THE WISE MEN OF GOTHAM by Malcolm -- Adapt. & Illus. Carrick


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Carrick takes a far more benign view of the wise men of Gotham than Singer and Shulevitz do of The Fools of Chelm (KR, 1973), and his gaily colored paintings of romping villagers make their witlessness seem not too serious a handicap. Their patched, patterned and beribboned costumes have a late medieval air to match the stories' origin (they first appeared together as The Foles of Gotyam in 1450), and you almost expect to see bells at the ends of their streamer sashes and pointed shoes. Unlike the residents of Chelm, the Gothamites are almost universally good-natured, whether they are caging a cuckoo to hold onto spring, giving alms to the poor who turn out to be themselves or sending their rents off to the squire via a fast but uncomprehending hare. All of which gives an agreeable twist to an enduring folk tradition children know in the form of moron and ethnic jokes.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1975
Publisher: Viking