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Carolina and the Sea-Horse and Other Stories…
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Carolina and the Sea-Horse and Other Stories

by Ruth M. Arthur

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In this fourth and final collection of short stories devoted to the doings of Italian siblings Carolina and Roberto, published in 1964 - the earlier three collections include: Carolina's Holiday and Other Stories (1957), Carolina's Golden Bird and Other Stories (1958), and Carolina and Roberto (1961) - the family head to the Venice area to attend their Cousin Vittoria's wedding. In the eponymous Carolina and the Sea-Horse, Carolina befriends a young island boy named Tomajo, despite her distress at his sale of dried sea-horse skeletons, eventually making a suggestion that will lead him to a better way of earning money, once he has trained as a glass-blower. Roberto and the Lantern sees Roberto attempting to make amends, when he accidentally breaks the antique glass lantern that Nonna (grandmother to their cousin Marco) hangs to guide the fisherman home. A trip to the nearby glass-workers' island leads to a surprising discovery, and the setting of all to rights. Finally, in Carolina and the Gondola, Carolina experiences a magical moonlit gondola ride, courtesy of family friend Pietro, who is a professional gondolier; and eventually discovers that her strange dream, that same night, may be more than a dream.

Published right around the time that Ruth M. Arthur was turning from her earlier work, which was aimed at younger children, to the later adolescent novels that would establish her reputation, Carolina and the Sea-Horse and Other Stories features some of the same themes as that later work, particularly in the final story. One can see the development of some of the author's great themes - the power of dreams, the connection to the past - in Carolina and the Gondola, in which Carolina dreams herself six hundred years into the Venetian past. That sense of connection to Arthur's later work, which I dearly love, made this collection my favorite, of the four Carolina and Roberto books, and made me particularly glad that I read them in publication order. Recommended to fans of Ruth M. Arthur's work, or to readers interested in mid-twentieth-century British children's fiction. ( )
  AbigailAdams26 | Feb 25, 2014 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ruth M. Arthurprimary authorall editionscalculated
Lowen, LucienIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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A collection of three short stories, including: Carolina and the Sea-Horse / Roberto and the Lantern / Carolina and the Gondola.
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