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THE STONE DANCERS by Nora Martin

THE STONE DANCERS

By Nora Martin (Author) , Jill Kastner (Illustrator)

Age Range: 6 - 10

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1995
ISBN: 0-689-80312-5
Publisher: Atheneum

 An imaginative but not wholly successful debut set in a remote mountainside village in 19th-century France. The village lies in the shadow of a crumbling castle whose stones are said to dance just as the builders of the castle did centuries before. When a new family appears, hoping to settle nearby, the villagers react with suspicion until a young girl reminds them of their own past as outcasts. The tale ends with a jubilant dance of welcome. Working in oil, with a lot of gray and buff in the palette, Kastner uses strong composition and heavy shadow for dramatic effect. The moral of tolerance would overshadow the story but for her depictions of the fantastical jumble of decayed masonry that metamorphoses (in the eyes of ``those who carry true goodness within them'') into dancing figures. (Picture book. 6-10)