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Jennifer Garrett. Illustrated by Linda Henry.
Richmond Hill, ON: North Winds Press, l986.
29pp., paperbound boards, $12.95.
ISBN 0-590-71526-0. Distributed by Scholastic-TAB. CIP.

Preschool-grade 2 / Ages 3-7

Reviewed by André Gagnon.

Volume 14 Number 5
1986 September

In the village of Bamble, the villagers worry when Queen Tallyrat refuses to relinquish her magic dress, made from the sky, after the Royal Ball. Without a sky, rain does not fall on the fields and soon the villagers experience one of the worst famines ever, forcing the Mayor to offer an award for the person who will retrieve the sky from the queen. With wit and ingenuity, Tabatha, a young girl in the village, forces the queen to give up her dress, and peace is finally restored.

Garrett has created a spunky red-haired heroine who will undoubtedly delight children from the moment of her appearance until she finally collects her reward of one thousand gold pieces. The text, although long, is lively. Garrett has a keen eye for dialogue. The story lends itself well to reading aloud. All this, however, would not be achieved without the illustrations that convey Tabatha's feelings and reflect her character.

Henry's full colour illustrations are an excellent complement to the text. She has been able to capture the nuances and humour of the tale. Especially effective, for instance, is the picture of Tabatha dressed up in a potato sack, imitating the queen, who is admiring herself in a mirror. Also effective, is the picture of the queen entering the ballroom in all her magnificence with her two servants stamping out the flames caused by the stars shooting off her dress.

A French edition is available under the title La reine qui avait volé le ciel (Scholastic-Tab Publications, 1986).

André Gagnon, Regina P.L., Regina, SK.
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