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Solomon Leviathan's Nine-Hundred and Thirty-First Trip Around the World [Hardcover]

Ursula K. Le Guin , Alicia Austin


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Book Description

November 1988
A giraffe and a boa constrictor go to sea in a small boat and are swallowed by Solomon Leviathan, the ancient whale who swallowed Jonah and Pinocchio.

Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Philomel Books; 1st Edition edition (November 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399214917
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399214912
  • Product Dimensions: 26.4 x 20.8 x 1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 363 g

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Le Guin tells the story of a contentious giraffe and a philosophical boa constrictor. The two of them had been living together on a "runcible island" until the day they found a beached boat and decided to sail to the horizon. But they have, of course, trouble reaching their destination, and despite help from a whale (who is named in the title, and who has previously eaten and spit out Jonah and Pinocchio), they are traveling to this day. This tale, one of the first stories ever written by the acclaimed Le Guin, is unusual and old-fashioned. While the writing is taut and concise, the open-ended nature of the animals' quest may leave readers with a vague, unfinished feeling. The grandiose musings seem coy in this context, and Austin's paintings, with careful borders and amusing details, don't render this entirely accessible to readers. Ages 5-9.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Grade 1-5 A far-fetched, humorous tale of two animal friends, an intellectual giraffe and a boa constrictor, both philosophers, who set out to sea in search of the horizon. Soon, however, they are swallowed by a whale, Solomon Leviathan, the same ancient whale who swallowed Jonah and Pinocchio long ago. To their dismay Solomon tells them he has swum around the world 930 times and has never yet reached the horizon. An elephant they meet in India informs them that the horizon does not exist, but they decide to steam ahead just the same. As the story ends they are still continuing their elusive pursuit, with the two philosophers reciting Runes and Odes and the whale telling tales from history. Language is rich and metaphorical, but a pompous tone and numerous literary allusions and historical references may lessen the story's appeal for children. Watercolor illustrations in deep sea shades of blue, green, and purple capture the quirky humor. Older devotees of the offbeat may appreciate this. Sally R. Dow, Ossining Public Library, N.Y.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic March 30 2013
By SuzieB - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I read this beautiful book to my sons and it was chosen by all of them to share with their class. Now I am going to give them each one for their future families.

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