Catkin (Anglais) Broché – 7 octobre 1996
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Commentaires en ligne
Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)
P. J. Lynch's illustration intrigues without distracting. The well-integrated artwork and layout perfectly reflect the timeless magic of the text and spur the viewer's imagination.
This story captures the Brother's Grimm without the off-putting horror, Tolkein without the dizzying detail. It entertains our "read-to" 3-year-old and would interest older "self-readers" exploring fantasy fiction. Catkin is that rare find that even parents will enjoy upon the hundredth telling.
Leaves Disney in the dust!
Carrie and Catkin are inseparable until one day Catkin is distracted by a butterfly and leaves the baby to her sleep, and in his absence the child is taken away by the Lord and Lady of the Little People and their followers, leaving a changeling in her place. The farmer and his wife are devastated, and the Wise Woman sends Catkin to the underground world of the Little People to win the child back, giving him some valuable advice - never reveal his name to the fairies, for with the knowledge of his name they could bind him to them forever.
The real beauty of this exceptional story is twofold: first, that although it reads like a traditional fairytale, it is completely original. Yet despite this, it turns to real folktale elements and styles to blend into the narrative, making it vaugely familiar - ideas such as the hollow hills of the fairies, the changeling baby, the power of a simple name, the threefold riddle competition, and the nature of the waters of the two powerful trees - the willow for forgetfulness, and the hazel for wisdom. Added to this is the perfect melding of all these components, for instance the Wise Woman advices Catkin to drink only from the hazel tree waters to obtain great wisdom, whilst Carrie has already drunk from the willow waters and forgotten her home. These two elements are echoed as the answers to the the first two riddles that the Lord asks of Catkin, and Catkin's own name as the answer to the third, tying in the warning that the kitten must never utter his own name. I'm explaining this very clumsily, but my point is that all themes and story lines come full circle, creating a perfect whole. It is simply beautifully crafted storytelling.
The second part that makes this story so wonderful is P. J. Lynch's exceptional watercolours. If you are a fan of Alan Lee (best known for his Tolkien illustrations) than nothing will delight more than Lynch's images of green hill and dark cave, the sun-lit visions of Carrie and Catkin, and the green tinted shades of the Lord and Lady of the Little People. Only two small quibbles come to mind - when the faerys first appear the text describes the Lord as riding on a pony, but the picture shows him walking hand in hand with the Lady, and in one scene baby Carrie's head looks far too big for her body. But don't take any notice of these, for the painting and skill are exceptional - make sure you look out for this artist's other books.
My highest recommendation - all ages and both genders will adore this story and its ideals of courage, sacrifice and love. The pictures delight, and the echoes of it stay with you for a very long time.
The story itself is beautifully illustrated and told with a light, spare sort of prose that leaves nearly everything to your imagination, and yet tells you just enough to give your imagination one huge shove in the right direction.
Little Catkin is a gift from a wise woman to a family with only one daughter. The wise woman forsees a danger in the child's future, and Catkin is left as a protector. When his curiosity fails the child, Catkin has to go rescue her from the Little People, and his courage and wit is a delight to read.
This was such a pretty story, and reminded me so vividly of Persephone/Demeter/Hades, and other classic mythology. Very well written, and a joy - as I think I've said three times now - to look at.
Definitely one to add to your list!