Behind the King's Kitchen: A Roster of Rhyming Riddles

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9781563970245: Behind the King's Kitchen: A Roster of Rhyming Riddles
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Illustrated with woodcuts, this collection of rhyming riddles--from centuries-old pieces to modern riddles--includes work by such figures as J.R.R. Tolkien, Donald Justice, and May Swenson. By the author of Laughing Time: Collected Nonsense.

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From Kirkus Reviews:

An attractive presentation of traditional and other riddles, chosen as much for their poetic quality as for their humor or the challenge of the puzzles; the thematic grouping would tend to suggest solutions even if the answers weren't given. What isn't provided is accessible sourcing; though a list of works like the Opies' volumes is appended, readers must guess, for example, what era described a watch as ``Beloved by men of degree.'' Only entries from known authors are specifically attributed; these include elegant literary translations from Symphosius (fourth century) by Richard Wilbur, nice oddments from Tolkien, Swenson, and Rossetti, and several--mostly doggerel--from the editors. Hnizdovsky's lovely, spare woodcuts, on most spreads, contribute to the handsome format but have little child appeal. Overall: pleasing but not essential. (Nonfiction. 8-12) -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

From School Library Journal:

Grade 5 Up-- A collection of over 150 rhyming riddles drawn from sources dating back to the fourth-century, through Anglo-Saxon times to the present day. The slant is heavily British, with many references that will be unfamiliar to American children. Some of the subject headings, such as ``Fire and Water, Earth and Air'' are abstract. Others, which relate to a house, garden, the body, animals, and insects, are more accessible and rewarding. Handsome, meticulously composed woodcuts in black and white add a distinguished look. Of interest more to the adult folklorist or anthologist than to a general readership seeking easy-to-solve riddles, this is a challenging and intriguing collection. It would lend itself well to creative writing and poetry workshops, or classes for the gifted. --Sally R. Dow, Ossining Public Library, NY
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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