Friday, April 10, 2009

The Fisherman and the Turtle adapted by Eric A. Kimmel illustrated by Martha Aviles

Here is a delightful Aztec version of the old tale The Fisherman and His Wife. The storyline is basically the same. A humble fisherman catches a magical turtle (not a fish) who grants him a wish if he will set him free. All the fisherman wants is a good catch that day. It is granted. The fisherman is happy, but his wife is not. She insists that the fisherman go back and ask the turtle for something much more grand. Again and again, she sends her husband back. Each of her wants is granted, but she's never satisfied for long. In the end, both she and the fisherman get exactly what they wish for.

Aviles' illustrations in acrylic and liquid watercolor are beautiful. I especially like the ocean scenes which grow stormier with each of the wife's requests. Kimmel adds a nice touch with short little poems that the fisherman calls out to the turtle each time he comes back to ask for more. This is a wonderful story in any setting and Kimmel's writing makes this version a great read aloud.

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