Larky Mavis

by Cole, Brock.

Format: Print Book 2001
Availability: Available at 2 Libraries 2 of 2 copies
Available (2)
Location Collection Call #
CLP - Squirrel Hill Children's Picture Books j FICTION Cole
Location  CLP - Squirrel Hill
Collection  Children's Picture Books
Call Number  j FICTION Cole
Community Library of Allegheny Valley - Harrison Picture Books Je C
Location  Community Library of Allegheny Valley - Harrison
Collection  Picture Books
Call Number  Je C
Another orginal picture-book fairy tale Larky Mavis, an eccentric soul, finds three peanuts in the middle of the road. The first tastes like liver and onions. The second, like bread pudding. And the third - well, inside the third is a baby. Larky Mavis decides to name it Heart's Delight and to take care of it. She shows it to the teacher, and he says it looks like a worm. She asks the parson to christen it, but he thinks it's a mouse. And when she asks the doctor to help her teach the baby to say "Ma," he thinks it's a deformed bird. And indeed, Heart's Delight has sprouted wings. As Mavis's charge grows and grows, readers will recognize that Heart's Delight is something akin to an angel, and the townspeople also realize that it is something special, but they want to take it away. And as much as Larky Mavis tries to protect Heart's Delight, it is the peanut-shell baby who turns out to be Mavis's savior in the end.This unusual tale is illustrated by the author in lively watercolors.
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "Ages 4-8. Larky Mavis "moons about." One day she trips on three peanuts. She eats the first two, but the third contains a tiny baby. This small infant, which Mavis calls Heart's Delight, causes all sorts of confusion. A teacher thinks it's a worm; the parson refuses to christen it because he thinks it's a mouse; the doctor won't teach it to say "Ma." The older Heart's Delight gets, the more things people whisper: "He's a turkey in molt." Larky Mavis runs hither and yon trying to protect her baby as the crowds jostle her and become ever more likely to steal the child. Observant children will notice that Heart's Desire, hidden under Mavis' blanket, is full-grown, with white angelic wings. Finally, Heart's Desire speaks ("Let go my Ma!") and whisks Larky Mavis into the air, never to be seen again. This is an odd story, as quirky as Larky Mavis herself. The underlying uncertainty about the nature of Heart's Desire is laced with magic and reminiscent of David Almond's Skellig (1998). But Cole had to make an artistic decision about whether to show Heart's Desire. Children may be annoyed when they can't see the baby at first, but when Heart's Desire is revealed as a rather conventional-looking angel, they'll be glad they had the opportunity to put their imaginations to work. Soft watercolors and a long-ago setting give an old-fashioned feeling to the art, yet the pictures have a restless, sometimes nervous energy that matches Larky Mavis' fervor to keep her "child." --Ilene Cooper"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Brock (Buttons) delivers a lyrical and ever-relevant picture book. Larky Mavis, depicted in loose-flowing but highly expressive watercolors as a simpleton in rags, "moons about" the byways and squares of a village where time has stopped. Stumbling upon three peanuts, she finds in one a creature she identifies as a little baby. She names him Heart's Delight and cherishes him, even after the schoolmaster calls him a worm, the parson proclaims him a mouse and the doctor labels him as a deformed bird or bat. Readers do not see Heart's Delight, so they will not know which, if any, definition fits. The text outlines the villagers' contempt for Mavis ("You're not to hang around the church," the parson reminds her. "People don't like it"), while the illustrations show her feeding a homeless family (not mentioned in the text) and villagers recoiling from her even as she faithfully tends her charge. Finally, villagers (and readers) get a glimpse of her child first, what appear to be wings peek out of the bundle Mavis carries and, soon after, an angel emerges. Suddenly the schoolmaster, the parson and the doctor find uses for Heart's Delight, but he has his own purpose: he carries Mavis into the sky to an unnamed destination. The tale's enigmatic quality elevates it above a simple moral tale, and the scenes conveying Mavis's kindness will win sympathy for her. Brock draws material from fables, fairy tales and mythic archetypes to create a story that will resonate deeply with readers. Ages 4-8. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Babies -- Fiction.
Publisher New York :Farrar, Straus and Giroux,2001
Edition 1st ed.
Language English
Description 1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 24 cm
ISBN 0374343659
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