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THE ADVENTURES OF TOM THUMB by Marianna Mayer Kirkus Star


by Marianna Mayer & illustrated by K.Y. Craft

Age Range: 8 - 10

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2001
ISBN: 1-58717-064-7
Publisher: SeaStar/North-South

The creators of Pegasus (1998) and other lyrical renditions of ancient legends give the career of King Arthur’s tiniest knight a sumptuous makeover. Mayer combines elements from several traditional versions to create a comfortably readable narrative. Born to a loving farm couple, Tom is endowed with instant maturity and a magic sword by the Queen of the Little People, and goes on, after being nearly or actually swallowed by various animals, to earn his knighthood by driving a giant away. To the author’s formal, supple prose Craft matches golden-toned, finely detailed borders, historiated initials and full-page scenes, all framed with leafy tendrils and minuscule patterns; though the characters’ dress is medieval, the visual effect is closer to Renaissance manuscript illumination. Capped by a merry party—and a scholarly source note—this makes a dazzling alternative or successor to Richard Jesse Watson’s photorealistic 1989 version of the tale. (Picture book/folktale. 8-10)