________________ CM . . . . Volume XIV Number 2 . . . . September 14, 2007


Jeremy and the Golden Fleece. (Orca Echoes).

Becky Citra. Illustrated by Jessica Milne.
Victoria, BC: Orca, 2007.
61 pp., pbk., $6.95.
ISBN 978-1-55143-657-9.

Subject Headings:
Jason (Greek Mythology)-Juvenile fiction.
Time travel-Juvenile fiction.

Grades 2-4 / Ages 7-9.

Review by Lisa Hanson O'Hara.

*** /4

In Jeremy and the Golden Fleece, Becky Citra continues the series started in Jeremy and the Enchanted Theater and Jeremy and the Underworld. Mr. Magnus, the owner of the theater, has been staging plays based on Greek myths, but Zeus has put a curse on the theater because he says that Mr. Magnus is ruining the plays by mixing things up and changing the endings. In the first book, Jeremy travelled through time to talk to Zeus who gave him three scrolls with three riddles and said he would lift the curse when the riddles were solved, the first of which was solved in the second book. In this book, Jeremy has another adventure in the Enchanted Theater when he must solve a riddle involving Jason and the Golden Fleece.

     Jeremy once again travels to the past with a backpack full of useful items, but without knowing the full story of Jason and the Golden Fleece. Aristotle, the theater cat who accompanies Jeremy, has often seen the play and can provide some information, but he is a cat after all and doesn't know everything about Greek mythology. When Jeremy arrives in the past, he finds himself at a harbor where many boats are preparing to set sail. He looks around for the Argo and is very relieved when he finds it. He asks after Jason but nobody is paying attention to him. After disguising himself as an Argonaut, he gets carried away in the moment and begins shouting orders from the helm. To his surprise, the Argonauts follow his orders and cast off! When Jason comes running along the dock, the Argonauts can't stop the ship to pick him up. Jeremy calms the Argonauts by telling them that they will collect the golden fleece and return it to Jason.

Jeremy said slowly, "If we sail to Colchis and get the Golden Fleece..."

“And give it to Jason...," said the big burly Argonaut.

"He won't be mad at us anymore!" finished Jeremy. "And he'll help us solve the riddle."

Jeremy remembered something. He reached into the backpack and took out the rolled-up piece of paper. He spread it out on the deck. The paper was covered with pictures and words in Mr. Magnus's spidery printing.

The Argonauts peered over his shoulder.

"A map!" they cried. "A map to Colchis and the Golden Fleece!"

They stared at Jeremy.

The big burly Argonaut stepped forward. "I'm Marco," he said, "your first mate.”

Jeremy shook his hand. "I'm Jeremy." He stood up tall. "Your new captain."

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     Jeremy goes on to scare off the Harpies, sail through the Clashing Rocks, tame the fire-breathing bull and steal the Golden Fleece from the serpent that never closes it eyes. He needs to do five brave things and solve the riddle before he can return home. Just as Jeremy finds the solution to the riddle, Jason comes sailing up on a fast clipper. Instead of running, Jeremy stays and gives him the Golden Fleece. The fifth brave deed is accomplished, and Jeremy finds himself in the theater, a little disappointed because he would have liked to spend some time with Jason.

     Jessica Milne's black and white illustrations add to the story by illustrating some of the imaginary creatures, such as the Harpies, that Jeremy encounters. The book consists of a dozen 3- or 4-page chapters, each with an illustration making it a good early reader for children. The books are also an interesting introduction to Greek mythology and might spark further interest in children.


Lisa Hanson O'Hara is a librarian and mother of three in Winnipeg, MB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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ISSN 1201-9364
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