cover image HARP O'GOLD

HARP O'GOLD

Teresa Bateman, Author, Jill Weber, Illustrator HARP O'GOLDTeresa Bateman $16.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8234-1523-6

There's a wee bit o' Irish magic in this original tale about how people can become blinded by appearances. As a boy, Tom had always dreamed of being a minstrel. He achieved his goal of becoming a talented harp player but did not acquire the riches he had envisioned. While despairing over his lot, Tom receives a visit from a leprechaun who offers him a harp made of gold, and Tom gains entry to the finest homes. But while the golden harp lives up to its promise money-wise, its tinny, false sound bothers the music lover in Tom. And when the king so admires the harp that he imprisons Tom as his personal musician, the hero knows things have gone too far. Young readers will quickly pick up on the simple but resonant messages—be true to one's self; the grass isn't always greener on the other side—woven into Bateman's (Leprechaun Gold ) pleasantly paced text. Weber's (The Christmas Tree) vibrant acrylic and watercolor compositions suggest a hint of Petra Mathers and Giselle Potter—playful in tone, starring plucky animal figures and rubbery-limbed characters with expressive facial features. Children will enjoy a humorous leitmotif that plays throughout, too—the golden harp is not music to the animals' ears. Ages 4-8. (Mar.)