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The Hinky-Pink: An Old Tale Retold    by Megan McDonald & Brian Floca order for
by Megan McDonald
Order:  USA  Can
Atheneum, 2008 (2008)
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Daninhirsch

The Hinky Pink was inspired by a tale called The Bed Just So in Margery Bailey's 1940 book Whistle for Good Fortune. So explains the author at the end of the book, although originally, a tailor and a young seamstress were the main characters.

In the updated version by the author of the Judy Moody books, a plain village girl named Anabel is ordered by the demanding princess, Isabella Caramella Gorgonzola, to create a fabulous dress that she can wear to the upcoming royal Butterfly Ball. Anabel, a young seamstress living in Firenze, Italy, is only given one week to make the gown, a seemingly impossible task, especially in light of the princess's specifications: 'I want a new dress, spun from the silk of a thousand silkworms. A dress the color of a ruby snowbird's wing. With sequins that glitter like sparkleberries and stitches as lacey as snowflakes.'

Anabel is taken to the castle, locked in a tower, and literally works around the clock to create the dress, but her progress is continually interrupted by a mysterious Hinky-Pink, a mischievous little spirit (also called a hobbledy-gob or hudgin) who pinches her at night and steals her covers while she sleeps. Anabel is so exhausted from lack of sleep that she cannot produce a straight stitch. It is not until she figures out a way to give the Hinky-Pink a good night's rest of its own that she is finally able to finish the ballgown. But did the Hinky-Pink play one last joke?

This delightful tale is accompanied by cartoon-like illustrations that capture the feel and charm of Old Italy.

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