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Inhaltsangabe: This is a magical story from Russia. At its heart lies an environmental fable. Sadko is poor in everything but music. He makes his living as an itinerant musician. One day, while playing by the shores of Lake Ilmen, the calm waters part to reveal a giant figure of a man. Sadko realizes that this is the Tsar of the Sea, ruler of all underwater realms. The Tsar is so impressed with Sadko s playing that he offers him a gift if he will promise to come & play for him in his palace under the sea. The Tsar s gift, a coffer filled with gold & jewels, allows Sadko to become a rich merchant. He travels the world over & forgets his promise to the Tsar. But one day the promise comes back to haunt Sadko, & he is forced to go under the sea to play at the Tsar s palace. For ages 4 to 7.
From School Library Journal:
Grade 1-4-Sadko, a poor musician, catches the ear of the Tsar of the Sea with his beautiful playing. Years later, when he visits the Tsar's undersea kingdom and plays for him once more, the king's dancing makes the seas boil. In order to calm the water, the musician is told by Volkova, one of the Tsar's daughters, to break the strings of his instrument. When he asks to return to Novgorod for new ones, the ruler orders him to take Volkova along as a guarantee of his return. The girl is transformed into the Volkov River and Sadko spends the rest of his days sailing on it, playing his music. Lottridge's well-cadenced text would work well as a read-aloud or in a storytelling session. Unfortunately, the author does not include source notes, an omission that is difficult to excuse. Chan's full-page pastel drawings are vibrant and have a vigorous sense of movement. However, there are some minor inconsistencies in characterization; while the text repeatedly states that the Tsar's beard is green, the paintings depict it as brown. In another illustration, the awkward perspective used in drawing the Tsar causes most of his head to disappear. Aaron Shepard's The Sea King's Daughter (Atheneum, 1997) tells essentially the same story but emphasizes the romantic relationship between Sadko and the title character. In contrast, Lottridge downplays the romance. While this book conveys the power of this Russian folktale, it is not a first purchase.
Denise Anton Wright, Alliance Library System, Bloomington, IL
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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