The Hawk's Tale

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9780152004620: The Hawk's Tale

Follows the adventures of a toad, a mouse, and a young water snake as they set out to rescue the mouse's niece who was carried off by a hawk and encounter their powerful ruler, the White Eagle.

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From School Library Journal:

Grade 3-6 A wise old toad, a young watersnake, and a deermouse set out to find the mouse's missing nieceand to see if any of the fierce Men that they've heard about still live in the world beyond the pond and wood. Neither motive is compelling, and the plot has a dream-like logic that doesn't synthesize overall. There are allusions to Man's folly in war, yet the animals encountered are full of human concerns and traits. After a slow-paced visit to a colony of French-speaking muskrats, they find the mouse-niece being cared for by a kindly human girl. But learning that her boy-cousin (and only known fellow human) has been changed into a tree because he mistreated animals, the trio embarks to find the White Eagle, animal ruler, to undo the spell. The story picks up in their final encounters with a testy mole-mage and a crow with a wooden leg who talks like a movie pirate. Despite felicitous patches and poetic insights, the languid pace and quaint style may distance readers from the story (such as two short chapters inserted to remind readers that the writer heard the tale from a hawk). This is too bad, because Balaban's adult writings can sear and delight with a directness truly conveyed. Ruth M. McConnell, San Antonio Public Library
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Publishers Weekly:

Late in the summer, a young water snake, a wise toad and a mouse set off on a quest. The mouse's niece has been snatched by a hawk, but rumor has it that she is alive downriver. These unlikely adventurers meet up with a seafaring muskrat who helps them to find the lost mouse. Onto this basic plot, which is resolved midbook, is appended an additional quest in which the heroes appeal to their god, the White Eagle, to return a naughty child to human form. It seems that this child and his goodhearted cousin were the only humans left alive after a terrible war. Allusions to Candide and other works (a necromancer mole is called Robertus Magnus) fill out this somewhat confusing and scattered story. But, while the animals have a tendency to hold forth in verse like Toad or Bilbo, this short novel doesn't stack up against the classics it seeks to resemble. Ages 8-12.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Balaban, John
Published by Harcourt Childrens Books (J) (1988)
ISBN 10: 0152004629 ISBN 13: 9780152004620
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Balaban, John
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ISBN 10: 0152004629 ISBN 13: 9780152004620
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