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ICARUS SWINEBUCKLE by Michael Garland

ICARUS SWINEBUCKLE

By Michael Garland (Author) , Michael Garland (Illustrator)

Pub Date: March 1st, 2000
ISBN: 0-8075-3495-1
Publisher: Whitman

“When pigs fly” takes on an added dimension in this retelling of the Icarus myth. Our hero, Swinebuckle, is a fine figure of a pig in his shoemaker shop in a vaguely 18th century London. But he is distracted from his work by watching birds and insects. He longs to fly himself, and the shop is full of models and drawings of flying objects among the shoes. The Holsteins, whose shoes still aren’t ready, take their business elsewhere and his landlord the wolf Gnawbone is demanding the rent, but Icarus remains obsessed, showing his young son the shining wings he has built from wax and goose feathers. Finally, the whole town turns out to see Icarus fly, and he does, but like his namesake, gets too close to the sun, melts his wings, and plummets into the river, bobbing like “a fuzzy pink cork.” The townsfolk—even his landlord—are impressed and Icarus and son go home to sketch out a flying ship. The admixture of 18th century dress, London streetscapes, and animal characters is a rather peculiar one, and the Swinebuckles themselves are pink and piggish in a computeredged sort of way rather than anthropomorphically. Extreme close-ups and panoramic vistas create an edgy, surreal vision with the inarguable premise that dreams are more fun than work. (Picture book. 69)