WILD ROBIN by Susan Jeffers


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A naughty boy stolen away by fairies and later rescued by his sister is the subject of this familiar tale derived from Scottish folklore. Wild Robin, bad and lazy, runs off to the hills one day when even indulgent sister Janet loses patience with him and he ends up in a dazzling fairyland where ""there is nothing to do but play and eat to your heart's content."" But the easy life becomes lonely; a pitying elf advises Janet; and that night when the fairies parade in the greenwood she wrestles with a changing shape (frog/snake/swan) until, triumphant, she finds herself hugging ""her own dear brother."" Jeffers' paintings play up the contrast between the family's plain, sunny kitchen and barn (where a thick-legged Janet shovels cow dung) and the purplish fairyland of sensuous orchids and icy jewels. Despite an excess of billowing gossamer there is cleverness in the double page of Robin drowsing in a field of pearl or jewel-centered flowers, and visual impact in the next one of Robin lonely on a dreamlike staircase. More involving, the two worlds clash effectively in the pictures of Janet's climactic struggle. Still, we have the feeling throughout that the adventure interests Jeffers more as a showcase than as a story.

Pub Date: Dec. 10th, 1976
Publisher: Dutton