Saturday, December 3, 2016

A single pearl by Donna Jo Napoli illustrated by Jim LaMarche

This story begins with a simple grain of sand and ends with a pearl.  A diver finds the pearl and sells it to a prince.

"The prince, in turn, gave it to his beloved wife, who said it glowed like the moon.
She saved it on a slip of velvet in a gold cup until she had a daughter who laughter was as light and whose face was as lovely as the moon."

Why am I selecting these seemingly random books for my blog?  Over the next few weeks we are working our way through our picture book and junior novel collections - culling out our older titles. It is always a joy to 'rediscover' books I have read in the past and that is how I came to talk about A single pearl.

I have discovered that this story was inspired by a Persian poem.  I wish I could find it but I don't know the title.

I especially like the emotional arc in this story.  At first the grain of sand feels hopeless and insignificant and then despair as it is trapped in the oyster but all this changes with the pearl.

"The grain of sand sat in the center of the pearl. And it mattered."

The illustrations in this book are especially beautiful.  Jim LaMarche makes the pearl look luminous.

Here is a review from Publishers Weekly.  Donna Jo Napoli writes amazing novels for Young Adults.  Check out this list.

You might like to look for these other books about pearls in our school library.

No comments: