Once upon a time, a king and a queen promise to marry their daughter to the young man who can show them the most wonderful thing in the world. Read more...
Once upon a time, a king and a queen promise to marry their daughter to the young man who can show them the most wonderful thing in the world. Suitors arrive at the palace, one after the other, with elaborate gifts of jewels, inventions, and even mythical beasts, but nothing feels quite right to the overwhelmed majesties. It is only when a shy young man, who isn t a suitor at all, steps forward that the king and queen finally understand what the most wonderful thing in the world actually is. Vivian French's touching fairy tale is made all the more enchanting by the many subtle surprises included in Angela Barrett's exquisite illustrations."
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2015-09-28
- Reviewer: Staff
In a city of sky-blue water and golden bridges, an overprotective king and queen ponder their sheltered daughters future. They feel Princess Lucia will require a partner when she inherits the land, so they write to Wise Old Angelo and ask how to find a suitable husband. Angelo types a letter and sends his grandson, Salvatore, to deliver it; he advises the royals to choose the young man who can show you the most wonderful thing in the world. Lucia, meanwhile, steps outside the palace and asks the first person she meetsSalvatoreto show her around the city. While would-be suitors showcase acrobats and airships, pyramids and performing dogs, mysterious magical beasts and a piece of frozen sky, Lucia strolls in sun-drenched piazzas and along Italianate canals with the courtly Salvatore. Though French (the Tales from the Five Kingdoms series) never reveals why Lucia fails to share her identity with Salvatore, Barrett (The Night Fairy) conjures a magical mood, picturing fantasies and modern marvels in jewel-like watercolor vignettes, and a peaceful ambience reigns as Lucia and Salvatore elegantly solve Angelos puzzle. A mellifluous fairy tale, drenched in Edwardian splendor. Ages 48. (Nov.)