The Cuckoo Clock

It is a long time ago in a village near Germany’s Black Forest, and Erich, a foundling, has been left in the care of the good and charitable Frau Goddhart. Or, at least the publicly good and charitable Frau Goddhart; at home it’s quite another story. Erich’s young life of work and little love changes when old Ula, the town’s most skillful clockmaker, offers him a job as his helper. Ula is a patient and very slow worker, which is why his cuckoo clocks are the best anywhere. Ula teaches Erich about clockmaking, playing the fiddle, and many other useful and wonderful things.

One day as Ula works at his clockmaking and Erich looks on, Baron Balloon storms in demanding a clock. Ula refuses, and decided right then and there to make a clock for himself, a wondrous, beautiful clock that will be his last and best. The clock he makes – with Erich’s help – is wonderful, beautiful, and magical, with a cheerful enchanted cuckoo bird that knows all the thirty-six songs of the birds of the Black Forest. Mary Stolz’s story is alive with the magic of art, and creation and is sure to enchant, as are the warm pencil illustrations by Pamela Johnson.

Stolz’s delicate ironies and precise writing style save her story from sentimentality . . . original, wise, and thoughtful.
School Library Journal

Mary Stolz was an American writer of fiction for children and young adults. Her works received Newbery Honors in 1962 and 1966 and her entire body of work was awarded the George G. Stone Recognition of Merit in 1982.

Her literary works range from picture books to young-adult novels. Although most of Stolz’s works are fiction books, she has made a few contributions to magazines such as Cosmopolitan, Ladies’ Home Journal, and Seventeen. To Tell Your Love brought Ms. Stolz into the stable of children’s book editor Ursula Nordstrom. She stayed with the Harper publishing company for much of her career, through its incarnations from Harper & Brothers to the present-day HarperCollins. Ms. Stolz wrote one book for adults, Truth and Consequence.

Pamela Johnson was born in Philadelphia and now lives in Maine, where she raises sheep. Her other books for Godine include Quentin Corn and The Cuckoo Clock, both by Mary Stolz.