Zilpha Keatley Snyder Ruth Hill Viguers - Essay

Ruth Hill Viguers

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Robin's character [in The Velvet Room] has far more facets than the usual sensitive child of fiction who needs a private place for dreaming. She is normally selfish and has a tough resilience behind her sensitivity. Her brothers and sisters are real children too. The reader, however, remembers not the realism of the rather stark tale of a migratory worker's family, but the magical aura through which an imaginative child sees the world.

Ruth Hill Viguers "Early Spring Booklist: 'The Velvet Room'," in The Horn Book Magazine, (copyright © 1965, by The Horn Book, Inc., Boston), Vol. XLI, No. 2, April, 1965, p. 173.

The jacket explains that the author wrote [Black and Blue Magic] especially for her son who "was tired of sad stories about girls and wished she would write a funny story about a boy." There is a lot here to make a young boy laugh in the eccentricities of Harry Houdini Marco's mother's boarders, and Harry's narration of his story is generally as humorous as it is down to earth. Literally, that is, for Harry is one of those unevenly developed boys who seems to come permanently equipped with something to fall over. But this story still retains that subtle sense of wistful fantasy derived from loneliness and vulnerability which was so well evoked in The Velvet Room … and Season of Ponies….

"Eight to Eleven-Fiction: 'Black and Blue Magic'," in Virginia Kirkus' Service (copyright © 1966 Virginia Kirkus' Service, Inc.), Vol. XXXIV, No. 3, February 1, 1966, p. 108.