cover image Prince Boghole

Prince Boghole

Erik Christian Haugaard. MacMillan Publishing Company, $13.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-02-743440-8

This extraordinary book combines a powerful story, eloquent prose and exceptionally fine illustrations. When Irish King Desmond senses that his days are numbered, he decides to find a husband for his daughter Orla who is as wise as she is beautiful. Accordingly, he sends for the princes of Leinster and Ulster to try for her hand. Meanwhile, simply clad Prince Brian shows up at the castle and instantly charms both Desmond and Orla. Along come the other princes, one ostentatious, the other warlike. The king sets out a task: the prince who brings back the finest bird will win Orla's hand. Though the others appear with an eagle and peacock, Brian returns with a tiny nightingale, with a lovely voice that wins Orla's hand and her heart. Haugaard's original story could easily be an authentic folktale; Downing's pictures have the beauty of pre-Raphaelite paintings. Ages 5-8. (March)