Additional Book Information

Series: NYRB Kids
ISBN: 9781681372921
Pages: 344
Publication Date: November 20, 2018

The Adventures of Anatole

by Nancy Willard, illustrated by David McPhail


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Anatole has a knack for seeking and finding adventure, often with Plumpet, his orange cat, who is accustomed to ghost trains, amnesiac soldiers, flying horses, and wallpaper portals, just a few of the enchantments encountered along the way. From his perilous search for wild fennel to cure his grandmother’s asthma, to his high-stakes game of checkers to save his uncle from a wizard’s evil spell, Anatole’s missions will keep young readers turning the pages of this omnibus edition of the Newbery Medal–winning author Nancy Willard’s trilogy of fantasy tales: Sailing to CytheraThe Island of the Grass King, and Uncle Terrible. David McPhail’s pen-and-ink illustrations throughout are beautifully detailed engagements with Willard’s world of make-believe. Anatole may be small but he is determined to right the wrongs he finds in each of the lands he enters. Whether kindness or evil will prevail is a matter of suspense, but Anatole is always on the side of the light.

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Nancy Willard’s imagination—in verse or prose, for children or adults—builds castles stranger than any mad King of Bavaria ever built. She imagines with a wonderful concreteness. But also, she takes real language and by literal-mindedness turns it into the structure of dream.
—Donald Hall, The New York Times

Both author and illustrator weave tapestries in which make-believe and reality blend joyfully...The only works comparable in pure romance and humor to the Anatole stories are the inventions of Lewis Carroll.
Publishers Weekly