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Peter the Wanderer

af Edward Ardizzone

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Ex-lib. Washtenaw County Library ( )
  ME_Dictionary | Mar 19, 2020 |
Bringing a cup of water to the old sailor resting on the road near his seaside home, young Peter hears the tale of how the man had searched the world for a treasure "more valuable than gold or diamonds, rubies or pearl." It is a treasure that was described to the sailor years before by a dying old man, one stores in an iron box to which he held the golden key. Shortly after the sailor sets off once again on his quest, Peter finds the key, and moved to compassion for the old man, sets off in pursuit, hoping to return his possession to him. Pursued by three nefarious men - "one very fat, one very tall and one very short" - Peter has many adventures on land and on sea, always struggling to catch up with the old sailor. When he eventually does, he and Dusty - a friend he had made upon his journey - are rewarded with the treasure itself: two magical stones, one which shows the past and the present, and which makes its keeper happy, and the other which will make its keeper brave and wise...

One of the giants of twentieth-century British children's literature, Edward Ardizzone was awarded the inaugural Kate Greenaway Medal - given annually to the year's best children's book illustrations by a British subject - in 1956 for Tim All Alone. Ardizzone is probably best-known for his series of picture-books about Tim, although I first encountered his work through the illustrations he did for his cousin Christianna Brand's Nurse Matilda novels. Peter the Wanderer, originally published in 1963, is the first of his own picture-books I have happened to pick up, and it is absolutely charming! The story is engaging, the artwork delightful. I feel that if I had encountered it as a young girl, it might have become a perennial favorite. I certainly did (and do) love adventures stories, and this has adventure in spades. There is something so matter-of-factly magical about the whole tale - young Peter just taking off after the sailor, the pursuit of the three creepy men - that one just accepts the unlikely hi-jinks as completely natural. The artwork is so expressive, alternating between black & white and colored illustrations, and the use of speech bubbles adds to the sense of fun. Visually appealing, with an exciting and engrossing narrative, this is one I would recommend to more advanced picture-book readers (it's rather text-heavy) who enjoy tales of derring-do. ( )
  AbigailAdams26 | Apr 30, 2019 |
Mom read this to me as a little child and then I learned to read it on my own. I loved the line illustrations and the occasional watercolored panel, too. ( )
  DeborahJ2016 | Oct 26, 2016 |
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