LASSIE COME-HOME by Rosemary Wells


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Eric Knight's 1940 classic started out a short story; here Wells and Jeffers (Waiting For The Evening Star, 1993) bring it back to that length, enhanced with solemn, elegant artwork. The plot is evergreen in its appeal: When Joe's unemployed father reluctantly sells Lassie to the Duke of Rudling, she escapes three times and then again, even after she's been hauled from Yorkshire to Scotland. She endures dreadful abuse and privation as she travels nearly a thousand miles home. Wells tells the tale in a lean, episodic, quick-paced way, describing Joe's heartbreak and Lassie's physical trials in precise, effective phrases as she highlights the contrasts between rich and poor, kind and cruel. Jeffers's paintings range in size from vignettes to a wordless full spread; her finely-detailed figures pose gracefully against sweeping landscapes or neat, well-kept interiors. A timeless tale, handsomely turned out and made available at last, in its essentials, to younger readers.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1995
Page count: 48pp
Publisher: Henry Holt