THE THIEF AND THE BLUE ROSE by Ursula Schaeffler


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The story is all-too-simple, the illustrations altogether too fantastic, and seldom do the twain meet. Famour magician Katamonu, summoned by the Sultan to retrieve the stolen jewels of his daughter so that she can marry, goes into his garden to pluck the blue rose that sniffs out thieves. (Out of an orange and red and blue globes, which is the rose?) Mounting his magic horse, he soon zeros in on the palace surrounded by its white wall. (Presumably the pinkish band circling the earth.) To seal their friendship, he and the Sultan smoke a water pipe together. (Where is the magician? we see the Sultan and his daughter, the former holding a strange-looking jar.) Katamonu searches the whole kingdom (in one sentence) and finds the thief in a dark corner near the last house. (Why he needs the rose is obscure since the thief is displaying the jewels prominently.) The magician chases the thief, catches him, and turns him into a bird (well-done); when the princess marries the next day, he gives her the rose and entrusts the Sultan with the bird. Without the page-crowding, eye-crushing expressionist illustrations, there'd be little point to this; with them, the point is often lost entirely.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1967
Publisher: Harcourt, Brace & World