Zilpha Keatley Snyder Barbara Sherrard-Smith - Essay

Barbara Sherrard-Smith

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

This most readable and enjoyable book [The Headless Cupid] races along absorbingly. The American author has a keen ear for dialogue; the conversation between the children, and between them and the adults, is slyly accurate. The characters of the five children involved in the story are subtly different and while the hero's father and his step-mother have less important roles to play in the plot, they are refreshingly much more substantial than mere shadows. The central situation is a contemporary one, and will be familiar to many young readers—the combining of two families…. The plot thickens fast and is intriguing, but ultimately more interesting, are the subtly changing relationships between the children and the way in which they are finally happily resolved.

Barbara Sherrard-Smith, "'The Headless Cupid'," in Children's Book Review (© 1973 Five Owls Press Ltd.; all rights reserved), Vol. 3, No. 5, October, 1973, p. 146.

Amy [in The Truth About Stone Hollow] is fascinated by Stone Hollow, and when a strange new boy arrives in town …, the two children make some secret Sunday afternoon visits to the spot. There Jason discovers a sacred Indian stone which brings him in contact with other loops in time…. [This] has none of the pace, ambiguity or psychological dimensions of Snyder's recent works. But second rate Synder is still more rewarding than most ghost stories, Amy's dreary everyday world makes the supernatural elements all the more convincing, and Jason's almost offhand comments about time make them easier to accept than a number of more pretentiously elaborate systems.

"Younger Fiction: 'The Truth about Stone Hollow'," in Kirkus Reviews (copyright © 1974 The Kirkus Service, Inc.), Vol. XLII, No. 5, March 1, 1974, p. 245.