Big Anthony and the Magic Ring
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A delightful tale from an author-artist whose work is a super 'bridge' between picture books and sustained reads for the six-to-eights. Big Anthony wishes for some night life and, with the help of the Magic Ring, turns into a handsome, elegant squire, pursued mercilessly by the ladies. It's good to have a boy at the centre of the 'wish-fulfilment' plot for a change. Children love de Paola's magical-sounding places (Calabria) and people (Strega Nona and Bambalona). The distinctive pictures---bold pastels, always holding more in them than is explicit in the text---will help the newly-independent along.