Friday, May 30, 2008
Long ago and far away there lived a king, a queen, the heir to the throne, the second prince, a beautiful princess, and two orphan children. The cast of delightful characters in Sharon Creech’s gentle fairy tale intrigue and entertain from page one to the final turn. When a supposed thief (unheard of in the simple land) charges out of the castle on horseback with a mysterious pouch, the royal community is in an uproar. Meanwhile, two orphans discover the dropped pouch and find themselves suddenly connected with the castle in ways they never imagined. On an additional note, the audio book is fabulous. The reader, Jennifer Wiltsie, does a wonderful job of giving voice to the inimitable players in this often humorous tale. She perfectly captures the tone and pace of the story, transporting the listener to a land both enchanting and droll
This quirky title pokes fun at the overwrought themes of some "classic" children's stories - i.e. odious parents, orphan (or practically orphan) children, THE nanny, a baby on the doorstep, the lonely (and shockingly rich) widower...and more! I found myself unexpectedly bursting into laughter throughout as the nefarious parents plot to rid their lives of their children and the children set out to become "deserving orphans" free of their horrible parents. True to form, all turns out perfectly for the children and not so perfectly for the villanous adults. An amusing glossary tops off the tale.