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Magic Feather - Pbk (Legends of the World)…
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Magic Feather - Pbk (Legends of the World)

by Lisa Rojany

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This is our fourth encounter with the Legends of the World Series and we thoroughly enjoyed it!! This volume finds us in Jamaica, spending time with Solidae, her Gran'mother, living a simple but fulfilling life gather the fruits of the forest and sea. As the story starts out, Solidae comes to her Gran and tells her that the once colorful fish are now brown and drab as the mud...all the color is gone. Gran'mother knows immediately that it is Mancrow and begins to tell Solidae his story, the only creature among man and beast who never chose one nature over the other and who had slunk away into the forest, with this dark and savage heart. With that Gran leaves for the village for a few days and advises Solidae to stay away from Mancrow and not to speak to him at all.

Naturally, she does have an encounter with him and Iguana loses his colors as a result and Mancrow steals all the light and color from the world in his anger...Solidae goes home, but eventually Gran'mother returns and she confesses her part in the lasting darkness and decides that she must track down Mancrow and pluck his colored feather to set things right again. In the end, The Magic Feather is an interesting look at this folk story and we all enjoyed reading how Solidae worked with all the other animals in the end to pluck Mancrow's magic feather and bring back light and color to their island. The kids also picked up that storms must be something people living on Jamaica were worried about, and that's why they had the story to explain why storms happen and how Mancrow might one day return.

What I like about this series is that the language is simple and straightforward, even if the point is a bit sometimes ambiguous...and the illustrations are a riot of color...or a totally bleak landscape devoid of color and life, giving the story a rich and vibrant feel! We enjoyed this tale and I would recommend this book without hesitation!

Overall, I think this series is a great basic introduction to a wide array of stories from many cultures the world over...a jumping off point also for kids to research more into the culture and mythology, legend and/or folklore of any given place. I'd recommend this for introducing young children to mythology and folklore. The age range cited is 9-12 which is probably the range of kids who would most appreciate and benefit from the story and additional information provided...but even younger kids (say 5-8) will love the stories and vivid, colorful illustrations...the stores aren't so complex or long that they will lose interest in them. I would definitely buy this for my permanent collection and hope to read more from this series soon! I give it a solid A...kids of all ages can enjoy this tale! ( )
  the_hag | Dec 29, 2007 |
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Solidae must pull a feather from the dreaded Mancrow to bring color and light back to the island of Jamaica.

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