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Rogers, Linda
Illustrated by Catherine Marcogliese Erin (Ont.), Porcupine's Quill, 1992. 36pp, cloth, $14.95, ISBN 0-88984-129-2. CIP

Grades 2 to 6/Ages 7 to 11

Reviewed by Patricia L.M. Butler

Volume 21 Number 1
1993 January

Mozart's Zauberflote is the convoluted, mystical, magical tale of the power of love and music to conquer darkness and evil. An adult synopsis is not easy, and a children's version is even more difficult to supply.

Linda Rogers has provided a logical but wordy version of Prince Tamino's trials and temptations in his efforts to win Princess Pamina. Using the present tense, Rogers is true to the original story-line (unlike the Classical Kids Mozart's Magic Fantasy, a delightful, approachable story that retains the essence of The Magic Flute).

All of the complexity of the opera is retained in an effort to draw the reader into such delicious characters as the magician Sarastro and the Queen of the Night. However, this complexity is compounded for the younger audience in part by the vocabulary used. The "joyful sound of a cherry splitting in a summer rain" is a difficult metaphor, a bit beyond the younger reader/ listener to whom the magical side of the story might otherwise appeal.

Marcogliese's detailed "High Renaissance" illustrations are also geared more towards an advanced audience, where their subtleties and subdued tones might be better appreciated, and where the side-by-side presentation of verbal and pictorial description is not as necessary. The format, however, is that of a picture-book, and at first glance might be rejected by the very audience to whom it may be of interest.

Patricia L.M. Butler is a former teacher-librarian in West Vancouver, British Columbia
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