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COME TO THE CASTLE! by Linda Ashman


by Linda Ashman ; illustrated by S.D. Schindler

Age Range: 5 - 9

Pub Date: April 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-1-59643-155-3
Publisher: Flash Point/Roaring Brook

Wit meets historical accuracy in a pitch-perfect mix of laugh-out-loud text and entertaining image. When the Earl of Daftwood decides to plan a tournament, everyone from the Steward to the Gong Farmer (also known as “Privy Lord”) is going to say what they think of it—and little is good. Told in rhyming monologues, the story of the tournament contains facts about life within a 13th-century English castle’s walls. A knight bemoans the uncomfortable clothing he must wear: “I see little, hear nothing, itch and perspire. / I pray I don’t rust before I retire.” Schindler’s pictures are clever odes to the illuminated manuscripts of yore. Whether he’s bedecking his curlicues with a cook’s questionable ingredients or turning a jester into a letter, these pictures are all worth examining closely, at times approaching Brueghelian riot. Sadly, no bibliography appears at the end, although the author’s note refers to what must have been considerable research. In spite of that, this simpler version of Laura Amy Schlitz’s Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! (2007), illustrated by Robert Byrd, remains an informative delight bound to find its audience. (Informational picture book. 5-9)