________________ CM . . . . Volume XXII Number 38 . . . . June 3, 2016


The Riddlemaster.

Kevin Crossley-Holland. Illustrated by Stéphane Jorisch.
Vancouver, BC: Tradewind Books, 2016.
32 pp., hardcover, $18.95.
ISBN 978-1-926890-11-1.

Preschool-grade 2 / Ages 4-7.

Review by Courtney Penney.

*** /4



Anouk and Ben and Cara stood on the scribbly tideline and watched waves breaking into blues.

"Blue of blue," said Anouck

"Every blue there is," Ben said.

"Even the ones without names," added Anouck.

Side by side they stood and stared across the bouncy sea at the little island.

The Riddlemaster tells the story of three young characters, Anouk, Ben and Cara, and their adventures while going to a small island on a hunt for gold coins. On the way, these children meet a peculiar old man who describes himself as the Riddlemaster. He promises the children he will help them get to the island on his boat, but first they need to answer a series of riddles. The riddles are difficult questions, but every question is answered by the children. For example, one of the Riddlemaster's questions is: "What crosses in front of the sun, without making any shadow?" Anouk said that the answer was the wind, and he was right. There are six other questions that The Riddlemaster asks the children, and they answer them all correctly.

      The Riddlemaster is a captivating read. The book tells an interesting story that has a charm not often seen or felt in modern books. Reading this book brought me back to spending time with my granny who read me my favourite fairy tale, Jack and the Beanstalk, whenever I requested. The watercolour illustrations are a perfect match to the story's whimsical tale. The illustrations are colourful, detailed, and they transport readers to a mystical land.

      While reading The Riddlemaster, I kept the intended readership in mind. Young readers may find this book text heavy. The riddles are not easy questions to answer for children or adults. Despite this, I would suggest picking up the book and giving it a read.


Courtney Penney is the Regional Librarian for Central Division with Newfoundland and Labrador Public Libraries. She lives in Gander, NL.

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

Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.

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