Young Reader in the Making

Young Reader in the Making

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Book 348: The Happy Prince

The Happy Prince, story by Oscar Wilde, illustrated by Jane Ray, Dutton Books 1995.

I love this book so much that I can't believe I haven't reviewed it before now.

When I was about six years old, my great-aunt gave me a story collection.  The book had a bright red cover and about 1000 gilt-edged pages.  My favorite story in that collection was "The Happy Prince". We moved around a lot when I was a child, and that book was lost.  Years later, I discovered Oscar Wilde's plays, but in no way connected them to that story from my childhood.  Then I happened on this gorgeous version of the story.

I love the story of the Happy Prince, but I never used this story for story time at the library -- I couldn't, and still can't, get through it without tearing up.  The story, even now, is deeply moving.

I wasn't sure about Jane Ray's illustrations when I first saw this book, but somehow the naivete and bright color and gilt do work wonderfully well.

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