Thursday, January 03, 2008
Castle Corona by Sharon Creech
In this fantasy fairy tale, Pia and Enzo are orphaned peasant children who find a mysterious pouch and shortly afterwards are summoned to the castle to be tasters for the King. They don't know why they were chosen, but they soon come to enjoy eating good food, roaming the castle, and meeting the prince and princess. The royal family is a bit ridiculous and stereotypical, which keeps the book lighthearted and mildly humorous, but kept me from really getting engaged with the story. Creech is a fine writer, and this light, breezy story that ends with a predictable twist will probably be popular with younger kids (grades 3-5). This fantasy fairy tale reminded me of Once Upon a Marigold by Jean Ferris, which I didn't like all that well, either. Personally, I much prefer the fairy tale stories with more depth of character such as The Goose Girl and others by Shannon Hale, Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine, and Beauty by Robin McKinley.