Grade 2-6-- Finding a princess who is the ``king's equal" in comeliness, intelligence, and wealth is an order that confounds the wisest, most loyal councillors in this distant realm. Finding a book equal in quality and brilliance to this one is an even more formidable task. Paterson weaves her story within the structure of familiar fairy tales; she includes romance, repetition of language, the number three, and a moral of goodness and love triumphing over selfishness and greed. Her careful attention to the beauty and variety of descriptive language is evident on every page. The story gains dimension with the inclusion of ``the Wolf." At first glimpse, he seems a menacing, negative force, but he is revealed ultimately to be the purveyor of magic, and even the perfect matchmaker. He never intrudes upon court life in the capital city, but remains in his remote mountain lair, an enigmatic character to ponder at the story's end. Vagin's illustrations are exquisite, luminous in colour, clarity, and precision. Readers are drawn into the courtly world of a wealthy kingdom through details of costume, architecture, furniture, and decorations. Because there are six chapters, the book is a lengthy read-aloud. This is, however, no drawback; young listeners will be a spellbound and appreciative audience, and should want to return to the book again and again. --Martha Rosen, Edgewood School, Scarsdale, NY
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.