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THE SQUIRREL WIFE by Philippa Pearce


by Philippa Pearce & illustrated by Wayne Anderson

Age Range: 7 - 9

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-7636-3551-0
Publisher: Candlewick

A folkloric tale of the deep woods, written years ago for a radio broadcast and outfitted here with elaborate, richly textured illustrations. In exchange for venturing into the forest on a stormy night to rescue one of the magical green folk who dwell there, young pig-keeper Jack receives a gold ring that transforms a squirrel into a loving, woods-wise wife. Though she sacrifices her double nature after temporarily turning back into a squirrel to rescue him when his evil brother has him imprisoned, the two go on to a long, happy life together. Adding an air of mystery to his pictures by lighting them with a green glow, Anderson gives his figures otherworldly expressions, and poses them in formal groups among thick groves of tall, stately trees. Atmospheric in art and writing both, Pearce’s posthumous offering is equally suited to reading alone or aloud. (Picture book. 7-9)