The Beatryce Prophecy – Kate DiCamillo. Illustrated by Sophie Blackall.

Standard

Walker Books Australia

October 2021

ISBN: 9781529500899
Imprint: Walker
Australian RRP: $24.99
New Zealand RRP: $27.99

It goes without saying that anything Kate writes is superlative, but what I love especially is her ability to create narratives that are so completely different to those by anyone else, as well as her own creative diversity. From the chivalrous Desperaux to the amazing Ulysses, the friendship of Raymie, Louisiana and Beverly and the delicate Edward Tulaine and so much more, we have long recognised her superiority as a writer. Now Kate has created a medieval fantasy that will utterly bewitch readers with the charm and magic of both characters and plot.

We shall all, in the end, be led to where we belong. We shall all, in the end, find our way home

In a land beset by war and violence a prophecy causes a usurper king to be wary of a young girl. When a mysterious child is found curled up with a very cranky goat in the stable of a monastery, a gentle monk takes it upon himself to be her protector. As Brother Edik tends to Beatryce, who seems to have lost her memory, he discovers she has a dangerous secret – one which could bring disaster down upon all connected with her.

Beatryce’s journey to safety, along with the unfortunate looking monk, a wild boy who is in possession of a dangerous sword and a man who once was a king, is a tale of courage and loyalty, danger and the power of words. Part-fairy tale, part-fable, this is a story that will linger with the reader for some time and one to which readers will return to savour again its beauty, both text and the medieval-styled illustrations and illuminated letters.

As we have already seen with several of Kate’s books, I predict this could well be taken up at a movie adaptation given its memorable characters, not least of which is the obstreperous goat, Answelica, another truly stand-out animals from Kate’s imagination.

This was a binge-read for me and I am giving it a big promotion as a read-aloud for our middle primary kiddos when school resumes. I highly recommend it to you for your readers from around year 4 upwards.

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