"Long ago, when magic was everyday, instead of maybe. . . a princess lived in a huge castle, bigger even than McIver's barn. . ." and only the pictures (black for reality and purple for fantasy in the manner of Anglund's Little Cowboy books) indicate that this is really about a freckle faced farm gift who imagines the dangers dire and faithful steed and enchanted bird the text describes. Thus when we read dragon we see a bull, when we read of fierce giants, a lonely midnight flight through strange lands, and rescue by his majesty the King, we see angry parents, a frightened runaway lost in the brush, and a little gift being carried home by her father. The gimmick isn't new but Snyder proficiently sustains the two levels of action and her melodic prose flows along in effortless cadences and unobtrusive internal rhymes.