Two handsomely illustrated retellings of this classic regional
ghost story - both considerably shorter than the original. Despite
occasional lapses, Locker's text is formal, even elegant in places,
while Howe's condensation has an easier, more natural flow and
preserves some of Irving's language. As usual, Locker's serene,
romantic landscapes overwhelm the story they're supposed to
illustrate; small and rather crude-looking human figures walk
inconsequentially among majestic wooded hills, and viewers are
invited to admire scenic vistas, magnificent skies, or individual
trees ablaze with autumn color. Howe's paintings capture the beauty
of the Catskills in a more sharply detailed way: the bright skies
and misty green hills are there, but the reader's eye is drawn to
twigs and tufts and fairy rings in the foreground. More important,
Rip and the other characters, in carefully drawn period costume and
with lively, often beautiful faces, add plenty of energy and sly
humor to the narrative. Both illustrators paint in derivative
styles; Locker's work has been compared to the Hudson River school,
and Howe pays affectionate tribute to Norman Rockwell, Arthur
Rackham, the Brothers Hildebrandt, and others of that ilk. Two fine
showcases for accomplished artists, and younger readers will be
drawn to either; but libraries should be aware that Morrow's
reissue of the full text, with N.C. Wyeth's classic illustrations,
has recently been made available. (Kirkus Reviews)
Celebrated classic stories from the 'Father of American Literature.' The legendary enchantment of Rip Van Winkle in the Kaatskill Mountains; the gruesome end of Ichabod Crane, who met the Headless Horseman of Sleepy Hollow; the Spectre Bridegroom who turns out to be happily substantial; the pride of an English village and the come-uppance of the over-zealous Mountjoy - these witty, perceptive and captivating tales range from fantasy to romance.
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