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Bartlett and the Ice Voyage

Odo Hirsch

Fiction (Series)

Ages 8 to 12

Bloomsbury, 2003, 1-58234-797-2

  The queen has all sorts of wonderful things in her palace and its gardens. Her people and foreign dignitaries have sent her gifts of animals and plants, gems and fabrics, delicious fruits of every shape, color, and taste. Indeed, the queen has tried almost every fruit that grows in her dominions. Yet, the queen is not happy. There is one fruit that she has not been able to try. This is the melidrop, a fruit that grows far away and that has to be eaten almost as soon as it is picked. Many people have sent her the melidrop, but it always arrives rotten and smelling foul. Despite the obvious limitations, the queen is determined that she must try this fruit. As a last resort, a famous adventurer is sent for, a certain Bartlett. Barlett is not keen on doing such an unadventurous task but is finally persuaded to do so.

  What follows is a tale about an extraordinary adventure. We see how powerful determination, imagination and hope can be. Bartlett never stops believing that somehow, he will find a way get a melidrop to the queen. The queen on the other hand, does not have faith, and has to learn a lesson.

  By telling the story in the most simple and matter-of-fact way, Odo Hirsch makes this story seem real, alive, and as plausible as something that one might read in a work of non-fiction. The characters are true to life and warm, touching in their strengths and weaknesses. How many of us can say that we haven't been impatient at some time or other? We therefore can identify with the young queen as she paces up and down in her palace, wondering what Bartlett is up to and where he is.


Bartlett and the Ice Voyage


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