Booktalk for Igraine the Brave
- Grades: 3–5
When parents turn to pigs and the bully next door arrives to take over the castle, it's up to Igraine the Brave to save the day.
Pimpernel Castle is home to two of the greatest magicians in the world, the Fair Melisande and Sir Lamorak the Wily, owners of the Magic Singing Books, and their children. Albert is in training to become a magician, and Igraine wants to become a famous knight like her great-grandfather, and have grand adventures. She wears his chain mail shirt to remind herself of her goal, even though it comes down to her knees, and is rather uncomfortable.
This particular day is the day before Igraine's twelfth birthday, and her parents are in their tower with Albert, working on her present, leaving her with nothing to do. "Nothing exciting ever happens here," she complains to her talking cat, Sisyphus. "I feed the water snakes every morning, dust the Magic Singing Books on Wednesdays and Saturdays, scrape the moss off the stone lions' manes once a week, and once a year there's a tournament at Darkrock Castle. I'm going to be twelve tomorrow, and I haven't had one single adventure. Not one! I'm bored! Even the gargoyles are bored." The stone creatures crouching along the top of the tall castle wall did, indeed, look bored. Some of them were even yawning. "They look like they'd enjoy some adventures just as much as I would. And I'll bet they'd like to crunch a few arrows and swallow some cannonballs, just like in the old days."
Sometimes, it's not a good idea to wish for adventures-unexpected things can happen. And sure enough, just minutes later, the stone lions at the gate begin to roar. Bertram, Master of the Horse for the Baroness of Darkrock Castle, comes galloping up with terrible news. The Baroness's nephew, Sir Osmund the Greedy, is gathering men and weapons to attack Pimpernel Castle and steal the Magic Singing Books, so he can become the most powerful magician in the world. The Baroness is nowhere to be seen, and Osgood says she's on a pilgrimage, and leaving him in charge. Melisande and Sir Lamorak are sure their magic will protect them, and go back to work on Igraine's present. But an unfortunate slip of the tongue unexpectedly turns them into pigs, without any of their magical abilities. And since Albert used up the last of their giants' hair, he can't turn them back into their old selves.
Maybe Igraine shouldn't have wished for adventures quite so much!
This booktalk was written by university professor, librarian and booktalking expert Joni Richards Bodart.