THE LOVESICK SALESMAN by Margaret Gray

THE LOVESICK SALESMAN

by & illustrated by
Age Range: 11 - 13
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KIRKUS REVIEW

A lighthearted romantic fantasy, set in a time and place when “the stories we call fairy tales were breaking news,” and featuring a humble shopkeeper deeply in love with a stunningly beautiful, eminently capable princess. Popping caramels from his parents’ candy store, Irwin pines for Princess Julia; she has eyes only for self-absorbed but hyper-hunky Seymour. Tossing in a pair of evil witches, a magical parenting manual, an enchanted raven, and like ingredients, Gray whips up a Shakespearean concoction replete with unexpected encounters, mistaken identities, comic twists, and much discussion of just what True Heroism is all about. In the end, Julia, disguised as her armored alter ego Sir Bildungsroman, enters the climactic tournament in order to keep the wrong suitor from winning her hand—whereupon the scales fall from her eyes, and she hies off with Irwin to rule the Kingdom of Couscous. Cecil’s cartoon illustrations give the tale a deceptively “young” look; its most likely audience will be fans of Jean Ferris’s Once Upon a Marigold (2002) and similarly urbane fare. Still, despite the lame title, this prequel to The Ugly Princess and the Wise Fool (2002) will draw chuckles. (Fantasy. 11-13)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-8050-7558-5
Page count: 192pp
Publisher: Henry Holt
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15th, 2004




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