Books by Christodoula Mitakidou

Released: April 1, 1997

Told in the fashion of a Greek folktale, this story from newcomers Manna and Mitakidou has neither the steam nor the invention to match the impressive artwork of Potter's debut. The Princess Areti crafts her own suitor from three pounds each of almonds, sugar, and semolina. ``On the fortieth day God brought the man to life,'' dubbed Mr. Semolina-Semolinus, who is ``five times beautiful and ten times kind.'' A dastardly queen from a far-off land hears tell of this special gent and steals him away. Areti embarks on an odyssey to find her beau, powwows with the mothers of the sun, moon, and stars, and receives a nut from each: ``When in need, break it.'' Areti locates Mr. Semolina-Semolinus and deploys the nuts in an effort to capture him back from the wicked queen. As she is about to fail for the third time, the story turns, unsatisfyingly, on a tailor's complaint instead of Areti's own efforts. Threads dangle, and the power of the tale seeps away. The illustrations, with skewed perspectives, eccentric characterizations, superb color sense, and whimsical angles and swoops of line, elevate the tale; readers will be looking for stronger future efforts from these three. (Picture book/folklore. 4-8) Read full book review >