BookDragon Books for the Diverse Reader

Seven Fathers retold by Ashley Ramsden, illustrated by Ed Young

Seven FathersInternational storyteller Ashley Ramsden retells a Norwegian tale about the rich rewards of patient tenacity. “One winter’s evening, a lone traveler trudged down a winding forest road looking for a place to spend the night …,” the story begins. Cold and tired, the traveler is on the verge of collapse when he sees “a house blazing with lights.”

Thinking he has finally found refuge, he asks the old man outside if he might rest there for the night. But rest is not yet his, as the old man tells the traveler he must ask his father … but that father is not the father of the house, and the traveler must keep seeking and asking until he is finally granted his answer … and so much more.

The highlight here, as with anything with mega-award-winning Ed Young‘s name on the cover, is the evocative art. Using his signature collage method of found textures and designs, combined with pastel colors, charcoal, and ink, Young captures the traveler’s exhausted stoop, his moment of rest against a tree as he thankfully looks on at the lit house ahead, the torn bright paper of the warming fire, the looming height of the “great oak table,” his clever choice of an aerial view of a modern neighborhood subdivision to suggest the “a magnificent drinking horn.”

The final page – “And what happend when he woke the next morning? Well, that is another story – is a lovely teasing promise of more to come …

Readers: Children

Published: 2011


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