Tradewind Books / Fitzhenry & Whiteside
By Ruth Symes, illustrated by Marion Lindsay
Synopsis from Fitzhenry & Whiteside:
Anouk, Ben and Cara dream of a fabulous treasure buried on the golden island across the harbour. A mysterious and grizzled old man offers them passage on his boat, but only if they can solve seven vexing riddles. If they succeed, a strange and magical prize awaits them.
Riddles, mystery and treasure, that’s what will intrigue kids with The Riddlemaster. Like in Rumpelstiltskin, an odd looking character promises kids a wonderful treasure should they answer a few riddles. The seven riddles shared in the story will get kids and even parents thinking. It’s obvious the anthropomorphic characters traveling on the boat with the kids want the children to fail at solving the riddles. They toss out harder riddles as they get closer to the island that holds the promised treasure, keeping them from what the kids want. These beasts also lick their lips and show their teeth whenever one of the kids falters with an answer, meaning a tasty dish should the kids fail.
No worries, everything works out in the end, for the kids anyway. Even though the Riddlemaster seems gruff when asking the final riddle, like he’s disappointed the kids have made it this far, he seems to revel in their win and their great treasure. I like that the story focuses on the importance of words and story in more ways than one.
If you’re intrigued by riddles, be sure to check out our gigantic collection of brain teasers and riddles for kids. It’s a read-aloud list that you and your kids can do together, or you can pull out a few here and there when you need them.