Bender (Little Witch Magic, 1992) makes the most of inferior source material but can't quite rise above it. The setup is...

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TOADS AND DIAMONDS

Bender (Little Witch Magic, 1992) makes the most of inferior source material but can't quite rise above it. The setup is promising. A nasty widow's two daughters--one as foul as herself, the other kind and beautiful--stumble in turn upon a three-headed troll, whose magic turns their words into manifestations of their souls: jewels flow from the songs of good daughter Merth, toads and other vile creatures from the mouth of the awful Bleacha. Readers may wait in vain for some final twist; the plot slinks along toward an obvious conclusion. ""The Fairies,"" an obscure tale attributed to Perrault in 1697, inspired Bender's ribald paintings, and complement a witty, straightforward retelling. But there is not enough alchemy for the leaden subject matter--even with all the usual fairytale motifs in place, the story fails to enchant.

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Lodestar

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 1995