The tale of two men who live at opposite ends of a rainbow. The merchant has everything his heart desires but is still unhappy; the other, a hermit, has nothing but is the happiest man alive. The hermit visits the merchant to see if he can help to sow the seeds of peace in the merchant's heart.
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In her first children's book, Berkeley spins a rather thin fable with a timeless if well-worn message. An old hermit who lives frugally in a rocky cave that is "colored by the end of a rainbow" receives a visit from a young traveler who lives at the opposite end of the rainbow, near a treasure-filled mansion. When the young man asks the hermit what treasures lie at his end of the rainbow, the elderly man responds, "Peace and happiness." Later, when the traveler himself moves into the mansion filled with riches, he realizes that he is still unhappy and sends for the hermit, hoping he will bring happiness. Predictably, this doesn't happen, nor does the wealthy man comprehend the hermit's wordy explanation concerning the key to contentment, which may baffle youngsters as well. Ironically, the message of the importance of simplicity gets lost in Berkeley's complicated, text-laden narrative, which ends abruptly and ambiguously. Far more effective is Dexter's (The Blessing Seed) watercolor art, in which the colors seem to flow like a hand-painted silk scarf. The lovely muted palette of teal, rust, deep rose and celadon hues at times resembles stained glass; the paintings almost seem lit from behind. The illustrations offer a fitting balance of the simple and the complexAeven if the text does not. Ages 4-12. (Aug.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Less is more becomes the central theme of this preachy parable with biblical overtones from Berkeley, kaleidoscopically illustrated by Dexter (Caitln Matthews's The Blessing Seed, 1998). The author structures her didactic tale around an old hermit who lives at one end of the rainbow. At the other end resides a rich, young merchant with plenty of material wealth, who seeks elusive peace and happiness. After summoning the old hermit to teach him his secret to peace and happiness, he has difficulty understanding the hermit's simple ways. The old man keeps to himself, sleeps under a tree, and talks with the animals rather than partaking in all of the wonders of the merchant's mansion. The overriding ``peace is within'' message is heavyhanded throughout, but when the gray-bearded hermit imparts his final wisdom in a vaporous speech, children may be more perplexed than peaceful. Admirable batik-like illustrations glitter with all the colors of the rainbow, but without a strong story, they create more pattern and decorative mosaic than character and emotion. (Picture book. 4-7) -- Copyright ©1999, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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Book Description Barefoot Books, 1999. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Alison Dexter (illustrator). book. Bookseller Inventory # M184148007X
Book Description Barefoot Books, 1999. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX184148007X
Book Description Barefoot Books, 1999. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P11184148007X