From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 3?Santore has spun a charming environmentalist fairy tale about William, a curious frog who lives in the moat of a castle. Though the queen is an angry, impatient perfectionist who never notices him, he respects her. When a new castle law demands that anything not "absolutely perfect" be tossed into the moat, he volunteers to find out why it is being polluted. Readers see William dodging the floating furniture, books, garbage, pots, etc., in the detailed illustrations. On his dangerous mission, he spies a broken toy knight lying on the very last living water lily. Protecting himself with its armor, he approaches the queen. A scuffle with two burly guards causes the monarch to ask what the noise is all about and William gets his chance to ask her why "perfect" is so important. He shows her the moat's imperfection and she admits that in her zeal she has forgotten life's little things. In gratitude to him for raising her environmental consciousness, she be-knights him Sir William, Knight of the Water Lilies, Protector of the Castle Moat, and promises to restore his home to its original beauty. The realism of the slightly exaggerated drawings helps children see the utter devastation of the once-idyllic moat. Santore renders his drawings in appropriate colors that reinforce the mood of the text on each page. This enchantingly hopeful read-aloud should not be missed.?Susan Garland, Maynard Public Library, MA
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From the Inside Flap
The Queen of the Land of Far and Wide demands perfection--absolute
perfection--in all that she surveys from her windows, high in her perfect castle. She orders her minions to move mountains and to change the colors of the forest--but, alas, she is never
satisfied. One day she makes a decree--all imperfect things in the castle must be thrown out of the windows. Soon the lovely, lily-blanketed moat below becomes a slimy, polluted junk pile. Blinded by her quest for perfection, the queen does not realize the havoc she has wrought on the harmony of her kingdom, and no one dares to tell her--except one very small and very brave frog named William. Here is the story of how he opens the queen's eyes, to see that nature, in and of itself, is perfect. Acclaimed artist Charles Santore's sumptuous illustrations and provocative "environmental fairytale" will have readers of all ages cheering the triumph of the courageous frog.