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The Faithful Friend by Robert D. San Souci

The Faithful Friend

by Robert D. San Souci

Other authors: Brian Pinkney (Illustrator)

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"The Faithful Friend" is a very strange story, but it is about true friendship. Hippolyte tries to keep his friend, Clement, and girlfriend from falling into an evil spell that will result in their death. Hippolyte saves them twice, but in the end he turns to stone from trying to save them. Clement offers his life to save his friend, and they both end up alive. This story goes through a strange series of events but shows Clement and Hippolytes love for each other. The illustrations provide a true insight to their friendship. This book shows that diversity is good and that an African american and a Caucasian can be best friends, and that is true for any race. Overall, this book is a great story about friendship and i would love to share it with my students one day. ( )
  bethanygc | Aug 29, 2016 |
While this book was such a good read, I found that the illustrations were not as wonderful as the story. In this book we see a romantic story of love told with an even better theme of what true friendship really is. When Clements decides to go meet the woman he wants to marry, of course he takes his best friend Hippoclyte with him on this journey. During their return home, Hippoclyte does everything he can to save the new couple. He over hears three "zombies" or witches that are planning their kill on both Clements and his soon to be wife. Although he can not tell them what's going on, that does not stop him from saving their lives. The now married couple see him as being jealous of their new happiness. Hippoclyte has no choice but to reveal the truth, and because of that he turns into stone. Clements decides he will take his place and be the one who turns into stone since his beloved friend saved their lives three times. But with just like any other fairy tale, everything works out and "They all live happily ever after!"
With such a good story line and even better theme, I unfortunately felt underwhelmed by the pictures. I think Brian Pinkney could have made these pictures more vibrant, especially to get grab childrens' attentions. What I do appreciate is the technique he used. It seems to me that Pinkney used thin fast strokes to create the images by using lines. This technique did not allow the pictures to have enough shading or lighting thus making them lack dimension. The characters were portrayed perfectly with the technique used but the pictures in all lacked a good color scheme. The majority of the colors were shades of greens, blues, and browns. ( )
  Jmreed1 | Jan 27, 2016 |
Faithful friend was a retelling of an old folktale with several sources. It tells of two friends on the island of Martinique, one a white plantation owner's son, the other his African American friend, both of whom set out so that one of the boys can propose to a wizard's niece. The wizard's anger causes him to hire three zombie's to curse the newly weds, but his attempts are constantly thwarted by the second friend. In the end, the wizard's curse comes back to destroy him.

I wasn't expecting to like this story as much as I did. It has all the hallmarks of a folktale with a flair of West Indies culture. The illustrations match the African-ness of the story.

Students could research in the library West Indies or West African folktales and share them with the rest of the class. Students could do another research project on Caribbean islands and their individual cultures and heritages.
  CallieHennessee | Jul 15, 2015 |
This is a story about two friends who overcame magic and betrayal. Clement and Hippolyte are best friends. One day Clement ask Hippolyte to go with him to ask Monsieur Zabocat permission to marry his niece. After her uncle says no to the marriage proposal Pauline, Clement, and Hippolyte leave. Pauline and Clement plan to marry anyway. For three nights Hippolyte over hears three zombie women planning to kill Clement and Pauline. After Clement finds himself in an awkward situation he is forced to tell Pauline and Clement about the zombie women. Hippolyte turns to stone, but is soon returned to his human form. This would be a great story to read to students` to show how strong friendships are. It will also capture student`s attention because of how magic is used throughout the book. ( )
  jpons | Sep 18, 2014 |
Readers embark on a powerful journey to the island of Martinique in The Faithful Friend, where we follow the story Clement and Hippolyte-one. This book embraces the unity of two races, white and black. The illustrations in this reading accompany the suspenseful tone, with danger lurking at each and every corner. Each picture placed alongside the text, bring more life and meaning to what is being read. I appreciated the way the author choose to let the pictures speak, not focusing on merely the text as the main component. This book reveals amazing themes, perfect for the youth population; acceptance of differences, loyalty, and the elimination of stereotypes. I appreciate that the author brought positive insight to a time in history where many negative experiences occurred. When journeying to find circumstances where good values and morals are present, look no farther than this masterpiece! ( )
  nfigue1 | Sep 18, 2014 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Robert D. San Souciprimary authorall editionscalculated
Pinkney, BrianIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0689824580, Paperback)

A friendship is tested by love and magic in this beautiful retelling of a traditional tale from the French West Indies.

On the lush tropical island of Martinique live Clement and Hippolyte, two inseparable friends. When Clement falls in love with the beautiful Pauline, Hippolyte agrees to join his best friend on his journey to propose marriage. But when Pauline accepts Clement’s proposal, it enrages her uncle Monsieur Zabocat—reputed to be a quimboiseur, a wizard. To prevent the wedding, the old wizard lures Hippolyte into a deadly trap, forcing him to choose between his friend’s safety and his own.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:25:20 -0400)

A retelling of the traditional tale from the French West Indies in which two friends, Clement and Hippolyte, encounter love, zombies, and danger on the island of Martinique.

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