A tale of innocence, loyalty and trust—a young girl goes on a magical quest to free her mythical friend.
Robbins, a poet, spins a tale of heroism and adventure as Brisa, “just a girl who took a walk / upon an autumn day,” stumbles upon an enchanted brook entrapping Naj. Naj had led a life of imagination and fantasy that so angered an old witch she permanently imprisoned him in the stream. Brisa unwittingly awakens Naj from the depths, and “the two were friends / from the time they met.” She agrees to depart on a journey to try and save him from his captivity. True to fairy-tale form, she has magical assistance and develops innovative solutions to the problems she faces. She finds several woodland friends and rescues some of the creatures trapped in the witch’s dilapidated home. They later help her because “the witch was very mean.” Brisa begins her journey as a naive child, but as she meets many characters along the way, she overcomes obstacles and learns the value of loyalty. She grows into a true leader caring not only for herself and Naj, but for many of the enchanted items and creatures she meets. The characters of the story are charming, and the struggles they face together in the deep woods and the darkness of the witch’s home are captivating. None of the characters are flawless, and each struggles to rise above personal shortcomings; they learn to succeed by working together. While the rhyme is forced at times, the result is often humorous, and the rhythm of the poetry keeps everything moving swiftly. The tale of a young girl’s growth and maturity is not new, but Robbins’ verse and surprising twists give the story the lighthearted feel of a child’s quest.
An educational, entertaining, poetic adventure.