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Puff, the Magic Dragon [With CD (Audio)]


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PreS-Gr 2-The lyrics from the ubiquitous 1960s song finally finds a hardcover home in a book by its creators. As pictured by Puybaret in his lush, stylized artwork rendered in acrylic on linen, the soulful dragon and Jackie Paper cavort across the island of Honalee meeting kings and pirates, and boating, climbing, and playing. After his young friend grows older and leaves, Puff languishes until a young girl (observed clandestinely and benignly by a grown-up Jackie Paper) joins him to initiate friendship again. The full spreads feature sweeping panoramas set against the blues and greens of ocean and island with small details revealed throughout. Fans of the song will be the book's primary audience. A four-song CD by Yarrow and his daughter with the title song, an instrumental version of it, "The Blue Tail Fly," and "Froggie Went A-Courtin'" is included.-Marge Loch-Wouters, Menasha Public Library, WI Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

This handsome volume offers a charming interpretation of the 1960s folk song, written by Yarrow and Lipton and famously recorded by Peter, Paul and Mary. Featuring a soothing palette highlighted by greens and blues, Puybaret's graceful acrylic on linen paintings are intermittently misty and sunny. Echoing the gentle cadence of the song, the sweeping landscapes and seascapes reveal Honalee to be a magical place indeed, with faces appearing on trees, flowers and rocks. Other whimsical flourishes include the book's affable ancillary characters, including diminutive winged fairies and red-and-white striped dolphin-like critters that wear graduation caps. There is, of course, the inevitable somber moment when "One gray night it happened, Jackie Paper came no more,/ And Puff, that mighty dragon, he ceased his fearless roar"; the dragon gazes wistfully upon the departing boy and then slips sadly into his cave. But at the creative hand of Puybaret, a French illustrator who here makes his American publishing debut, the song's potentially sad denouement takes an uplifting turn. As the chorus is repeated one final time, the delighted Puff spies a girl approaching-ostensibly Jackie's daughter-a new friend to frolic with in the autumn mist. Youngsters concerned about the fate of Puff's first playmate will be comforted to see a smiling, grown-up Jackie looking on. Adding to the appeal of the book is a CD presenting a new recording of the song (and two others), sung by Yarrow and his daughter Bethany, accompanied by cellist Rufus Cappadocia. An impressive performance all around. Ages 3-7. (Aug.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

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