Ages 5-7. Not just abridged but retold, this colorfully illustrated, large-format book has a text that's longer than most picture books but considerably shorter than Burnett's beloved novel. McClintock's sensitive illustrations, apparently ink drawings with watercolor washes, will certainly appeal to readers and book buyers of all ages. The period settings and costumes have a charm all their own, and the detailed pictures clearly portray Sara's transformation from privileged child to pauper and back again. Some scenes and dialogue here did not appear in the original book, but they serve to move the plot along more swiftly. The story loses a great deal of subtlety in theme and character development (as well as plot and setting) in its adaptation to picture-book format. Those who love the original will advise children to wait until they're old enough to read it. But children or parents who want a picture-book version will find this a very pretty one. Carolyn Phelan
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