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Publishers Weekly, 2005-02-21 Wiesner (Tuesday) and Kahng, his wife, give a straight account of a British fairytale and, unfortunately, Wiesner's illustrations show few of the high jinks and visual jests that characterize his previous work. The title dragon is actually the Princess Margaret, spellbound by her jealous stepmother. The king's new wife turns out to be an enchantress who summons hollow-eyed wraiths from the castle dungeon ("Nine times nine she passed her arms before herself, and three times three she chanted her evil spell"). The terrorized subjects consult a wizard, who explains that only Margaret's brother can return her to her human form. When the prince journeys back by sea, he is thwarted by the dragon ("This beast cannot be Margaret... for she would never oppose me so"), and is surprised to hear the creature speak in his sister's voice ("Oh, quit your sword, forget your fear/ And give me kisses three,/ For though I am a loathsome beast,/ No harm I'll do to thee"). Wiesner's pastel-tinted paintings dutifully provide the full panoply of fairytale props (knightly equipage, castle turrets with flying banners), but only in two spreads does the artist's signature wizardry emerge: castle maids swoon in comic horror when they enter Margaret's room to discover yards of the serpentine dragon; and, later, the snowy-haired wizard conjures his alchemical texts, which hang before him in mid-air, while a glowing image of the princess trapped within the dragon's coils appears in their midst. For a book that relies on magic, sadly, there's very little here. Ages 5-8. (Apr.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Publishers Weekly, 1987-10-30 This tale of enchantment and familial devotion is the retelling of a lesser known English fairy tale. Bamborough Castle is the home of a widowed Kking and his lovely daughter Margaret and son Childe Wynde. The King falls in love with a beautiful but wicked enchantress who, in a jealous rage, turns the Pprincess into a dragon. The story of Childe Wynde's quest to free his sister casts a spell on readers. The traditional telling is enhanced by Wiesner's classic watercolors. Few artists depict the medieval world or labyrinthine castles, venomous enchantresses and fair damsels as well; he is attentive to detail, with richly brocaded costumery of the period and architecturally correct renderings of castles and their interiors. The subtle palette of greens, grays and blues achieves a peaceful tonality. Ages 5-9. (October)
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