THE STRANGER by Kjell Ringi


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Once upon a time to happily ever after: in between, xenophobia remedied by Lewis Carroll manipulation. A peaceful people, each about 1(apple) inches high and uniformly dressed (king, soldier, businessman), find a stranger (feet and ankles 7(apple) inches high) in their midst. Uneasiness brings out a guard, piled-up diplomats with megaphone try to communicate, a messenger bird (""Go Home,"" Groucho-style) fails to return, the threat of military force brings no response. The army brings to fire, the stranger drops a tear, and then another, and soon his crying produces such a flood that ""by morning they were all on the same level. Now it was easy to talk to the stranger, so the king welcomed him."" The stranger--literally--blows the water (their troubles) away. In the last two-page spread, figures wave in front of a reclining stranger, a peaceful-people flag held between two toes, a medal hung on his naked chest. Unlike Ringi's last (The Magic Stick, p. 689, J-263) this should leave no doubts, and the figures stand up to a second look. A preschool parable with a sandbox solution.

Pub Date: Aug. 15th, 1968
Publisher: Random House