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Two brothers rescue their sister from the spell of an evil magician.

32 pages, Hardcover

First published January 1, 1996

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About the author

Margaret Hodges

57 books41 followers
Margaret "Peggy" Hodges was an American writer of books for children.

She was born Sarah Margaret Moore in Indianapolis, Indiana to Arthur Carlisle and Annie Marie Moore. She enrolled at Tudor Hall, a college preparatory school for girls. A 1932 graduate of Vassar College, she arrived in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with her husband Fletcher Hodges Jr. when in 1937 he became curator at the Stephen Foster Memorial. She trained as a librarian at Carnegie Institute of Technology, now Carnegie Mellon University, under Elizabeth Nesbitt, and she volunteered as a storyteller at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. Beginning in 1958 with One Little Drum, she wrote and published more than 40 books.

Her 1985 book Saint George and the Dragon, illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman, won the Caldecott Medal of the American Library Association.

She was a professor of library science at the University of Pittsburgh, where she retired in 1976.

Hodges died of heart disease on December 13, 2005 at her home in Oakmont, Pennsylvania. She suffered from Parkinson's disease.

She wrote her stories on a notepad or a typewriter. "I need good ideas, and they don't come out of machines," she once said.

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5 stars
24 (24%)
4 stars
31 (31%)
3 stars
35 (35%)
2 stars
8 (8%)
1 star
2 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 15 of 15 reviews
Profile Image for Cheryl.
9,818 reviews418 followers
January 2, 2019
Not as successful, imo, as the team's St. George. First, it's a story about a rather insipid girl who gets rescued by her two younger brothers and some magic. Second, Hyman uses a different style of art and I just can't make myself like it much. Third, the writing style is workmanlike, clunky. An interesting author's note gives justification and makes me give it the third star.
Profile Image for Willow Redd.
604 reviews41 followers
January 28, 2018
Taken from a play (called a "masque") by John Milton, Comus is the story of three children who find themselves lost deep in the woods and at the mercy of a dark magician/God by the name of Comus. Comus wants to make the sister one of his playthings and takes her to his lair, and it's up to the boys, with the help of the Good Spirit, to save her.

Love the story. One of those that has its origins in folklore and mythology (Comus is the son of Bacchus and Circe) with the best markers of fairy tale tradition. The artwork in this adaptation is gorgeous, and I especially loved the look of Comus' many monsters.

Adding this library sale find to my Little Free Library for some Lady or young sir to discover.
Profile Image for Je74393.
28 reviews
March 8, 2020
There were many scary pictures of demon-like creatures. The message of the book seems to be that you shouldn't be afraid of evil because if you are a good person good spirits will help you. The boys were brave, but their bravery didn't feel real to me.
Profile Image for Kami.
528 reviews34 followers
April 12, 2022
Love Trina Schart Hyman's drawings as usual. A few nymphs might get a few more clothes if this was in my personal collection (yep, I am that mom). But the story was good and the history of the play at the end was interesting enough to keep my kids' attention till the end.
Profile Image for Carrie Adair.
145 reviews58 followers
March 3, 2018
The book is okay, but I have read Milton's Comus now. The story and illustrations by themselves are fine. When I compare Hodges's book to Milton's masque, her book left me disappointed.
Profile Image for Diane.
7,004 reviews
August 6, 2018
Alice and her two younger brothers become lost in the woods. The children separate and Alice is captured by an evil magician named Comus.

Beautiful illustrations.
Profile Image for Hilary.
2,251 reviews50 followers
February 1, 2021
Not, probably, for small children.
Dark fairy tale with evocative drawings.
A picture books for teens/adults.
Profile Image for Rosemary.
Author 63 books63 followers
March 26, 2022
Of all the great Hyman's picture books, this one feels a little too dark...literally as she draws the shadowy woods with swathes of murky brown paint so the things hidden in shadows are almost lost. Whether the artist or the printer, the pictures lack some of the brilliant detail so evident in "Snow White" or "King Stork" (my absolute favorite of her work). But it's still an interesting bit of English folklore mixing up Circe's tale from the Odyssey with a fairly twee (oh completely twee) rainbow spirit of goodness and kind river nymph. Best of all is the cover painting with the little boy blue hero glancing nervously back over his shoulder after the evil Comus should have been defeated.
Profile Image for Lisa Rathbun.
635 reviews38 followers
August 11, 2011
I've got to get this book! I love Hyman's illustrations, and this is a wonderful adaptation of an old English folk tale also referenced by John Milton. Readers will find traces of things that remind them of Narnia, although the character who looks like a faun is actually Comus, the wicked demon magician. At the end, it states that though the three children often went back to the woods, they never saw Comus again. This ending would lead into an excellent writing assignment, where students make up their own adventure for Alice and her brothers. (There is a Good Spirit and a River Goddess, and some partial, implied nudity with the water nymphs.)
Profile Image for Scott.
241 reviews
December 9, 2008
Not as engaging as other tales illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman. I checked this out from the library recently, and I decided not to try to buy a copy. The illustrations are great, and the tale is noteworthy for being an old one with an interesting history, but there are plenty of better books to choose from.
Profile Image for Beverly.
5,268 reviews4 followers
April 5, 2022
Based on John Milton's Childe Roland, a young girl is kidnapped by an evil magician, and her two brothers determine to rescue her. Trina Schart Hyman's illustrations cover the full page in this book, instead of being surrounded by borders as in so many of her other books.

Displaying 1 - 15 of 15 reviews

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