Nora's Castle

Nora's Castle

by Satomi Ichikawa

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In this quiet story, a little girl named Nora sets off with her doll, a toy bear and a dog to explore an abandoned, possibly haunted castle. There she introduces herself to the king and the princess she sees in paintings on the wall, plays a tune on the piano and finds clothes for dress up in the attic. Those clothes give Nora an idea; she decides to have a party for the creatures who live in the castle: a spider, bat, rabbit and owl. The next morning Nora goes home with her old friends, and privately scoffs when she hears others, who haven't even been there, say that no one lives at the castle. Nora knows it isn't true. This slight, fanciful story does not seem intended for a wide readership, but with its lovely design and delicate watercolors, it is sure to find an appreciative audience. (5-10)
School Library Journal
Gr 1-3 Intrigued by a mysterious castle in the countryside, Nora sets off with her doll, her Teddy bear and her dog to explore it. Once inside, the doll and the bear come to life, and real animals who live in or near the castle are able to speak. Nora throws a party for the animals; they feast, dance and sing in the moonlight, then sleep in the tower. Nora returns home, guarding her ``secret'' that the castle isn't desertedin spite of what the people of the village say. Both the text and the delicate watercolor illustrations reflect an adult's perspective rather than a child's. Nora's dialogue does not sound natural, and her playing reflects the perception of nostalgic adulthood. The tone (``The four explorers were in high spirits. What an adventure!'') is too brightly or falsely cheerful, stating rather than creating a mood. Most of the romantic illustrations are contained in oval frames, with some element of the composition extending outside of the ovalperhaps to bridge the outside (real) world and the interior imaginative play. Like an expensive greeting card, this sunny glimpse of the French countryside will have more appeal to adults than to children. Susan H. Patron, Los Angeles Public Library

Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
8.00(w) x 10.04(h) x 0.10(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

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