A NUTCRACKER IN A TREE by Riana Duncan

A NUTCRACKER IN A TREE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Riddle me, riddle me,/Riddle me ree,/I saw a nutracker/up in a tree."" This is one of twelve traditional riddles in rhyme presented here, with the answer it italicized mirror-writing under each fiddle. But there's no point in being coy with the answers, when each riddle also has a facing, full-page portrait of the animal in question. Turning to the ""nutcracker"" entry, what first hits your eye is the munching squirrel in vibrant watercolor on the right-hand page. Other than being dead giveaways, Duncan's twelve illustrations, alternating black ink and watercolor, can be admired, respectively, for their fine-line precision or their crystal-clear color; but the watercolors especially are devoid of wit, unimaginatively literal, and not in the teasing spirit of the riddle tradition. Maria Leach's Riddle Me Riddle Me Ree (1970), with 200 entries and more scholarly equipment, is also a catchier collection.

Pub Date: April 17th, 1981
Publisher: Delacorte