HAMLET AND THE MAGNIFICENT SANDCASTLE

Brian Lies, Author . Moon Mountain $15.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-9677929-2-7

Previously met in Hamlet and the Enormous Chinese Dragon Kite, best friends Hamlet the pig and Quince the porcupine are back, headed for trouble once again as they take the train to the beach. Ever-optimistic Hamlet can think of nothing but what he plans to build ("The wheels on the track clacked a rhythm that sounded like 'Castle-castle-castle'"). At the same time, Quince, who worries about everything from driftwood splinters to jellyfish, hears "Careful-careful-careful." Once there, Quince settles in (with sunscreen, of course) to keep watch, while Hamlet trots off to construct his masterpiece, an enormous edifice replete with a moat, tunnels, stables, a dungeon, a secret passage and "battlements, buttresses and arches." But unbeknownst to the now-napping Quince and the blithely unaware builder, the tide has come in, bringing with it angry clouds. As the castle crumbles, the two make a perilous voyage back to shore in quick-thinking Quince's upturned beach umbrella. If odd couple Hamlet and Quince traverse a well-trodden thematic path, their genuinely likable personalities invite humorous embellishment. Nimble watercolors play up comic elements and excitement (chilly greens and grays ratchet up the suspense of the escape sequence), and a teaser ending paves the way for another adventure. Ages 5-8. (June)

Reviewed on: 06/04/2001
Release date: 01/01/2001
Genre: Children's
Prebound-Other - 28 pages - 978-0-606-32892-0
Paperback - 32 pages - 978-1-931659-03-1
Prebound-Sewn - 978-0-613-80414-1
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