring out the implicit Lesson. His lack of self-understanding adds another thought-provoking element to a tale identified (by the author, at least—others have different ideas) as Taoist. (afterword) (Picture book/folktale. 6-8)