Bring children to an English village in 1255, dotted with thatched roofs and air sweet with lavendar, by having them read or put on these 22 brief plays. A librarian wrote them for her own classes to perform, and she won the Newbery Award for it!
I can see why. The speakers, ranging widely in age, represent a rich cross-section of characters that might have lived in 1255. The lines, written in both verse and prose, represent a lowly servant, a lord's daughter, a doctor's son, and even a runaway criminal. The stories they tell in their colorful verbiage are enthralling. The doctor's son describes his father's "medieval" treatments, a poor child describes how her father tried to drown her, and the privileged insist their standing was imposed by God. The light watercolors by Robert Byrd do much to create the mood of the times, and hints and notes sprinkled throughout the text enrich understanding. Lovely.
Review by D.