The Girl Who Cried Flowers by Jane Yolen
by Martin Kim
Jane Yolen's 'The Girl Who Cried Flowers and Other Tales'
When I first stumbled onto this title in the early 1970s I was drawn to the illustrator's rendering (David Palladini, I believe) on the cover. It evoked the same quality as did the title - a fairy tale or classic myth. Yet it also felt so contemporary. How inventive it was!
I scanned beyond the title page and discovered to my surprise that it was an anthology.
In it were other equally compelling titles that drew wonderful pictures to mind: The Lad Who Stared Everyone Down, The Weaver Of Tomorrow and others.
I yearned for a children's book that might send me back into that private world of fantasy and lore I had experienced as a child through the Andrew Lang Fairy Books and the classic tales embedded in My Book House series.
With The Girl Who Cried Flowers, Jane Yolen did not fail me in my quest. Her tales had brevity and wit, fantasy and delight.
She demonstrated that one need not rely upon the thin facile dressings of comic books to fully entertain.
Hers was a revival of aesthetics that married the idea of literature to that of a simple bedtime story. There was not a word or idea that underestimated the child's ability to engage. Yes, some of it was challenging - but all the better for reader and listener alike.
Both author and illustrator went on to great deserved acclaim. I remain inspired.
The Girl Who Cried Flowers on Amazon.
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