From School Library Journal
Grade 3–6—An adventurous young milkmaid named Lucy decides to climb the Scratchy Mountains to learn more about her mother, who vanished many years before. At the top of a mountain she discovers a town dominated by unnecessary rules, where the weather runs on schedule, and the townspeople live in alphabetical order. Lucy's friend Wynston, who is the prince of their small town, and who is supposed to be looking for a suitable princess to marry, follows her up the mountain and helps her rescue her pet prairie dog. As they work together, their spirited friendship blossoms. Ultimately, they discover that it's okay to bend rules if not break them. This fairy tale, set in a time "before television and interstate highways" in the land of Bewilderness, has appealing characters who grow and develop; clear, accessible language; lively dialogue; and a light humorous tone. While the pacing is a little slow and the central message somewhat heavy-handed, children may enjoy the whimsical setting and the sweet friendship that blossoms between the protagonists.—Mari Pongkhamsing, St. Perpetua School, Lafayette, CA
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Combining elements of a fairy tale and a folksy yarn, this story follows the parallel journeys of two young friends. Lucy, “the loveliest little milkmaid in the village of Thistle, or anywhere else in the Bewilderness,” misses her daily jaunt with Wynston, the crown prince whose father now insists that he attend to matters of state, specifically “princess-finding.” After Lucy takes off alone for the Scratchy Mountains, Wynston defies his father and follows her. This chapter book offers likable characters within a simply written, well-paced story. Magical elements, such as the river that flows up one side of the mountain and down the other, seem not just imaginative but also believable in the context of this childlike adventure story. With its spacious page design and the promise of illustrations (not seen, though the jacket art is charming), the book will appeal to many children in the middle grades as well as younger children reading at this level. Grades 3-5. --Carolyn Phelan