In the Palace of the Ocean King

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9780689317552: In the Palace of the Ocean King
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Marianna, the daughter of Lord Adelbert, makes a perilous trek to the court of the Ocean King to try to save the life of her beloved Sylvain, who has been lost at sea.

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From School Library Journal:

PreSchool-Grade 3?In this original fairy tale, Singer tells the romantic tale of love conquering fear. One evening in his castle by the sea, Sylvain tells Mariana the story of how he saved a merman who had angered the Ocean King. That night, Mariana, who is afraid of the ocean, dreams that she will have to save Sylvain from the Ocean King. When his ship sinks offshore at the beginning of a journey, she knows what she must do. With the help of the merman, she overcomes her fear and cleverly outsmarts the Ocean King. In an unfortunate plot twist, after Mariana goes through such trials to save Sylvain, it is Sylvain, "with a burst of strength born of love," who wakes up from his trance and actually gets them out of the water. The tale gets a little saccharine at the end, but overall has the tone of a traditional story. Singer uses the right language and syntax for a proper fairy tale, yet it is not as complex as some and could be used in preschool story time. Rand's excellent paintings are rendered in ink and acrylics in a romantic style. They are full of textures and brilliant colors in a similar, but more sophisticated palette than his Whiffle Squeek (Puffin, 1994). The artist uses splatters of paint to achieve a bubbly effect and glorious swirls of blue for the rolling waters. Sea creatures are done in jewel tones, which enliven the murky underwater world that seems to shimmer and sway because of Rand's use of curves to suggest motion. Pair this story with Robert D. San Souci's Sukey and the Mermaid (Four Winds, 1992), another romantic mer-tale.?Cheri Estes, Dorchester Road Regional Library, Charleston,
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Publishers Weekly:

A versatile and prolific author of picture books (The Maiden on the Moor, reviewed below) as well as fantasy novels (Horsemaster), Singer meshes elements of these two genres in this overly elaborate tale. Bold, clever Mariana, the daughter of a lord, fears nothing but the ocean. When her father brings her to the seaside castle of a duke, she is spellbound by his son Sylvain's story of a merman punished by the Ocean King and saved by a brave youth (who turns out to be Sylvain himself). The tale, only half-told, fills her with dread, and soon enough she realizes that she has a role to play in determining its conclusion: in love with Sylvain, she is called upon to rescue him when he is taken captive and condemned to an eternity of "moving in the circles of a slow and endless waltz" with the other prisoners in the Ocean King's underwater palace. Rendered in ink, bamboo pen and acrylics, Rand's dreamlike paintings handsomely serve the fanciful setting. The text is reproduced on scroll-like panels that stand out against the eerie blend of blues, greens and aqua shades used to convey the shadowy underwater world. Though rich in imagery, Singer's ultimately thin narrative lacks that magical spark found in enduring fairy tales. Ages 5-8.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Marilyn Singer, Ted Rand (Illustrator)
Published by Atheneum (1995)
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