The Unhappy Stonecutter: A Japanse Folk Tale by Charlotte Guillain

The Unhappy Stonecutter: A Japanse Folk Tale by Charlotte Guillain
Folk Tales From Around the World

Publisher: Raintree
Genre: Childrens, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Paranormal, Historical
Length: Short Story (24 pages)
Age Recommendation: 3+
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

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No one has a perfect life.

This story had a wonderful sense of humor. Haru found something to complain about no matter what the Mountain Spirit did to improve his life. The interesting thing is, all of his complaints were framed in a funny way. That was an excellent way to keep the plot light no matter what the main character disliked about what was currently happening to him. It also kept me guessing how he might respond to the newest changes in his fortunes.

While I understand this was heavily based on a traditional folk tale, I would have liked to see more attention paid to the development of the ending. Haru was such a restless person that I was surprised by how his adventures were wrapped up. It would have been helpful to have a little more of an explanation of how he ended up with the resolution that he did since he was so unhappy with the things that happened to him earlier on.

With that being said, I still liked Haru as an individual. Honestly, there have been times when I’ve wanted to walk in someone else’s shoes. I appreciated the fact that the narrator spent so much time exploring what this character disliked about his daily routine as a poor stonecutter and how he wished things would change. He was so open about his complaints that I couldn’t help but to hope he’d find a solution for them.

I’d recommend The Unhappy Stonecutter: A Japanse Folk Tale to anyone who has ever hoped for something they didn’t have.

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