Nicholas Pipe (Picture Puffin Books)

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9780140565201: Nicholas Pipe (Picture Puffin Books)

In this luminous picture book--based on an old folk legend and brought to life with David Shannon's glowing illustrations--master storyteller Robert San Souci tells the tale of Nicholas Pipe, the merman. Nicholas can swim like a fish, but on land he walks like any other man. And it is while on land that Nicholas falls in love with Margaret. Together they defy her father, outwit the jealous sea-folk, and even stand up to the king himself!

"San Souci has woven his magic once again." --School Library Journal

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From School Library Journal:

Grade 3-6. San Souci has woven his magic once again. This retelling of a folktale about a merman who comes to love a woman of the land is well told and intriguing. According to the source notes, this character can be traced to legends from the 12th century. Nicholas Pipe is an enchanted merman who lives on land, needing only to touch the sea each day. He is a kind neighbor and falls deeply in love with Margaret, Marius the fisherman's daughter, who is forbidden to speak with him since the merfolk caused her brother's death some years before. As the tale unfolds, Nicholas saves the lives of Margaret and her father in a storm, but is captured by the king's soldiers when Marius reports him. Margaret's deep love and truthful words influence her father and together they rescue the dying merman and return him to the sea. In a moving conclusion, Nicholas swims back to Margaret, proposing and offering her a perfect pearl from his sea world. Shannon's stunning acrylic paintings are fitting to this powerful story. The text is framed by rough-hewn wood decorated with a single rose and seashell. The richly colored, yet subdued full-page pictures carry the story from sea to land, from storm to calm, with emotional depth. Nicholas Pipe should take his rightful place on the folktale shelf in every library.?Beth Tegart, Oneida City Schools, NY
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews:

San Souci (The Hired Hand, p. 649, etc.) notes that this story of the love between a merman and a woman of the land first saw the light of day as a 12th-century tale. In this tinkering, Nicholas Pipe, the man from the ocean, has found acceptance in a seaside community as a handyman, and in particular for his talents in forecasting storms. He has caught the eye of Margaret, but her father, Marius, forbids their associating: The merfolk were thought to have drowned Margaret's brother long ago. Even when Nicholas informs the town about an impending squall and eventually saves both Margaret and her father, Marius repays Nicholas by turning him in to the authorities, who collect such oddities for the king. But Margaret defies Marius, follows Nicholas, and saves his life--with the help of her repentant father. It's all very bold and heroic; Shannon's acrylics add weight to the ancient tone, and in his scenes of the greedy seafolk, makes the link between the forces of nature and the folklore that the elements inspired. San Souci may be invoking an old story, but he also frames a few timeless ideas about responsibility, tolerance, and that simple thing called love. (Picture book/folklore. 5-8) -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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San Souci, Robert D.
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