cover image Nora's Castle

Nora's Castle

Satomi Ichikawa. Philomel Books, $15.95 (33pp) ISBN 978-0-399-21302-1

In this quiet story, a little girl named Nora sets off with her doll, a toy bear and a dog to explore an abandoned, possibly haunted castle. There she introduces herself to the king and the princess she sees in paintings on the wall, plays a tune on the piano and finds clothes for dress up in the attic. Those clothes give Nora an idea; she decides to have a party for the creatures who live in the castle: a spider, bat, rabbit and owl. The next morning Nora goes home with her old friends, and privately scoffs when she hears others, who haven't even been there, say that no one lives at the castle. Nora knows it isn't true. This slight, fanciful story does not seem intended for a wide readership, but with its lovely design and delicate watercolors, it is sure to find an appreciative audience. (5-10)