cover image Pome and Peel

Pome and Peel

Amy Ehrlich. Dial Books, $11.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-8037-0287-5

Young readers will be entranced by this Venetian fairy tale, with its many classic ingredients: a couple who cannot have a child, a wizard who casts spells and the moral dilemma of an overheard conversation. In Ehrlich's stylish retelling, the wizard gives the childless couple an apple and guarantees that the wife will have a child nine months after she eats it. The woman consumes the fruit and her maid eats the peel; they both become pregnant. Their sons, Pome and Peel, are born within hours of each other and raised as brothers. Years later the boys seek out the wizard's daughter, famed for her beauty; she disobeys her father and agrees to marry Pome. The angry wizard puts three curses on his daughter; in trying to protect the girl, Peel finds himself the victim of the most terrible curse of all. Gal's elegant medieval paintings, replete with sprawling cityscapes and lavishly costumed characters, contain many imaginative details that capture the story's magic and romance. Ages 4-8. (Mar.)