WALES' TALE by Susan Saunders


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Euphonious it may be, but to name the, er, donkey hero of this tale, distractingly, Wales is a disservice to a story that's otherwise a trump: a fresh, funny, thoroughly endearing variation on a favorite old situation. Sara--tennish, high-button shoes and bloomers, baskets fore and aft on her bike--has gone to market to sell her vegetables. There, she's approached by a donkey who explains ""usually I am a handsome prince"" and asks for her help. And after he helps her to sell her vegetables (""Everyone came to see the talking donkey""), she agrees. For want of a wizard, they try the local fortune-teller (seen, bare feet first, sipping lemonade in a hammock), a love-potion specialist who does find directions for turning toads into princes. . . which, as Sara and Wales interpret them, produce mere pudding. . . which does, however, transform Wales. . . into a big, Airedale-ish dog! And rightly so--for, he explains, he couldn't get anyone to help him ""when I said I was an enchanted dog. Finally I decided to say that I was really a handsome prince."" Sara, of course, says she would have helped him anyhow--but she's relieved: ""She wasn't sure she was ready for a handsome prince in her life. But a dog named Wales was a different matter."" Illustrated in the same semi-serious, semi-jocular vein (with some nice visual asides too), it should do splendidly with the older listener, the early reader, or the child in a group.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1980
Publisher: Viking