A beguiling story with enchanting pictures by the author combine to make this fun reading aloud for eight and nine year olds who might find the vocabulary a hazard, and the format -- typographically speaking- difficult. Marc(8) and Ninette (9) provide plenty of adventure and misadventure, as they do their bit in preparation for the party at the castle. Marc's grandfather, the best fisherman in the French fishing village on a lake marking the Swiss border, is disappointed at not catching the trout that had been ordered, so Marc and Ninette -- with borrowed gear -- go out at dawn to test the Spin-o-Lure Marc had purchased for his grandfather's birthday. Of course all turns out right in the best of possible worlds, but not until a lot of accidents happen. A step up from the picture-story book- in successful combination.