HANNE’S QUEST by Olivier Dunrea


by & illustrated by
Age Range: 8 - 10
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Demonstrating that no, size doesn’t matter, Dunrea sends a small speckled hen on a heroic quest to save her farm with Dragon magic. As is his wont, Dunrea creates a sort of rustic, folkloric setting for this illustrated novelette. Learning that their beloved old keeper Mem Pockets is about to lose the farm for back taxes, the hens gather in their cozy “henwoodie” for a strategy session. When the eldest, Old Peggoty, recalls an ancient rhyme about gaining the ability to lay golden eggs by passing dangerous ritual tests—in a haunted barrow, by three eldritch standing stones and on the roaring shore of the “Great Green Sea,”—timorous Hanne, smallest of the flock, screws her courage to the sticking place and sets out. As it turns out, she gets some supernatural help and, though winning her way back to the farm turns out to be more hazardous than the outward journey, she returns in weary triumph to face a final, deadly challenge: laying those eggs. Presented as a tidy-looking quarto, with a vignette and a full-page, formal painted scene in dark, subtly modulated colors for each chapter, this will appeal to young readers who revel in magic tales, but aren’t quite ready for more voluminous fantasies. (Fiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2006
ISBN: 0-399-24216-3
Page count: 112pp
Publisher: Philomel
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 2006


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