Youngsters share their views of two tales; Questing with Sir Belliful; The Acorn Quest, by Jane Yolen. Illustrated by Susanna Natti. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell Junior Books. $8.95.
I liked this story. It was funny. I love animals, and they were silly. Four animals who were knights went with Squirrelin the Wizard to find a Golden Acorn which would save all the animals in Woodland from starving. I'm glad they got past the Dragon. They disguised themselves as a swamp, and tha'ts not easy. They covered up with a brown blanket with leaves sewed on the top, and they crept along under the blanket. The Dragon thought it looked like brown custard, and he didn't like brown custurd, he didn't eat it. They were glad. If he thought it was chocolate pudding -- it would be The Endm .
The Wizard just made up the idea of the Golden Acorn, and he was surprised when they really found it. He made up the idea to get the animals busy looking for food instead of sitting around wondering what to do. That was smart. The names of the knights were funny. Sir Belliful was a groundhog who was always eating. He stopped to eat and so he was no help at all. Sir Tarryhere was a turle. he stopped to rest so he didn't help either.
Sir Gimmemore was a selfish rabbit, and he grabbed for the Golden Acorn but it grabbed him instead. Sir Runsalot was a mouse who rescued Sir Gimmemore and got
I liked Sir Runsalot. He was my favorite because he was afraid of a lot of things, but he wanted to help the animals so much that he forgot to be afraid. He was brave, and he didn't brag, either.
King Earthor was a funny owl. He said "nuts to all of you." It wasn't a joke. He meant: you have to find nuts to eat or you will starve. It was never scary. I knew they would be saved.
I have a squirrel in my yard who acts silly like Squirrelin the Wizard. My cat, Bart, is like Sir Belliful. My dad sometimes is like Sir Tarryhere when he sleeps on the couch. There wasn't anybody in the story like my Mom or me, because there weren't any girls. Why not?
A MOTHER'S COMMENTS: This is an extremely well-written story with delightful humor for the adult reading it (as I had to read it to Autumn) as well as for the child. It's better, I think, for children from 9 to 12, who might be familiar with the King Arthur legends and realize this is a bit of a spoof. But then, we are all apt to be a little silly and go on zany quests, so we can laugh at ourselves as well as the characters in this story. Robin Pappas