Reviews for Rimonah of the Flashing Sword : A North African Tale


Horn Book Guide Reviews 1995
This Egyptian version of ""Snow White"" contains all the traditional elements of the story, including the heroine's resuscitation from a deathlike state by the kiss of a prince. However, Rayyan's exotic watercolors and Kimmel's text portray Rimonah as a fearless and skilled warrior who plays a major role in the defeat of her wicked stepmother. Copyright 1998 Horn Book Guide Reviews

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 1995 February #2
Snow White meets Ali Baba in this adaptation of a North African fairy tale. The heroine, Rimonah (the name means ``pomegranate''), has skin as dark as a pomegranate, eyes bright as pomegranate seeds and a voice sweet as pomegranate juice. Her fate is much like Snow White's, except that she finds refuge with bedouins, not dwarves, and learns from them how to handle a sword. Forced to flee a second time, she seeks asylum in a den of 40 thieves before a final showdown with her evil stepmother. Kimmel's writing is fluid as ever, but the design of this book is decidedly off-putting. Set in a clunky font, blocks of text, one or two per page, seemed crammed on top of the illustrations, themselves very busy. The sand-colored borders further compete for the reader's attention. Heavily overdone. Ages 4-8. (Mar.) Copyright 1995 Cahners Business Information.

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School Library Journal Reviews 1995 March
K-Gr 4?Many elements of this North African version of ``Snow White'' are familiar: a good queen who dies, a jealous stepmother who wants to do away with her stepdaughter, a group of outcasts who provide shelter for the princess, and the heroine's deathlike trance and glass coffin. In other ways, however, Rimonah defies the passive, Eurocentric stereotype. Living with a Bedouin tribe after fleeing her stepmother, she next takes up with a band of 40 thieves. Formerly honest men, they accept Rimonah as one of their own, and she rides with them against the new queen. Kimmel's adaptation is lucid, unfolding at a leisurely pace that allows the tale to develop fully. His mastery is evident in his careful choice of words and his uncanny sense of pacing and rhythm. A note cites the source of the tale and the influences inspiring the work. The text, printed in bold, ornate type that is clear and attractive, is integrated perfectly into Rayyan's gorgeous watercolor paintings. The illustrations are full of movement and energy and make excellent use of light and shadow. The colors, at once muted and vibrant, glow on the page, lending a rich texture to the entire book. In his note, the artist states that he has combined elements of different traditions, setting the story in ``...the more ambiguous world of folklore.'' This title deserves a place in every collection.?Donna L. Scanlon, Lancaster County Library, PA

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