A lively retelling of a rather long Italian story that has several familiar elements. Dissatisfied with her many suitors, Rosella (a lovely peasant girl) makes friends with a giant crab in the village well. One day, curious, she follows him into the well, diving through ancient ruins to find him in his true manly form, dining with the ""ghula"" (a witch-like crone) who has enchanted him. Only the ghula's magical fish can break the enchantment; Rosella pursues the ghula over and under a stormy sea, captures the fish, and transforms her lover--who turns out, of course, to be a prince. Manson's well-paced text has an entertainingly cheery tone that recommends it for sharing aloud; his illustrations are boldly drawn and dramatic, a bit sturdy-looking close up (not inappropriate for the plucky Rosella) but perfect for a group.