The Man Who Walked the Earth by Ian Wallace

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Synopsis

Blowing dust is about all you can see from a farm on the prairies in the 1930s. Even worse, André and Elise’s father has gone in search of work and he may not be home for Christmas.

The day he left their mother set an extra place at the table in case a stranger should come by looking for a meal. "Wherever your father is, I hope someone will set a place for him," she says. Eight months later no one has come to their door.

Then on Christmas night, they hear knocking. A mysterious stranger enters. André and Elise first realize that he is extraordinary when he does a magic trick with the salt shaker. After he finishes a huge meal, Mr. Balzini shows the family just how extraordinary he is. Silk scarves, a sunflower and a magic book are just the prelude to a spectacular trick, which conjures up the northern lights.Is it the magician who brings their father home just in time for Christmas?

In a story that evokes the myth of the prophet Elijah, and other folktales about the rewards of performing acts of kindness for strangers, Ian Wallace gives us a magical, beautiful book.
 

About Ian Wallace

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Ian Wallace has had a distinguished career as an author and illustrator of picture books, publishing many classics such as Chin Chiang and the Dragon's Dance, Boy of the Deeps and The Huron Carol. His visual interpretation of Canadian Railroad Trilogy by Gordon Lightfoot received three starred reviews and was named a USBBY Outstanding International Book and a Resource Links' Year's Best. He has won the Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Award, the Mr. Christie's Book Award, the Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Award and the IODE Violet Downey Book Award. He has also been nominated for the prestigious Hans Christian Andersen Award and the TD Canadian Children's Literature Award. Ian lives in Brookline, Massachusetts, with his wife, Deb.
 
Published August 19, 2003 by Groundwood Books. 32 pages
Genres: Children's Books.

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Man Who Walked the Earth

Kirkus Reviews

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Introducing himself as Balzini, he rewards the offered meal with a display of legerdemain, and astonishing gifts for all: silk scarves, a real sunflower, and a magician’s handbook.

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Publishers Weekly

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When thrown into the air, the salt turns the night sky a brilliant red, but the greatest magic turns out to be its wish-granting quality: later that evening, the children respond to another knock at the door and find their father there.

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