The Secret of Trembleton Hall

Gisela Durr, Author, G. Dnrr, Author, U. Dnrr, Author NorthSouth $15.95 (0p) ISBN 978-1-55858-433-4
Though short on plot, this whimsical Swiss import effectively employs fold-outs, diecuts and half-pages to display its intricate, detail-packed artwork. When a reputedly haunted old castle is turned into a boys' school (""`Ghosts? Stuff and nonsense!' said Headmaster Wentworth''), a student named Mark soon discovers that more than books inhabit the institution's library: with the help of the Dream Queen, a resident gaggle of elves scurries about the halls every night and turns the place into a fairy-tale kingdom. Mark is warned that the boys' wonderful dreams will disappear if he reveals the secret, so that night he ``was the first one in bed, and the very first boy to fall asleep.'' Both elves and portions of text lurk under the cleverly arranged cut pages, with illustrations ranging from closeups of musty books (concealing anything-but-musty elves) to the crumbling, eponymous structure to a marvelous fold-out of the hallucinogenic dream kingdom created for the sleeping boys. A good use of design novelties. Ages 4-7. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/03/1995
Release date: 04/01/1995
The Best Books, Emailed Every Week
Tip Sheet!