The Man Who Walked the Earth
Written by Ian Wallace
Publication Date October 01, 2003
Blowing dust is about all you can see from a farm on the prairies in the 1930s. Even worse, Andre and Elise's father has gone in search of work and it looks as though he won't be home for Christmas. The day he left their mother set an extra place at the table in case a stranger should come by looking for a meal. Wherever your father is, I hope someone will set a place for him, she says. But no one has come to their door.
Then at dinnertime on Christmas night, they hear knocking. In comes a mysterious stranger. After he finishes a huge meal, Mr. Balzini shows the family just how extraordinary he is. Silk scarves, a sunflower and a magic book are just the prelude to a spectacular trick, which conjures up the northern lights. Is it the magician who brings their father home just in time for Christmas?
In a story that evokes the myth of the prophet Elijah, and other folktales about the rewards of performing acts of kindness for strangers, Ian Wallace gives us a magical, beautiful book.
Selected for the CCBC Our Choice (Starred Selection) 2004
Ian Wallace is one of Canada’s best-known children’s book creators. Over a long and distinguished career he has published many picture-book classics, including Boy of the Deeps and Chin Chiang and the Dragon’s Dance. His illustrations for Canadian Railroad Trilogy and Just So Stories have each received three starred reviews.
Ian has won the Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Award, the Mr. Christie’s Book Award and the Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Award, among others. He has been nominated for the Hans Christian Andersen Award, the Governor General’s Award and the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award.
"A heartwarming read-aloud about the true magic of kindness." School Library Journal
"Spare yet elegant, Wallace's...narrative and paintings share equal credit for the resonance of this tale..." Publishers Weekly