Customer Review

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Humorous Tale of Magic and Faith with Great Illustrations, 24 July 2004
This review is from: Fool of the World and the Flying Ship (Hardcover)
The Fool of the World and the Flying Ship won the Caldecott Medal in 1969 as the best illustrated American children's book in that year. The illustrations feature bright colors, subtle shadings, and stylistically interesting pen highlights to suggest outlines and details. The illustrations take you enjoyably into a magical world for a fascinating journey, and greatly add to the pleasure of this traditional Russian tale. The story is build around the theme of: "You see how God loves simple folk."
A family has three sons, two who are clever and one who is foolish but who "never did anyone a harm in his life." The parents were proud of their clever sons and disappointed in their foolish one. When the news comes that the Czar wants a flying ship, the parents support the efforts of the two clever sons. They set off and are never heard from again. When the foolish son sets off, he gets the the minimum of support and encouragement.
The foolish soon runs into an ancient man The foolish son offers to share his meager food, apologizing to the ancient man. But when he opens his bag, marvelous food appears instead. The ancient man has magical powers and teaches the foolish son how to make a flying ship for the Czar. The ancient man also advises the foolish son to take along everyone he meets on his trip to the Czar's palace to deliver the flying ship.
Along the way, the foolish son meets a most unusual set of people with great individualized talents. As you read the book, you will be wondering what their significance could possibly be. They turn out to be a sort of 19th century X-Men.
The promised reward for bringing the flying ship had been the hand of the Czar's daughter in marriage and a rich dowry. When the foolish son arrives, the Czar's men report that those in the ship are only a bunch of uncouth peasants. As a result, the Czar doesn't want to make good on his promise, so he sets up extreme challenges (not unlike the Wizard of Oz). Using the remarkable talents of his passengers, all of the tests are met by the foolish son.
The foolish son is married to the Czar's daughter, and they live happily ever after. The foolish son then "became so clever that all the court repeated everything he said."
As you can see, the story is also a satire on the people who think they are clever or know how to identify cleverness. They often outsmart themselves. The Czar wanted a flying ship, but would have been much better off making good use of the talents of the peasants who were already part of his kingdom. Also, we are never told what use he made of the flying ship. It appears that he gave his daughter away for a whim. The winning man might as easily have been a terrible person. The courtiers also thought that anyone who was powerful was clever. I laughed aloud several times while reading the story.
Unlike most children's stories for this age group (4-8), this book has a richness of plot, character development, and humor that makes it more like a novel.
After you have finished enjoying the story with your child, I suggest that the two of you have some fun talking about places where "clever" people act foolishly and vice versa. You can help your child see the bright side of much of the nonsense that goes on around us.
Be foolish in providing and seeking out help, and a great bounty of friendship will be yours!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

Be the first person to comment on this review.

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines ">here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
 


Review Details

Item

4.2 out of 5 stars (5 customer reviews)
5 star:
 (3)
4 star:    (0)
3 star:
 (2)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
Used & New from: £49.98
Add to wishlist
Reviewer


Location: Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 124,000 Helpful Votes Globally

Top Reviewer Ranking: 220