cover image Stepsister


Naomi Lewis, Lewis Wilson. Dial Books, $11.95 (28pp) ISBN 978-0-8037-0430-5

Pitiless vengeance and the power of true love give balance to this folktale derived from an ancient Chinese legend. A mean-tempered stepmother and her daughter, Rose-Grumpety, vie against fair Rose, whose goodness fuels their own malevolence. When Rose meets a prince and becomes his bride, the guileful stepmother dumps her down a well, intending to place her daughter in Rose's stead. True love cannot be denied; the faithful prince searches tirelessly for his beloved and is rewarded in the end by her resurrection. Well written for reading aloud, the book is further enhanced by the quality of Reed's paintings, in atmospheric colors richly evocative of ages past. Ages 4-8. (September)