Greencoat and Swanboy

Marlowe Dechristopher, Author, M. Dechristopher, Author Philomel Books $14.95 (1p) ISBN 978-0-399-22165-1
When Baptiste the swanherd encounters the mysterious old man named Greencoat, the stranger plays on Baptiste's reed pipe a haunting air that the young man craves to learn. When Greencoat can't get his price for the tune, he incites the swans to fly away. Baptiste pursues his tormentor to a castle where the ``Trial of the Golden Band'' is to begin. He sees on a dais ``a beautiful maiden in white robes'' and learns that ``the only one who has a wristlet exactly like hers shall be her husband.'' Spotting Greencoat in the throng, Baptiste seizes him and demands justice. The crowd notices Baptiste's wristlet and--in the best fairy-tale tradition--``lo, the two wristlets matched exactly.'' As in Fred Marcellino's Puss in Boots , deChristopher's paintings offer up rich colors and bucolic scenes that sumptuously recall the old masters. But unlike Puss , the characters here are somewhat lacking in animation. The unusually graceful language, however, imbues the tale with the charm and sensibilities of a bygone era. Ages 4-up. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/30/1991
Release date: 10/01/1991
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