Long ago and far away . . .
There was a castle. But not just any castle. This was a castle that glittered and sparkled and rose majestically above the banks of the winding Winono River: the Castle Corona.
And in this castle lived a family. But not just any family. This was the family of King Guido: rich and royal and . . . spoiled. And King Guido was so spoiled that neither jewels nor gold nor splendid finery could please him, for what he longed for most was . . . a nap and a gown that didn't itch.
Far below this grand, glittering castle lived two peasants. But not just any peasants. These peasants, though poor and pitiful, were plucky and proud. And in possession of a stolen pouch. But not just any pouch. A pouch whose very contents had the power to unlock secrets and transform lives . . .
And oh, there is an author. But not just any author. Sharon Creech is a Newbery Medal-winning author whose tantalizing tale will not only dazzle and delight but also entertain and excite.
Actress Wiltsie deftly narrates the Newbery Medalist's protracted fairy tale, which takes place in something like a medieval Italian kingdom. The story unfolds in short episodic chapters that follow two orphaned peasant children, Pia and Enzio, who discover a leather pouch marked with King Guido's seal. Before they can understand the meaning of the objects inside the pouch, they are whisked off to the Castle Corona to become "tasters" for the king, who is fearful of being poisoned. Wiltsie alternates effortlessly between narrator and the many different voices: outspoken Pia, arrogant Prince Vito, silly and spoiled Princess Fabrizia, aristocratic King Guido. The playful tone, the mystery of a thief's identity and the wide range of voices will give listeners several hours of enjoyment. Ages 8-12. Simultaneous release with the HarperCollins/Cotler hardcover (Reviews, Sept. 17, 2007). (Nov.)Copyright 2007Reed Business Information