Shelli's Reviews > The Nightingale

The Nightingale by Pirkko Vainio
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Feb 07, 2012

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bookshelves: picture-books, fairy-tales-fables
Read in February, 2012

It’s hard to explain why these classic fairy-tales and fables captivate a listener or a reader. The stories are often stupid. Just hear me out if you think I am being harsh. In this story, an Emperor becomes captivated by a plain looking but beautiful sounding Nightingale. He wishes nothing more than to listen to the bird sing night after night. Entertaining himself and others he wishes to empress with the birds melodic and beautiful tones. Then one day he receives a gift, an ornate golden replica of a Nightingale, though while beautiful does not possess the quality of song the real bird does. His loyalties switch to the golden bird as his source of desired entertainment. At this time the real nightingale takes flight to return to the gardens he misses and much loved. This angered the Emperor so, and bans the Nightingale from his kingdom. As all mechanical objects do, the golden bird wore down over time and use. The Emperors happiness and apparent reason for living breaks down as the bird does. When the Emperor is nearly in deaths arms however, he is called back to life with the song of that plain Nightingale that he had so heartlessly banished. Soooo see what I mean by kind of stupid? Yet I will read these timeless stories over and over again. Curious to how it will end and what is the proverbial moral that awaits me. In this recreation the story remains that of Hans Christian Andersen, aided by Pirkko Vainio's beautiful illustrations.
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