Three Perfect Peaches: A French Folktale

Cynthia C. DeFelice, Author, Irene Trivas, Illustrator, Mary Demarsh, With Orchard Books (NY) $15.95 (1p) ISBN 978-0-531-06872-4
Abundant energy, breezy pacing and kid-pleasing ``gross-out'' humor mark this auspicious publishing debut of The Wild Washerwomen Storytellers (DeFelice is the author of Devil's Bridge, Weasel, etc.). And Trivas (Annie...Anya: A Month in Moscow) matches their high jinks perfectly-adding some of her own-with frolicsome, loosely rendered watercolors. In this appealing spin on a time-honored plot, a king promises his ailing daughter's hand in marriage to anyone who can grant her wish for three perfect peaches. The youngest of three brothers succeeds (an old woman turns his siblings' offerings into rabbit droppings and horse manure) and the princess is cured; the king hedges, however, demanding that the boy herd 100 rabbits into the palace. But the ingenious lad tricks the monarch into keeping his word and, in the process, into kissing a horse's behind. In addition to the pure fun of deflating the pompous, the story serves as a lighthearted reminder to be kind to all, no matter what their appearance. A fruitful merger of three peachy talents. Ages 5-8. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 02/27/1995
Release date: 03/01/1995
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