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School Library Journal
In this lovely story reminiscent of "Beauty and the Beast," a rich man must give his daughter to a large dog that saved him from robbers. The brave girl rides on the creature's back as he runs to his castle. There, a friendship begins to grow between the two. During happy moments, she calls her captor "sweet as a honeycomb," but thinks of him as "a great smelly, slobbery, small-tooth dog" when she feels homesick. Seeing her sadness, he takes her home for a visit, but turns around when she treats him unkindly. When she is cruel for a third time, his sorrowful eyes prompt her to call him "sweeter than a honeycomb." The dog rips off his smelly fur, revealing a handsome prince with very small teeth. MacDonald has honed the story until each line is sharp and falls easily on listening ears. Paschkis's gouache folk-art paintings in blue, crimson, and gold tones are reminiscent of medieval tapestries. Varying in size and shape, they are set off by tasseled rope borders. The language of flowers intensifies the scenes, which are embellished with the appropriate blossoms; for example, marigolds signify the father's despair, wheat indicates the dog's riches, and roses symbolize love (the endpapers provide a key to the flowers' meanings). This book is a joyous gift to storytellers and youngsters alike.
—Mary Jean SmithCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.