cover image The Castle Corona

The Castle Corona

Sharon Creech, , read by Jennifer Wiltsie. . Harper Audio, $22.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-06-135533-2

Actress Wiltsie deftly narrates the Newbery Medalist's protracted fairy tale, which takes place in something like a medieval Italian kingdom. The story unfolds in short episodic chapters that follow two orphaned peasant children, Pia and Enzio, who discover a leather pouch marked with King Guido's seal. Before they can understand the meaning of the objects inside the pouch, they are whisked off to the Castle Corona to become “tasters” for the king, who is fearful of being poisoned. Wiltsie alternates effortlessly between narrator and the many different voices: outspoken Pia, arrogant Prince Vito, silly and spoiled Princess Fabrizia, aristocratic King Guido. The playful tone, the mystery of a thief's identity and the wide range of voices will give listeners several hours of enjoyment. Ages 8-12. Simultaneous release with the HarperCollins/Cotler hardcover (Reviews, Sept. 17, 2007). (Nov.)