Rip Van Winkle ¦ The Star Maiden
Digital version – browse, print or download
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The poem on our front cover is taken from Figgie Hobbin by Charles Causley, with illustrations by Gerald Rose, re-issued by Macmillan (0 333 12078 7, £7.50) in May 1990. Figgie Hobbin was first published in 1970 and has remained in print ever since. We are grateful to Macmillan for help in using this illustration.
Here are two American picture books which will stretch beyond the Infants classroom and not bankrupt the budget. The illustrations for Rip Van Winkle are no doubt very fine and beautiful, but I found them rather static, standing alongside the text within frames as in a gallery. The text itself is straightforward and approachable.
The Star Maiden, on the other hand, has a strong sense of the Chippewa tribe who originated it. The star wanted to live on earth and finally, by trial and error, became the beautiful starflower (Lily) that floats on the lake. The pale watercolour illustrations feast the eye with detail and pattern, complemented by the poetic text, crying to be spoken aloud; the oral tradition of the Chippewa brought to our classrooms - I'm all for it!