SAILING TO CYTHERA: And Other Anatole Stories by Nancy Willard

SAILING TO CYTHERA: And Other Anatole Stories

Email this review


When Anatole finally gets to see the Sun's mother (get it?) he produces for her amusement a Van Houten's cocoa advertisement that unfolds into a magnificent, fairy-tale tea party setting for forty. This sort of breathtaking triumph is managed now and again in the course of three short fantasy voyages that are, for the most part, disturbingly vague. In the first, Anatole and his cat ride a magic train to visit another cat, Pitterpat, who may or may not be residing in animal heaven (she's just gotten her ""ninth skin"" which lasts ""forever""). The second story concerns a Norwegian soldier who has ""lost"" thirty years, but when he does get his memory back the tale ends without our learning what he did all that time. Only the third Anatole adventure really makes sense -- with all the articles his grandmother has lost turning up in the possession of the agreeable Blimlin monster and the French masqueraders on their way to Cytherea later found decorating grandmother's fancy wallpaper. This third chapter alone may make Anatole a worthwhile acquaintance -- but parents who lack the imagination to fill all the gaps Willard leaves open might just think he's more trouble than he's worth.

Publisher: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich