CHECKMATE AT CHESS CITY by Piers Harper

CHECKMATE AT CHESS CITY

by & illustrated by
Age Range: 7 - 10
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Harper (Snakes and Ladders, 1997) has produced an intense and eye-catching puzzle book intended to teach basic strategies of chess. Each full-color, double-page spread shows a chessboard courtyard in Chess City. The black king and queen have been “captured,” and the reader must move the different black pieces across each courtyard to the rescue. Each page is, actually, a maze; various pitfalls wait on squares, and readers have to figure out how to get each piece from the marked “start” to the “finish,” moving only as the piece allows. Except for the different patterns of movement then, each page employs the exact same strategy, making this more of a drill in piece movement than a book of actual chess strategies. Each chessboard courtyard is vastly larger than a real board’s 64 squares, and the perspective and busyness of the spreads may strain some eyes. The mazes are satisfyingly tricky, however, and puzzle-minded kids who are beyond Where’s Waldo should enjoy this for hours. A text box toward the end tells a little more about “The Game of Chess.” Although it doesn’t deliver all it promises in strategy and excitement, this is an enjoyable game book. (Nonfiction. 7-10)

Pub Date: April 1st, 2000
ISBN: 0-7636-0921-8
Page count: 28pp
Publisher: Candlewick
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 2000