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Moe Price
Illustrated by Norman Eyolfson

Toronto, McClelland & Stewart, 1990. 128pp, paper, $9.95
ISBN 0-7710-7154-X. CIP

Grades 2 to 6/Ages 7 to 11
Reviewed by David H. Elias.

Volume 18 Number 6
1990 November

The title pretty well covers the plot, and the main characters, Louise and Danny, flit about from creature to creature until they get what they came for, which in this case happens to be a magic bush.

Some of these creatures are helpful, others need to be overcome. A few of them turn out to be at least as interest­ing as any of the protagonists. One is a vacuous young woman with an attitude. Another is a sort of swami with the mannerisms of an Inspector Clouseau. These short scenes are fun.

The travelling consists of popping in and out of various locations in a place known as the In-Between World. It's a kind of Alice in Wonderland in a modem setting, and with much less depth (no pun intended).

In spite of many formidable oppo­nents, the villains turn out to be pretty easy to deal with. There is little violence in this tale, but the desirable substitute — ingenuity— is often conspicuous by its absence.

Readers are moved quickly from one setting to the next, all the time mindful of the quest, which basically amounts to taking some magic bushes away from a demon. 1 thought the author copped out a little at the end, when, after all those trials, it turns out that Louise and Danny don't have to face the demon after all. But kids love fantasy. Any­thing to do with supernatural beings and unusual powers taps into their vivid imaginations. The Incredible Mungwort Quest is such a book. But it is not, as Martyn Godfrey has suggested (on the front cover of the book), the best fantasy book for young children I've ever read.

David H. Elias, Winnipeg, Man.
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