Horns and Wrinkles is a tale that requires a fair amount of openness on the reader’s part. Just like the population of Blue Wing, we’ve got to believe that eccentric river incidents are a reality. Each chapter begins with charming illustrations that foreshadow the chapter to come. The story reads like a modern tall tale, something rarely attempted and executed reasonably well in Horns and Wrinkles.
The main difficulties I had with the story involve the jerky transitions. I felt the author lost focus quite a few times and went rambling on unnecessary diversions. This is not to say that the plot was not well executed, it was quite swift and engaging. I simply felt there was unevenness in the transitioning between some scenes. This might be from the over-the-top nature of the tale. At times the fantastical seemed too much, like Lemony Snicket without the wallop.
I do think this tale would appeal to many young readers. It has several applications for classroom use: identifying elements of fantasy vs. tall tale vs. folklore, prediction and foreshadowing, as well as cultural and historical implications of the Mississippi Valley.
-------------------- Resources --------------------
Genre: Legend/Folklore. Age: 9-12. Pages: 368.
Themes: Strength of Character, Courage, Family
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin. Date: September 2006.
ISBN-10: 0618616799 / ISBN-13: 978-0618616794
Buy Horns and Wrinkles Here
© 2007-2009 Cheryl Vanatti