DAYS OF THE BLACKBIRD by Tomie dePaola
Kirkus Star

DAYS OF THE BLACKBIRD

A Tale of Northern Italy
by , illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 8
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KIRKUS REVIEW

The indefatigable dePaola (Strega Nona, p. 1160, etc.) weighs in with another of his entertaining historical interpretations. The bitingly bitter last three days of January are called Le Giornate della Merla, or Days of the Blackbird, in northern Italy. An author's note offers the origins of the story: White doves, taking harbor in warm chimneys during frigid nights, emerged covered in soot, permanently. DePaola embellishes the story by adding a generous and kind duke, his daughter, Gemma, and a faithful dove. The duke loves birdsong and is never happier than when listening to it with his daughter. One autumn the duke falls ill, and as winter rolls in, many of the birds fly south; the white dove tarries, and its song is all that keeps the duke from death, even through the cold days of January. Fresco-style artwork--the colors washed and clean--accompanies this testament to friendship, fidelity, and generosity; fittingly, the story radiates warmth. (Picture book/folklore. 4-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 27th, 1997
ISBN: 0-399-22929-9
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Putnam
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 1996




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