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The Flint Heart: A Fairy Story


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About the Author

Katherine Paterson is a two-time winner of the Newbery Medal and the National Book Award; she has received many other accolades for her work, including the Hans Christian Andersen Medal, the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, and the Governor's Award for Excellence in the Arts. John Paterson Sr. has collaborated with his wife, Katherine, on numerous books. They live in Barre, Vermont, USA. John Rocco has collaborated with Whoople Goldberg on the picture book Alice and was Creative Director at Walt Disney Imagineering; he served as pre-production art director at Dreamworks for the film Shrek. In 2009 he published Fu Finds the Way. His illustrations are also featured on the jackets for Rick Riordan's best-selling YA series Percy Jackson and the Olympians.


Magical adventure...A grand tale skillfully updated and tightened up, this should win the hearts of a new generation.
--Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Told in the voice of a storyteller in the style of A. A. Milne or J. M. Barrie, the tale will make an excellent read-aloud. . . . The Patersons have done a lovely job updating and abridging this tale for today's readers.
--School Library Journal (starred review) The Patersons have done a stellar job of maintaining the book's period feel while creating a fresher, tighter story that feels tailor-made for family reading.
--Publishers Weekly (starred review) This timeless, enjoyable retelling is a strong choice for both a read-aloud and an under-the-covers escape.
--Booklist This is a charming fantasy that can be enjoyed as a read-aloud.
--Library Media Connection A distinctive English setting, complete with windswept moors and a magical forest, is paired with whimsical humor to make a cheerfully vibrant tale that simply begs to be read aloud in a family setting...a perfect gift book for children ready to move beyond the Tinkerbell version of fairyland.
--Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books A marvelous modern fantasy.
--The Horn Book Enchanting...A crowd-pleaser brimming with action, magic, and wit.
--Disney FamilyFun This book could quickly become the family read-aloud favorite. It's old-fashioned bookmaking and storytelling, with a cast of characters and message for modern times.
--Shelf Awareness For all the imaginative glory of children's fiction in the 19th and early 20th centuries, the language and prose style of the era can sometimes be daunting to the modern child. With this in mind, and with evident relish, Katherine Paterson and John Paterson have trimmed and reworked "The Flint Heart," a 1910 fairy tale by British writer Eden Phillpotts. In the Patersons' hands, the story still crackles with drollery and wordplay, but it is considerably lighter on exposition and magical esoterica.
--Wall Street Journal In this fantasy "freely abridged" from the 1910 original by Eden Phillpotts, the prose by the husband-and-wife team retains some of the Edwardian voice of the original and laces the story with understated humor. John Rocco's digitally colored pencil drawings provide a perfect complement, glowing with fairy light...The Patersons have given new life to Phillpotts' original, retaining and enhancing the magical wonder of a tale that ought to endure as a classic. This beautifully made book exemplifies, as John Rocco said in a recent interview, "the importance of the physical book for children in this ever-growing digital age."
--BookPage Given the language, the messages and the awe-inspiring illustrations, The Flint Heart is a perfect book to read aloud and enjoy with your child. You may end up in a conversation about the works of Shakespeare, why it is important to understand different points of view or why some people will go to any lengths to gain power.
--ABC7 "Sweet on Books" This is a delightful story, with a wry sense of humor, a little quirkiness, and a wonderfully imaginative cast of characters reminiscent of the types I could imagine Alice meeting in Wonderland.
--James Patterson's Read Kiddo An old story made new by Katherine Paterson, who is surely the Louisa May Alcott of our time.
--Washington Post

Katherine and John Paterson's bewitching fairy tale about the re-emergence of a dangerous talisman called the Flint Heart that hardens the heart of anyone unlucky enough to be corrupted by its magic comes to life thanks to top-notch narration from Ralph Lister. Throughout this audio production, Lister creates distinctive voices for the diverse cast of characters. He offers up a gruff rumble for the ancient tribesman first possessed by the flint heart and a nasal, high-pitched voice for a persnickety fairy that harbors a passion for English literature. For children Charles and Unity-whose father falls victim to the object-Lister creates bright, inquisitive voices, while lending the wise and kindly Zagabog, a sort of guru to the fairies, a gentle voice reminiscent of Harry Potter's Dumbledore. And for the story's most whimsical character-a timid hot water bottle that dreams of someday being mended-Lister utilizes a voice that becomes confident and brave as the story unfolds. Ages 7-12. A Candlewick hardcover. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

The husband-and-wife team of the Patersons has created what they term a "freely abridged" version of Eden Phillpott's 1910 fantasy about an ancient, heart-shaped amulet whose power reaches down through the ages to harden the bearer's heart. When their mild-mannered father transforms into a tyrant after finding the amulet, 12-year-old Charlie enlists the aid of his younger sister, their dog, and some unusual partners, including a fairy king and a German hot water bottle to return Billy Jago to his loving self. The updated text is well served by Lister's avuncular narrative style with its comfortable pacing and spot-on voicing of characters both human and magical. Common Core Standard:CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.9 Compare and contrast stories in the same genre (e.g., mysteries and adventure stories) on their approaches to similar themes and topics. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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