WHISTLE DOWN THE WIND by Mary Hayley Bell

WHISTLE DOWN THE WIND

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A deep distrust of the adult world by the younger generation permeates this blatantly sentimental story about three children aged 12, 10, and 7 who are convinced that the desperately ill man whom they find in their barn is Jesus, returned to Earth. ""Brat""-- the 10 year old--narrates the story. She has a vivid imagination, an inappropriately profane vocabulary, and alternates between spouting the ideas of a 5-year-old and those of a 30-year-old. There is no character development, and the emotions portrayed are stilted. Brat, Swallow, and Poor Baby live with their father, their mother has long since flown off to South Africa ""with this character called Peregrine"", the adults drink too much, and the children are starved for affection and have a premature obsession for finding a ""Purpose"" in life. During the few days in which the children harbor ""Jesus"" in their barn, the adults, aided by the police, conduct a search for an escaped convict, of the especially-dangerous-to-trusting-children variety. A trite and unconvincing style renders even a brief 174 pages of text, interspersed with clever drawings, a waste of time for most readers.

Pub Date: Aug. 12th, 1959
Publisher: Dutton