THE RIDDLE OF THE DRUM: A Tale from Tizapan, Mexico by Verna--Adapt. & Trans. Aardema

THE RIDDLE OF THE DRUM: A Tale from Tizapan, Mexico

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The prize is a beautiful princess, the man who wins her must guess the material used to make the king's fine drumhead, and, on the way to try his luck, the hero (a prince) picks up five attendants, each with a special talent. Well, ""the hearer"" finds out the riddle's answer and conveys it to the prince (the drumskin comes from a giant flea); and when the king sets still more tasks as conditions to the marriage, ""the runner,"" ""the archer,"" ""the blower,"" and ""the eater"" accomplish them with ease. The familiar motifs are competently assembled here, but not modulated for optimal effect. Chen decorates the Mexican version with static formality, alternating between drab black-and-white and rich, clear color--but never picking up the story and taking it anywhere.

Pub Date: March 19th, 1979
Publisher: Four Winds