The Moroccan marketplace complete with snake charmers and poor, thirsty Hamid's fanciful dream (in which ""he and his donkey sprouted wings and flew up to the land of wet"") are initially ingratiating. At the same time Hamid's father Abdul, a struggling date merchant from the village of Fnahir, sees himself as Grand Dafter to the Sultan of Idriss. And even for the North African neverland of Amaziz, the fulfillment of this hope is pretty heavy-handed: Omar, the Sultan's bored, overprotected son, runs away and learns the true meaning of friendship when he sells his gold belt to buy Hamid a drink of water. Then the two boys are off to the palace, with worried Abdul in their wake. There Abdul is stunned to learn that the Sultan will reward his son's good deed by making him Grand Datier after all. Readers will also be taken aback because Rose never bridges the gap between the ""real world"" of the market and the lovely palace where wishes come true effortlessly. Too thin for a fairy tale and too unlike human nature to be believed otherwise, this relies overmuch on a setting that is, granted, a sure-fire attention getter.