Wednesday, 14 August 2019

Petal and the Really Hard Riddle


Petal and the Really Hard Riddle by Kathryn England, illustrated by David Allan (Christmas Press) PB RRP $13.99 ISBN 9780648194545

Reviewed by Dianne Bates

This slim chapter book is based on the Rumplestilskin tale. Petal’s father constantly boasts of his daughter’s prowess from growing super-sized pumpkins to juggling flaming torches while hopping on one foot. When Dad says Petal can spin straw into gold, the king calls for the miraculous girl.

He sets Petal up in a room in the centre of which is a spinning wheel and a bundle of straw. While Petal is wondering how to get out of this tricky situation, a crooked little mad with a long beard climbs through the window. It’s Rumplestilskin’s twin brother Riddlestilskin. He promises to spin gold if Petal can answer a series of riddles.

This is a lively reworking of a tale probably unfamiliar to today’s readership of five to nine-year olds for whom it’s intended, but the story is easy to follow with simple text in a well-designed book. Each chapter is illustrated with black and white drawings which make reading easier.

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