illustrated by Nicoletta Ceccoli
Finished: Oct. 29, 2007
Reason for Reading: I saw this on display at the library and was drawn to the artwork on the cover and then thought it sounded intriguing.
First Published: 2006
Genre: children's fantasy
My cousin Duke's troubles on the river started the day he dangled me off the wagon wheel bridge.
Comments: Duke is a bully who is always tormenting his cousin, Claire but unfortunately for Duke they happen to live along a stretch of the Mississippi River that is under a magical spell. It is here that all the creatures of magic live and they have a special fate handed out to those humans who enjoy bullying. This is a really cute story but I'm sorry to say I wanted to like it more than I actually did. The story is fun and there is a large cast of strange and magical characters that are a delight to meet. However, there are just too many characters, with none of them developed to a point where the reader cares for them and that is the downfall of this book. I actually had to look up the name of the main character, Claire, for this review as I couldn't remember it.
I also think more credit is due to Nicoletta Ceccoli for the illustrations both on the cover and under each chapter heading. I'm surprised her name is not on the title page but only found in tiny print on the copyright page.