The Blue Bird's Palace

The Blue Bird's Palace

Book - 2016
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Natasha's childhood in the Blue Forest is almost perfect. But her father indulges her, and she forgets what it means to share. When a magical blue bird grants her one wish, she makes the most of it-- but could not have predicted the results! Inspired by a Russian folk tradition.
Publisher: Cambridge, MA : Barefoot Books, 2016.
ISBN: 9781846868856
1846868858
Branch Call Number: XXF LALLEMAND, ORIANNE
Characteristics: 1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 27 cm
Additional Contributors: Hénaff, Carole - Illustrator

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FindingJane Apr 04, 2017

There are many stories that show a selfish person being punished by magical beings. This one is about Natasha, a beautiful but willful, spoiled and self-indulgent woman. She runs away from her father because she’s angry when he refuses to exchange their cozy but ordinary cottage for a more extravagant dwelling. When she offends an old woman in the forest by grudgingly giving her an apple, she gets her wish only to realize too late the cost of it.

The pictures have a deceptive simplicity about them, drawn in a style reminiscent of imaginative children. But the palette has that same craziness to them, with myriad shades of blue in wild patterns making up a single bird and bursts of color for food, flowers, dresses and furnishings.

The story is almost like a different version of the “Beauty and the Beast” tale by Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont. But there is no outsider to guide the transformed woman to love; that is something Natasha must remember and feel on her own. In doing so, she faces a greater challenge than the Beast did for he had a fairy to tell him the conditions of returning to humanity and a kindly stranger to show him what love was. Natasha has neither. Without a notion of what she must do to escape her bonds or another to show her the path, she must learn for herself the meaning of love and compassion.

This is a fine picture book with a message that adults will appreciate and a story that will grasp the attention of young children.

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