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by Anna Quindlen & illustrated by James Stevenson

Age Range: 7 - 9

Pub Date: March 1st, 1997
ISBN: 0-670-86961-9
Publisher: Viking

 Quindlen (for adults, One True Thing, 1994, etc.) bows with this literary confection slightly reminiscent of Jay Williams's feminist fairy tales. Kate, a star Little League shortstop, makes a wish to be a princess, unaware that the baseball glove she wishes on is magic. She abruptly finds herself dressed in uncomfortable clothes, sitting in the top room of a stone tower as men in metal suits clash outside. After wounding the ego of an inept prince by helping him vanquish a Black Knight and a dragon, Kate befriends a lonely witch, makes her way to the local castle to teach the serving maids and ladies-in-waiting how to play ball, then wishes herself back home. As a jock with a fondness for fairy tales, Kate makes a refreshing protagonist, but she is more affected by homesickness than by the creatures and situations she encounters. The other characters are cardboard, especially the men, who are either stuffy or clueless. Some amusing twists don't conceal the tale's essential thinness. (b&w illustrations, not seen) (Fiction. 7-9)