Filed under: book reviews, fiction | Tags: castle corona, children's literature, david diaz, fairy tales, illuminations, newberry medal, quotes, sharon creech, walk two moons
“A young peasant girl and her brother kneeled in the smooth gray stones on the edge of the river, filling wooden buckets with water for their master.”
The first time I read Sharon Creech was her children’s novel Walk Two Moons. It was assigned reading in a Children’s Literature course and I suffered through it along with an eleven year old boy, I was his nanny, who was reading it for school. Despite its Newberry Medal status, I simply did not enjoy the book. However, one of her more recent books, The Castle Corona, had been whispering to me from the shelf: “Read me, read me,” and I gave in.
The Castle Corona is very much an extended fairy tale. Orphans, long lost relatives, beautiful princesses, daring and charming princes, peasants, and an old witch like woman. With more nature symbolism it would have been right out of Grimm’s Fairy Tales though the complete lack of violence does lead it away from most classical tales. A thief strikes in a Kingdom unaccustomed to theft and a great flutter of excitement sweeps through the castle and nearby village. Two orphans are returned to their biological grandfather and the royalty is taught to be generally less selfish.
I really cannot say I cared much for The Castle Corona. There are some beautiful illuminations throughout the book by David Diaz, and I would certainly suggest the book is worth at least a flip through if only for the illuminations. This is not a children’s book I would suggest for adult perusal but I do think it would work out pretty well for most children. It’s fairly gender neutral through I admit that the book lacks spirit and it would not surprise me if children would like something with a bit more adventure to it.
And another review from Books & Other Thoughts.