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Terry Morrison
Illustrated by Don Hynes
Gander (Nfld.), Tantalas Books, 1993. 32pp,
paper, $6.95, ISBN 0-9695519-3-2.
Distributed by Tantalas Books,
P.O. Box 255, Gander, Nfld. A1V 1W6. CIP

Grades 1-3 / Ages 6-8

Reviewed by Ila D. Scott

Volume 22 Number 3
1994 May / June

A quest, a mysterious magician and a dragon are the story elements employed in this tale set in the Middle Ages. Our hero, unnamed in the story, goes on a search for his reflection to the circus in town and is enticed into a magician's tent, where a dragon is summoned. The dragon sets him a riddle as the price for being able to see his reflection and demands an answer by sunset of the next day.

Morrison's story is heavily modelled on traditional literature. Quests and riddles are expected; however, the author is only moderately successful in using these elements. Traditional literature often builds suspense by the use of three riddles or contests, but here the problem is too quickly and obviously resolved by the need to answer only one riddle--one that most children can easily figure out for themselves.

Black-and-white illustrations accompany every page, and the dragon looks particularly fierce. An attempt has been made to give the book a medieval look by boxing the text an illustrations and using Old English capital letters at the start of each page.

This book is an optional purchase. Although some children will find it engaging and easy to read, especially if they have an interest in dragons, most would enjoy a story with more action and greater suspense.

Ila D. Scott is Assistant Reference/Collections Librarian at the Herbert T. Coutts Library, University of Alberta, in Edmonton, Alberta

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