THE MISER WHO WANTED THE SUN by Jurg Obrist

THE MISER WHO WANTED THE SUN

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Another elaborate, resplendent, over-designed European picture book--but with more reason than most for its visual excesses, and a tighter, shapelier, more homely story line. A rich miser, who lives in a house overflowing with treasures, hears it said that ""He would even like to own the sun if he could""; and he sighs. What he can have, he decides, is ""a robe, as bright and golden as the sun itself."" He orders one from the tailor, promising free choice from his treasure room in payment. But, miserly as he is, he removes his treasures one by one: when the tailor delivers the robe and goes into the treasure room to make his choice, only one large chest remains--empty save for a tiny gold thimble at the bottom. But the tailor's canny daughter, aware of the miser's weakness, bids her father claim the chest. Her plan? ""We have heard that it is your greatest wish to own the sun,"" tailor's daughter Lily and her brother tempt the miser. In return for capturing it, they will claim ""something from your house."" And, at sundown, they pull the empty treasure chest to the top of the hill. . . behind which the sun sets each day. That shades-of-gold page, with the sun sinking into the opened chest and even the gargoyles in awe, is just about worth the book. But children will be pleased too, with the outcome: the miser's fury at sunrise, his fair recompense to the tailor, his self-consoling satisfaction in the golden robe. ""Everyone,"" after all, ""can share the sun. . . ."" The paintings, for their part, are strong, clear, and often witty--as well as ornate.

Pub Date: March 9th, 1984
Publisher: Atheneum