Yonderfel's Castle: A Medieval Fable

Yonderfel's Castle: A Medieval Fable

by Jean Gralley
     
 

Yonderfel is a generous king who lives on amountain and never ever turns anyone away from his castle. But when an ogre takes away half the mountain, leaving the castle teetering on the edge, all the people leave and nothing can convince them to come back.

One day it begins to rain, and the rain fills the valley where the people have been living. And then they

Overview

Yonderfel is a generous king who lives on amountain and never ever turns anyone away from his castle. But when an ogre takes away half the mountain, leaving the castle teetering on the edge, all the people leave and nothing can convince them to come back.

One day it begins to rain, and the rain fills the valley where the people have been living. And then they remember Yonderfel, the king who lives high on a mountain in a very dry castle, and who never ever turns anyone away!

Jean Gralley's wry humor shines off every page, warmly inviting readers to enjoy the tale of Yonderfel and his castle.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Anita Barnes Lowen
All day long, King Yonderfel stood at his castle door and invited all who passed by to come in. His castle became a crowded and happy place until the day the Ogre Guy (who happened to own the mountain on which the castle stood) doubled the rent. Yonderfel could only give the Ogre Guy half of what he asked. "Then I shall take away half the mountain," said the Ogre Guy. Alas, a castle on just half a mountain is not stable. Soon, things were rolling, sliding, crashing, and bashing. The grumbling guests packed up and departed since "a leaning castle, even a free one, would not do." Yonderfel was now completely alone, his kindness and generosity forgotten. Then, rain began to fall and, as the water in the valley rose, someone remembered the castle high in the air and knew the generous Yonderfel would welcome them all. And he did! But as more and more people filled the castle, it began to tippy-tip-tip! Unexpectedly, a little voice outside the castle gates cried "Take me in, please." It was the Ogre Guy. "Close the gates," the people cried. "If one more comes in, the castle will fall." For the first time ever, Yonderfel was not sure what a good king should do. This would be the perfect place to stop and let young listeners give their opinions on what Yonderfel should do before turning the pages to find out what happens next. This is a charming tale delightfully illustrated in a style reminiscent of Tomie dePaola. Reviewer: Anita Barnes Lowen
School Library Journal
K-Gr 1—Generous King Yonderfel freely welcomes all guests to his high-in-the-sky castle and never turns anyone away. However, one day "an ogre guy" doubles the King's rent ("He owned the mountain and could do that, even to a king.") and comes with a tractor to repossess half of the mountain, which is the foundation for the dwelling. As the castle becomes unbalanced, it begins to tip, regularly spilling the people and its contents to the bottom of the cliff. Guests promptly move out and ungratefully call the king a "nincombooby." From that day forward, the lonely royal passes the time knitting guest towels. Yet this unfortunate turn of events does not change his kindly character. He does not harbor a grudge and offers both the ogre and the townspeople shelter after a storm. Readers who expect the tale to end here will be surprised that there is more to the saga. Cartoonlike illustrations in primary colors make good use of white space, often creating both humor and visual pauses in the story, allowing readers to fully appreciate the king's predicament. While not a priority purchase, this is a humorous picture book that emphasizes hospitality.—Blair Christolon, Prince William Public Library System, Manassas, VA
Kirkus Reviews
King Yonderfel was once revered for his generous spirit; he beckoned all travelers to visit until his castle overflowed with guests. When his landlord, Ogre Guy, takes half of the castle's mountain, the lopsided residence causes the freeloaders to leave in haste. As a tumultuous storm passes through the village, the king's newfound hobby-knitting towels-saves his people. Irreverent asides bring forth the conversational voice; outrageous insults convey outlandish humor. Speech bubbles utilize varied fonts to develop further context within the flippant narrative. When the castle crumbles, the ungrateful inhabitants cry, "Woe is us! / This is what comes of / having a cabbage-headed- / addle-brained- / foozle-noodled- / nicombooby for a King!!!" Purposeful page breaks provide natural pauses, advancing the breezy tale. Thin borders contain varied angles on clean backgrounds; swirling lines successfully portray the shifting tone as the imposing storm threatens the town's residents. Object placement varies on each spread; the brief use of panels highlights each wry moment. The result is a dry twist on a universal truth: Truly, no good deed goes unpunished. (Picture book. 5-9)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780805063295
Publisher:
Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Publication date:
09/15/2009
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
10.20(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

JEAN GRALLEY is the author and illustrator of several books for children, including The Moon Came Down on Milk Street and Very Boring Alligator. She lives outside of Washington, D.C., where she writes and illustrates picture books.

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