It's the publishers job to pair the right illustrator with a given author's story. It's so much their job, in fact, the authors have little or no input on the matter. This makes sense for a lot of reasons, but flops for this particular title.
The late Dirk Zimmer offers up his classic creepy characters, but the story is more about the wonder sold by a traveling merchant, the doubt of a single onlooker, the resulting betrayal of the entire village for the merchant, and the eventual, although ill-timed, renewal of the villagers' hope in the merchant's goods.
|Zimmer's characters look more scheming, as if of Addams family descent.|
They just don't match up and that's too bad. The story is actually pretty great and the illustrations, in my opinion, could probably be really successful if they found a new home.
For now, I think we've found a weeding candidate.