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  • The Flint Heart: A Fairy Story: Freely Abridged from Eden Phillpotts’s 1910 Fantasy
  • Kate Quealy-Gainer
Paterson, Katherine. The Flint Heart: A Fairy Story: Freely Abridged from Eden Phillpotts’s 1910 Fantasy; by Katherine and John Paterson; illus. by John Rocco. Candlewick, 2011. 288p. ISBN 978-0-7636-4712-4 $19.99 R Gr. 3–6.

An ancient tussle for power has ramifications thousands of years later in this enchanting retelling of Eden Philpotts’s The Flint Heart, originally published in 1910. During the Stone Age, the powerful Thunder Spirit created a heart-shaped charm to harden the heart of its wearers, often bringing them great power but at the cost of their kindness and ability to love. Initially, Phutt, a Stone Age tribesman, used the charm to overthrow his chief—centuries later, the stone is found by Billy Jago, a generally good-natured man who soon after turns into a beast who berates his children and scams his neighbors. Fortunately, young Charles and Unity Jago, acting on the advice of fairies, are able to save their father, but the stone finds its way into the forest where it wreaks havoc among animals and fairies alike until Charles can finally destroy it. 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. Rocco’s digitally rendered drawings match the story’s warmth with rich golden hues and deep jewel tones, and the depictions of the fairies themselves with their bluebell hats and seedpod suits [End Page 100] elicit an immediate sense of wonder. Simple, blackout spot illustrations complete the fairy-tale charm, making this a perfect gift book for children ready to move beyond the Tinkerbell version of fairyland.



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pp. 100-101
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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