THE TALE OF JACK FROST

David Melling, Author
David Melling, Author . Barron's $14.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-7641-5675-5
Reviewed on: 10/27/2003
Release date: 10/01/2003
Hardcover - 30 pages - 978-0-340-85200-2
Hardcover - 30 pages - 978-0-340-85199-9
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When a wide-eyed boy with snow-white skin mysteriously appears in the middle of a silvery forest, assorted unicorns, woodhoppers, beezels, Bing Bong Bandylegs and skitlets take him under their shimmery wings. The animals discover he can turn whatever he touches into ice, so they name him Jack Frost and share their magical secrets, such as how to mix "rare potions and unusual soups" and "worm-juice surprise." These skills come in handy when Jack is kidnapped by a gaggle of goblins who want to steal the forest's magic. In cartoonlike art, Melling (The Kiss That Missed ) imagines gangly woodland creatures with twisty noses and hairy kneecaps and bald, pajama-clad goblins with gold earrings (the goblins "smelled of boiled cabbage and liked to make rude noises just for fun"). Readers who like their fairy tales served with physical comedy will revel in the detailed illustrations and cheer on Jack, who freezes the goblins in "magic ice puddles with snail glue." Well-suited to reading aloud, the story closes on a kid-friendly note: the frosty webs of ice that appear on windows, says the narrator, are "little spells of magic" from Jack—"to protect you from the smell of boiled cabbage." Ages 4-7. (Oct.)

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