Ronyell's Reviews > The Fool of the World and the Flying Ship

The Fool of the World and the Flying Ship by Arthur Ransome
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Jan 28, 12

bookshelves: russian-books, fairy-tales-folktales, caldecott-medal, read-in-2004, uri-shulevitz, children-s-book, my-blog-reviews, picture-book
Recommended for: Fans of Russian folktales!!
Read in April, 2004

“The Fool of the World and the Flying Ship” has become one of the most popular folktales ever told and is masterfully told by Arthur Ransome. This book is set in a world full of both magic and wonders and shows that even simple folk can accomplish anything they set their minds to.

“The Fool of the World and the Flying Ship” is an extremely imaginative tale of wits and confidence. Arthur Ransome does an excellent job at narrating this story in a more simplistic tone, indicating that this story is told from a peasant’s perspective on the whole incident. The message of this story clearly cuts through as it describes how good-natured people, like the fool, can achieve anything they set their hearts to if they have good friends and believe that they can achieve that goal. Also, the quote that constantly runs throughout the book is this simple quote,

“God loves simple folk.”

Now, this message may seem a bit offensive to some religious audience, but it does show how the fool got through his situation by believing in God.

While Uri Shulevitz’s illustrations are humorously drawn, I thought that the drawings made the story seem a bit too simplistic for my tastes. There is barely any background for most of the story as the sky is just a blank space and very few trees are drawn to emphasize that the fool or his friends are in the forest or any other secluded place. Also, the way that the Tsar’s palace was drawn as a wooden home did not seem to faze me one bit as I imagined the Tsar’s palace to be more miraculous than any other place in the story.

“The Fool of the World and the Flying Ship” is a classic story about a young man’s journey to prove himself worthy in everyone’s eyes and how important true friendship really is. This theme of the story interested me so much that I really enjoyed the creativity and morality of the story and I would strongly recommend this title to anyone interested in Russian folktales. Also, I would recommend the Rabbit Ears version of this classic tale called The Fool and the Flying Ship narrated by Robin Williams which is extremely funny and imaginative and I think that it will make a good impression on the younger audience for all time.


Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog
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Comments (showing 1-7 of 7) (7 new)

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Ronyell Chandra wrote: "I really have got to get ahold of this story Ronyell! I looked on the Rabbit Ears website and this story is available with dvd. I may order soon!"

That's great!!! I guarantee you that you will love this story. Robin Williams is just so hilarious in this version, but I'm not sure how you would feel about Henrik Drescher's illustrations. Personally, I loved the illustrations as they are weird yet hilarious.


message 2: by Lisa Kay (new) - added it

Lisa Kay Illustrations with wide open spaces? Very Zen. Great review, Ronyell! Thanks for the rec on this book.


Ronyell Lisa Kay wrote: "Illustrations with wide open spaces? Very Zen. Great review, Ronyell! Thanks for the rec on this book."

You're welcome Lisa!


April Helms I've read this- very charming story!


Ronyell Ningerbil wrote: "I've read this- very charming story!"

I just loved this story! What was your favorite part in this story?


April Helms It's been several years but I think it's just the overall concept that the intrepid hero *seems* to do all the wrong things, but it turns out just right.


Ronyell Ningerbil wrote: "It's been several years but I think it's just the overall concept that the intrepid hero *seems* to do all the wrong things, but it turns out just right."

Oh yeah! I loved how everyone thought that he was a fool, but he turned out to be very clever after all!


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