Anyone familiar with Jacques's Redwall series will have fond memories of the mouthwatering feasts prepared for every celebration: damson pie with meadowcream, hazelnut tart, and beetroot soup. Here, told with a rhyming text and for the first time in a full-color picture-book format, Jacques chronicles the hustle and bustle of preparations for a surprise feast in honor of the old abbot. Fat Friar Hugo directs the show, cellarmaster Ambrose Spike and his hedgehog crew are in charge of beverages, and Bungo the molechild is everywhere stealing tastes: ``Dodging 'round ovens,/or hiding 'neath a table,/nothing edible is safe from one so small and able.'' Meanwhile the abbot takes a loyal following on a quest that only looks crazy, but proves masterful. The long, long verse is spirited and humorous, and Denise's affectionate, detailed watercolors bring all the action to life. The mentions of favorite characters seem intended for readers of the novels, but the book's real use may be to introduce a new generation to the Redwall family. (Picture book. 7-10)

Pub Date: Aug. 27, 1996

ISBN: 0-399-22707-5

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 1996

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With customary flair, McCaughrean retells the tale of Perseus, from the liaison of his imprisoned mother Danaë with Zeus (as a golden shower) through his decapitation of Medusa, marriage to lovely Andromeda, all “white and gold and flashing lapis lazuli,” and final inadvertent killing of his grandfather, King Acrisius. Plot aside, the theme that one’s fate is predetermined sounds so strongly throughout that Acrisius, tortured by the prophecy that he would die at Perseus’ hands, comes to play second lead here, and Perseus himself eventually falls into a despairing contemplation of free will until a closing revelation throws a new light on the idea. Rich in heroic deeds, quarreling gods, deliciously ghastly monsters and even humor—here’s Andromeda, chained as a sacrifice, to dithering Perseus: “ ‘I would marry your horse if it saved me from being eaten! You don’t have to ask my mother and father! I’ll marry you! I’ll marry you!’ ”—this vividly recast, timeless story will keep readers enthralled from start to finish. (Fiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: May 1, 2005

ISBN: 0-8126-2735-0

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Cricket

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2005

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