This is a magnificent story. It is an elegant, yet simply told tale that gives generously from beginning to end. In chapter one Crane-man tells Tree-ear "Scholars read the great words of the world, but you and I must learn to read the world itself." From that moment until the last word I was enchanted.
Those words reflect both the simple goodhearted wisdom of almost all of the charectors we meet, as well as the skills and dedication of the artisan potter that the boy Tree-ear labors for. The author's appreciation of the craft is so effortlessly manifested in the telling that I never noticed what I was learning, as I was absorbed in the young man's adventure.
This tale is set long ago in a far away land, and again the culture and customs are gently laid before us, but it is very simply a story of the better parts of human nature, basic needs, relationships, honor, and love. It could be told of anyone, anywhere.
It is my favorite of all the Newbury Award winners I have read. It is a simple, elegant joy- much like, of course, a finely crafted vase.
This is an important book. It is extrordinarily well researched and a departure from the boiler plate Franklin observations. Am I alone, as a fan of history, in wanting to hear the whole story? Don't people who take the time to listen to such a work want to hear it all? I find myself searching for an unabridged version on Amazon or Apple every time one of these abridgements is put up alone, with no sign there will be a full version to come.
This work deserves to be heard in its entirity.
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