The Flint Heart: A Fairy Story
The Flint Heart: A Fairy Story
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Annotation: A magical amulet brings power and despair to those who touch it.
Catalog Number: #5514473
Format: Paperback
All Formats: Search
Common Core/STEAM: Common Core Common Core
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Copyright Date: 2011
Edition Date: 2012
Illustrator: Rocco, John,
Pages: 288 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: 0-7636-6243-7
ISBN 13: 978-0-7636-6243-1
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2010048225
Dimensions: 21 cm.
Subject Heading:
Fairy tales.
Language: English
Reviews:
ALA Booklist
Spouses Katherine and John Paterson have adapted Eden Phillpotts' 1910 story of the same name, skillfully calibrating the fantastical tale's charm and humor for a younger, contemporary audience. When their father discovers a heart-shaped totem of flint and succumbs to its hard-hearted, tyrannical power, young siblings Charlie and Unity and their dog, Ship, consult with pixies and imps and a talking German hot-water bottle to rescue him and restore order. The Patersons' robust language casts a spell that is simultaneously nonsensical and compelling. Rocco's periodic full-color paintings embellish the goings-on with a steampunk sheen and art nouveau flourish, and clever spot illustrations in the occasional corner punctuate the action. The book's format, with broad margins and generous line spacing, adds to its readability. This timeless, enjoyable retelling is a strong choice for both a read-aloud and an under-the-covers escape.
Horn Book
At the core of Eden Phillpotts's 1910 original fairy tale The Flint Heart lies a marvelous modern fantasy; the Patersons' abridgment allows that tale to emerge. They've eliminated much unnecessary detail and playfully incorporated direct address and lighthearted asides. The book is illustrated with full-color pictures and silhouette spot art, and the page design is generous; best of all, the story delivers.
Kirkus Reviews
A heart-shaped talisman created in the Stone Age brings terribly corrupting power to those who possess it, until 12-year-old Charles Jago manages to destroy it permanently. This magical adventure begins with the fashioning of a piece of flint into a charm for hardening hearts. A hard-hearted individual can rule his tribe in the Stone Age and, fast-forwarding to the early 20th century, become the leader in one's community, but at a cost to his good nature, family and friends. That's what happens first to Charles' father, then to an imp called a Jacky Toad and then to a badger. Happily and with help from his little sister, his dog, the king of Fairyland, a talking hot-water bottle and the all-knowing Zagabog, Charles wrests the stone away from each one in turn, with no harm done. After all, this is a fairy tale. Written by Eden Phillpotts and first published in 1910, this traditional story has been deftly abridged and brought up to date by the Patersons. They've preserved the faintly English narrative voice and humor, idiosyncratic characters, lively action, distinctive Dartmoor setting and even many of the words. The 21st-century version features thoughtful design and Rocco's digitally colored film-animation–style illustrations, including chapter-heads, full-page images and decorations throughout. A grand tale skillfully updated and tightened up, this should win the hearts of a new generation. (Fantasy. 8-12)
Publishers Weekly
A full century after the publication of Eden Philpotts's The Flint Heart (Dutton, 1910) the story resurfaces in the capable hands of the Patersons (Blueberries for the Queen), who stay true to the language and story line of the original, preserving the book's humor, whimsy, and enchanting storytelling. In both versions, a Stone Age power grab leads to the creation of the eponymous Flint Heart, which hardens the heart of its bearer and results in a lust for absolute control and few qualms about cruelty. The Flint Heart remains buried for thousands of years until unearthed by a kind farmer, where it soon wreaks havoc over his family and a memorable cast of pixies, fairies, imps, and even a German-made hot water bottle in early 20th-century England. Much of what makes the book so delightful can be found in its original incarnation, but 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, just before bed, one chapter per night. Final art not seen by PW. Ages 7-12. (Sept.)
School Library Journal Starred Review
Gr 3&11;6&12; The Patersons have teamed up to bring a long-out-of-print story (originally written by Eden Phillpotts and published in 1910) to a modern audience. During the Stone Age, an ambitious warrior asks the wise man of his tribe to make him an artifact that will harden his heart so he can become a powerful chief. The wise man obliges and, with some mischievous intervention from the Thunder Spirit, an artifact&12;the flint heart of the title&12;is made and a series of tyrants is created. Flash forward to 1910 and a farmer discovers the item, much to the dismay of his children. Book-learned 12-year-old Charles and his younger sister, Unity, take matters into their own hands by consulting with the local fairies on how to proceed. 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. There is little real suspense, but this is an intentional part of the book's charm. The Patersons have done a lovely job updating and abridging this tale for today's readers. It's curious that Phillpotts's name isn't also listed on the cover, as large portions of the text are identical to the original. Rocco's fantastic illustrations alone make this edition worth purchasing.&12; Alana Joli Abbott, formerly at James Blackstone Memorial Library, Branford, CT
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
A heart-shaped talisman created in the Stone Age brings terribly corrupting power to those who possess it, until 12-year-old Charles Jago manages to destroy it permanently. This magical adventure begins with the fashioning of a piece of flint into a charm for hardening hearts. A hard-hearted individual can rule his tribe in the Stone Age and, fast-forwarding to the early 20th century, become the leader in one's community, but at a cost to his good nature, family and friends. That's what happens first to Charles' father, then to an imp called a Jacky Toad and then to a badger. Happily and with help from his little sister, his dog, the king of Fairyland, a talking hot-water bottle and the all-knowing Zagabog, Charles wrests the stone away from each one in turn, with no harm done. After all, this is a fairy tale. Written by Eden Phillpotts and first published in 1910, this traditional story has been deftly abridged and brought up to date by the Patersons. They've preserved the faintly English narrative voice and humor, idiosyncratic characters, lively action, distinctive Dartmoor setting and even many of the words. The 21st-century version features thoughtful design and Rocco's digitally colored film-animation–style illustrations, including chapter-heads, full-page images and decorations throughout. A grand tale skillfully updated and tightened up, this should win the hearts of a new generation. (Fantasy. 8-12)
Word Count: 33,261
Reading Level: 6.4
Interest Level: 4-7
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 6.4 / points: 5.0 / quiz: 146506 / grade: Middle Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:7.2 / points:10.0 / quiz:Q55681
Lexile: 1030L
Guided Reading Level: U
Fountas & Pinnell: U

"A magical adventure. . . . Should win the hearts of a new generation." — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

When a Stone Age man demands a talisman that will harden his heart and give him ultimate power, the tribe’s magic man reluctantly creates the Flint Heart. Thousands of years later, the sinister talisman reemerges, corrupting a kindly farmer, an innocent fairy creature, and a familial badger. Can Charles and his sister Unity, who have consulted with fairies such as the Zagabog, the wisest creature in the universe, find a way to rescue humans, fairies, and animals alike from the Flint Heart’s dark influence? Filled with wry humor, this fairy tale is the sort for an entire family to savor together or an adventurous young reader to devour.


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