cover image The Girl, the Fish, and the Crown

The Girl, the Fish, and the Crown

Marilee Heyer. Viking Children's Books, $14.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-670-85409-7

Magnificent, elaborate illustrations form the backdrop for this retelling of a little-known story. All the ingredients for a smashing fairy tale in the classic tradition are here--enchantment, a quest, a magical kingdom, good triumphing over evil, and a humble heroine exalted far above her station by her goodness. Through selfishness and folly, the eponymous girl is transformed into a fish; through courage and determination, she redeems herself and wins the love of a prince. Heyer (Iron Hans) takes readers from a fisherman's cottage to a palace at the bottom of the sea and, later, to a giant's castle; populated as these settings are with mermaids, talking fish and an assortment of exotic animals, they give Heyer a poetic set of images to work with. She plays it to the hilt, and her lavishly bordered, opulently detailed pages fairly radiate romance. All ages. (Aug.)