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PHOEBE AND THE MONSTER MAZE by Caroline Castle

PHOEBE AND THE MONSTER MAZE

By Caroline Castle (Author) , Susie Jenkin-Pearce (Illustrator)

Age Range: 6 - 9

Pub Date: Nov. 15th, 1997
ISBN: 0-09-176714-8
Publisher: Hutchinson/Trafalgar

 Monsters, big and small, can use a touch of empathy--so learns Phoebe when she finds a small shell and brings it to her mother. Her baby brother, Charlie, snatches it away and crunches it into shards. Dismayed, Phoebe rushes off to procure a new treasure, fashioning a magic wand from a stick and leaf. Home again, she finds Charlie seeking to make amends, but Phoebe dismisses him. Leaving him bereft, Phoebe is taken, courtesy of the magic wand, on a tour of a strange garden. There she meets a trio of monsters; gazing into their eyes, Phoebe sees their anguish: The fire monster is frightened, the swamp monster sad, the ice monster lonely. She returns to Charlie, dispels the creatures with her wand, and makes up with her brother. The story becomes potent with the implied correlation between Charlie and the monsters, in Phoebe's willingness to sense another's unhappiness through her anger, and the ambiguous ending. Jenkin-Pearce, known for more comic works, provides in her watercolors the right measures of fire and gentleness that the story demands. (Picture book. 6-9)