A BOWL OF MISCHIEF by Ellen Kindt McKenzie


Age Range: 10 & up
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 Ranji--``a scamp, and an imp, and full of mischief''--is taken in by Phufadia, an old faquir who finds him under a thornbush. Ranji learns Phufadia's tricks but ignores his wisdom until, years later, on a pilgrimage to scatter the faquir's ashes under the thornbush, he is forced to entertain an autocrat whose kingdom he needs to cross. The ``Great Superus,'' an ultimate glutton, keeps his subjects in misery and fear; Ranji vows to help them. With delightful chicanery, he tricks the Superus into living like a peasant for 300 days, during which each gradually comes to a new understanding of his role, and thereby finds happiness. Though still ``full of mischief,'' Ranji has fulfilled Phufadia's hopes. Capturing the wit, humor, and style of Middle Eastern folklore, McKenzie stitches her strong moral so neatly into her allegory that it never intrudes. An involving tale that will keep readers smiling and guessing from beginning to end; a fine read-aloud. (Fiction. 10+)

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1992
ISBN: 0-8050-2090-X
Page count: 134pp
Publisher: Henry Holt
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15th, 1992


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