THE PRINCES' GIFTS: Magic Folktales from Around the Worm by John--Adapt. Yeoman

THE PRINCES' GIFTS: Magic Folktales from Around the Worm

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Nine tales from as many countries, tenuously linked by the presence of magical items or transformations, and illustrated with Blake's characteristically energetic ink and wash sketches. Aside from a version of the title story which appeared in picture-book form as The Three Princes (1994) by Eric Kimmel, the stories will be new to young readers. They feature an appetizing array of monsters, mysterious strangers, and beautiful maidens, but often less than heroic male leads--e.g., the collection opens with a king who sets his queen adrift on a river for being argumentative, and closes with a tale from Iraq in which an old man abandons his termagant first wife, then later uses the threat of her presence to frighten away an angry Jinni. Blake reinforces the light, sometimes wicked humor here, but Yeoman's unsourced, generic retellings seldom show the range of mood or the command of language displayed in Geraldine McCaughrean's ""metal"" collections (The Bronze Couldron, p. 661, etc.)

Pub Date: Dec. 1st, 1998
Page count: 92pp
Publisher: Pavilion--dist. by Trafalgar