Written by Valiska Gregory. Illustrated by Barry Moser. Author signed. First edition, 1992. Little Brown & Company. (Published simultaneously in Canada.)
The King, grieving the death of the Queen, is presented with a letter in which she requests him to honor her last, important wish.
"Do one thing more for me, my king, my love. Into the dark and mickle woods go forth to find the bear. This child will give him my ring, and when the bells ring out at morningtide, mark you, closely, how merrily they sing."
This is a frame story, a literary device to tell a story within a story. In the book, the King and the boy, Michael, embark on a journey, and a wise old bear shares the wisdom the Queen knew would lift the King's grief.
Moser brings the characters to life in their individual portraits, as he did for East Of The Sun, West Of The Moon. In the end, the darkness of grief lifts and the light begins to return.
Valiska Gregory has written many other well-received children's books: When Stories Fell Like Shooting Stars, Babysitting For Benjamin, and the Mr. Poggle and Scamp Books.
Barry Moser is a respected, award-winning artist, with a particular love of print making. He's illustrated an interesting variety of books for children: The Call Of The Wild, Lousy Rotten Stinkin' Grapes, What You Know First, Once Upon a Twice, The Mushroom Man, Voices of Ancient Egypt, and many others.
Visit TheCharmedBookshop.com for more fine books for young readers and collectors.
Condition: Very Good/Very Good. AUTHOR SIGNED. Dust jacket: Moderate shelf wear; small closed tear, head of the spine. Yellow cloth cover: Last name written in top right corner of front fly leaf; small area of pin-sized spots on lower edge. Author inscription on title page else pages are clean, undamaged, and complete.
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