Beautiful Dove Isabeau is transformed into a vicious dragon by her evil stepmother, and when her love, Prince Kemp Owain, releases her, he is turned to stone. Only Dove's love and a surprising magic can bring them together again! Full-color illustrations.
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Grade 3-6-- A cold, craggy northern shore is the setting for Yolen's haunting tale of dark sorcery, which she richly embroiders with traditional fairy-tale conventions and imagery. The beautiful young Isabeau is as sweet and innocent as a dove, yet she possesses a fiery inner spirit. After her mother's death, she is left with only the Lady Darnton's cat for companionship. Her father remarries, but the woman is, in fact, a witch intent on destroying Isabeau. Using herbs of devilry, the stepmother turns the girl into a hideous red wyrm (dragon) who must eat the young men who come to fight it in order to survive. After 99 have met this fate, prince Kemp Owain, who has studied good magicks, returns to try to save the kingdom. The cat speaks to him in riddles, explaining how to break the evil spell; he succeeds but is turned to stone in the process. Isabeau then slays the witch and again it's the cat who helps bring the prince back to life. Nolan's dramatic watercolors are nothing short of magical. The blues and grays of the rocks, the sky, and the sea capture in turn the stark beauty and menacing nature of the cliffs. His realistic renderings of people are extremely effective, and his majestic wyrm could strike fear in the bravest of the brave. The exquisite book design and sophisticated themes of self-sacrifice, good triumphing over evil at a cost, and lost innocence suggest a mature audience. A powerful and appealing picture-book fantasy with a "happily ever after" ending. --Luann Toth , School Library Journal
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Yolen's new fable, redolent with myths ageless and archetypal, strikes at the heart. Dove Isabeau, so-called because she always wears dove's colors of gray or white, is bereft at her mother's death. Her father, Lord Darnton, marries a witch--with "eyes the green of May but a heart as bleak as February." Jealous of Isabeau's youth and beauty, the witch resolves to destroy her and turns her into a great Wyrm, an ugly, scaly red dragon. The dragon is condemned to preventing Isabeau's suitors from entering the castle (by eating them), until "No one was left to watch the red beast weep as it gnawed upon their bones." Only when the king sends abroad for his son, Kemp Owain, to return from his study of sorcery is Isabeau saved, and not without a bit of help from her mother's cat, who issues instructions in the sweet voice of the dead queen. Word and picture are wedded here in perfect harmony. Nolan's somber, lucid watercolors, full of detail, show the interior of the castle, the witch's tower room, the transformation of gentle Isabeau into the fearsome, ugly dragon. Less effective, and only because the others are so strong, are those showing the young couple in happier times. Ages 8-12.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Harcourt Childrens Books (J), 1989. Library Binding. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0152241310
Book Description Harcourt Childrens Books (J), 1989. Library Binding. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0152241310
Book Description Harcourt Childrens Books (J), 1989. Library Binding. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110152241310
Book Description Harcourt Childrens Books (J). LIBRARY BINDING. Book Condition: New. 0152241310 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW6.1049615