Petal and the really hard riddle by Kathryn England
Illus. by David Allan. Christmas Press, 2019. ISBN: 9780648194545.
(Age: 6-8) Themes: Fairy tales. Katherine England's beginning chapter book is based on the Rumpelstiltskin folk tale, one of the less familiar fairy stories. She follows the similar plot lines, reworking the ideas and introducing the cunning twin brother Riddlestiltskin who's up to the same old trickery as his brother.
Petal's father can't help boasting about his daughter, she is clever, grows the most gigantic pumpkins and can even juggle fiery torches hopping on one foot. Of course, when he boasts about Petal's ability to spin straw into gold, things come unstuck. The greedy king summons the girl and locks her in a room with a bundle of straw and a spinning wheel. Poor Petal is unsure about what to do next, when a little bearded man climbs in through the castle window.
He promises to fulfil the king's commands if Petal can answer all his tricky riddles. Luckily Petal has read 'The Giant Book of Riddles' from cover to cover.
David Allan's black and white sketches add liveliness to this easy to read chapter book. Katherine England's ending brings a new interpretation to this fairy story, one which adds a fun conclusion. Petal and the really hard riddle is an easy story tale for young readers.