P.J. Lynch read this story many years before he thought to illustrate it. "In order to get the scenery and costumes right," he says, "I went to Norway and spent time at their National Gallery." The illustrator was also fortunate enough to have a friend who didn't mind being a model for the witches in the story. P.J. Lynch has illustrated many award-winning books, including THE BEE-MAN OF ORN, THE CHRISTMAS MIRACLE OF JONATHAN TOOMEY, GRANDAD'S PRAYERS OF THE EARTH, IGNIS, and WHEN JESSIE CAME ACROSS THE SEA. He lives in Dublin, Ireland.
Gr 3-7-- Outstanding illustrations, topnotch page design, and a marvelous story make this the definitive picture book version of this beloved Norwegian folktale. When a poor girl becomes the reluctant guest of a white bear, she discovers he's actually a prince under a spell. But her discovery has dire consequences--now he must marry a troll princess. It is only through the girl's love and persistence that he is saved from this disastrous marriage. With its language both economic and evocative, Dasent's translation is the ideal text for Lynch's sumptuous watercolor illustrations. Using layer upon layer of transparent washes, he has produced highly detailed, realistic illustrations that complement but never overwhelm the story. The easily read text is set on top of a warm pink wash and there's a pleasing balance of illustration, type, and white space. Earthy browns, golds, and greens dominate the paintings and it's obvious from the first page that few contemporary illustrators possess Lynch's mastery and control of watercolor. Whether it be the helpful North Wind, a forbidding forest, or slobbering trolls, his renderings are utterly believable and compelling. An introduction by the respected historian and critic Naomi Lewis provides a fascinating background to the story. An ideal teaming of folklore and illustration. --Denise Anton Wright, Illinois State University, Normal
P.J. Lynch's many fans will cheer the return of East o' the Sun and West o' the Moon, the Norwegian fairy tale, trans. by George Webbe Dasent. In a starred review of the book, upon its original U.S. publication in 1992, PW wrote, "Lynch's sweeping paintings, with their large close-ups and exciting shifts in perspective, expertly capture the story's heroic scale." Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.