Jane Yolen is a dream come true for a children's librarian -- she writes superbly well for all ages. This book is every bit as wonderful. In fact, I read this book out loud to my young son, who is a huge fan of her "How Do Dinosaur..." books, and he sat enrapt through the entire tale. The story itself is a bit "Psyche", a bit "Cinderella", a bit Christina Rossetti and all charm and pure magic. It is as delightful as any classic fairy tale, with a markedly modern twist.
Gary Lippincott does an amazing job keeping up with, and illuminating, Jane Yolen's marvelous story. Every illustration is breathtakingly beautiful, and like the writing, all charm and pure magic. My favorite illustration is the two-page spread of the ballroom -- I could get lost in there and never want to return to the real world.