Monday, March 1, 2021

Bibliophile's Corner

Arnica the Duck Princess

written by Ervin Lázár
translated by Anna Bentley
illustrated by Jacqueline Molnár

Goodreads Description:
Princess Arnica is so sweet and gentle that when she smiles even wolves and bears forget their fierceness. Everyone loves her, but she loves only Johnny. Luckily, he loves her too, and even more luckily Arnica has a very sensible king for a father, who is happy for her to marry whomever her heart desires. So, no problem then?

Well, maybe just one - The Witch with a Hundred Faces has cast a spell on Arnica and Johnny which means that one of them, at any one time, must always be a duck, and the other human! Only the Seven-Headed Fairy can help them, but will they be able to find her in time?

My Thoughts:
I discovered this enchanting children's book while perusing the website of Pushkin Press; I'm so glad I did! Arnica the Duck Princess is one of those wonderful European fantasy tales (specifically Hungarian) that doesn't seem to lose a whit in the translation. It was first published in 1981 so a few items might seem a bit politically incorrect, but I found the entire story - and illustrations - delightfully entertaining and original. I highly recommend this whimsical tale to readers aged seven and up!

Click here to learn about the life and works of author Ervin Lázár.