David Ives, Author . HarperCollins $15.95 (192p) ISBN 978-0-06-029529-5

Set in a small fictional town in 1609, Ives's first children's book, a fairy tale–like story full of absurd characters who make bizarre interpretations, results in a fun read with a thoughtful message. Feisty 13-year-old Emmaline longs for life beyond MacOongafoondsen (population: 21). Then one day a ship arrives with only a monkey on board (whom the townspeople illogically deduce is a Frenchman). The shifty town bailiff, Lexter Shmink, accuses the monkey—whom he calls Mr. Eek, thinking the sound he makes is his name—of spying and of being responsible for a string of recent robberies, and sentences him to hang. Emmaline then promptly appoints herself as his lawyer. Ives combines suspense (Emmaline and her best friend, Flurp the Town Fool, get caught breaking into Shmink's house to find the stolen goods and flee to a haunted castle with Monsieur Eek in tow) and a carefully woven message about how fear of the unknown can cause disaster. But it's the characters who will win over readers. The townspeople, from Bob the Milkmaid to Onderdonk the Very Tall Woodcutter, a short man who cuts very tall wood, are charmingly odd, while villains Shmink and Mayor and Mrs. Overbite step straight out of melodrama: cold, greedy and more than a little inept. Readers will cheer at Emmaline's impassioned speech at the gallows, and revel in the guilty ultimately getting their comeuppance. Ages 10-up. (May)

Reviewed on: 05/28/2001
Release date: 09/01/2001
Show other formats
Library Binding - 192 pages - 978-0-06-029530-1
Paperback - 179 pages - 978-0-06-447301-9
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Email Address


Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.