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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is a classic work of speculative fiction written by Washington Irving and abridged by Fiza Pathan and Michaelangelo Zane, with black and white illustrations by Farzana Cooper. This version is written for children ages 7-12. Sleepy Hollow is a quiet upstate New York valley where people live simple lives and dream the most unsettling dreams about the ghost of a Hessian trooper from the Revolutionary War. He is believed to be most active during the witching hours and to favor the old churchyard during his nightly rides. The residents of Sleepy Hollow have thrilled to his story as children and still feel a frisson of fear when abroad in the evening hours. When the strangely cruel and rapacious schoolteacher from Connecticut, Ichabod Crane, settles into town and becomes a most feared teacher and a devoted suitor of a young townswoman, the Headless Horseman takes a special interest in the affairs of this most curious interloper.
Washington Irving’s classic fable about a ghostly horseman, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, has long thrilled young readers, particularly in the fall when pumpkins are to be found in pumpkin patches, and the days grow short. This abridged version by Fiza Pathan and Michaelangelo Zane does a sterling job of filling it out in such a way as to grab the attentions of young readers who have grown up with the works of Rowling, Lemony Snicket and other modern children’s authors. Pathan and Cooper have done an incredible job with the illustrations that are found throughout the work. The black and white images give an air of history to the story, and I was convinced while reading that they were actually wood-cut prints. The images of Crane and his rival Brom Bones are fabulous and help to reinforce the alien nature of the elegant schoolteacher whose intentions toward Katrina are not at all what they seem. I had a grand time revisiting Sleepy Hollow and thrilling to the legend of the Headless Horseman. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is most highly recommended.