A one-volume edition of the popular Amanda Greenleaf children’s stories, including Amanda Greenleaf Visits a Distant Star, The Spell of the Water Witch, The Boy Magician and, published here for the first time, the concluding story The Journey Home. These lyrical fantasies deal with themes of friendship, the beauty of Nature and the necessity of following your heart. With a colourful cast that includes a magic dragonfly, a wise-cracking trout, merpeople, fairies and magicians, Amanda Greenleaf: The Complete Adventures is sure to captivate and delight. Shortlisted for the 2006 Newfoundland and Labrador Book Awards - Bruneau Family Children's/Young Adult Literature Award
Amanda Greenleaf was thinking about the stars. As she walked through the dark woods, the first stars were peeping through the sky, and she thought they were very beautiful and mysterious. It looked just as if someone had shaken a handful of pearls all through the air. As it grew darker, more and more stars appeared, and she wondered who lived on them, and if, perhaps, there was someone right at that very moment looking at her star and wondering who was there. “I’m here!” she cried. But there was no answer—just the sound of the wind in the trees.
The stars shone brightly, blinking in and out, but one star shone brighter than all the rest. This was a brilliant blue star, and Amanda Greenleaf considered it her special star. Whenever she looked up at it, a strange feeling came over her—a mixture of happiness and sadness that she could not understand. Somehow, she felt as if the Blue Star was calling to her. “Well,” she said to herself, “Matthew is coming tonight, and he has travelled to many stars. Perhaps he will know about the Blue Star.” She looked around at the birches and maples standing tall and majestic in the dark. “I wonder if I’ll ever visit another star,” she whispered. But the trees just shook their boughs in the night air.
Amanda Greenleaf looked one last time at the stars. Then she set off through the woods without making a sound or leaving the faintest trace of a footprint behind her. Soon she could hear the sound of rushing water, and in a moment she stepped into a wide clearing. A shining waterfall, the colour of liquid silver, leaped over the rocks, forming a deep pool. This was Amanda Greenleaf’s waterfall and her home.
“Well, Amanda Greenleaf,” a voice called, “and where have you been all this time? Aren’t you expecting a visitor?” There was a splash in the pool, and Amanda Greenleaf saw her friend Greta swimming toward her. Greta swam very quickly and gracefully, for she was a mermaid, and she lived in the pool at the bottom of the falls. Greta’s hair was brushed up high and held by a fine diamond pin; she looked just like a princess.
Amanda Greenleaf laughed. “I can see that someone else is expecting Matthew, too.”
Greta leaped up high and came down with a splash that sent silver droplets sparkling in the air. But when she came up, there was someone by her side. It was Glinka. He was a merman. Like Greta he was dressed up splendidly, with silver rings and a chain of shiny blue mussel shells around his neck. His eyes flashed with excitement, and Amanda Greenleaf knew that he too was looking forward to seeing Matthew.
“Do you think he will have presents for us?” Glinka asked.
“What a thing to say!” said Greta. “As if the only important thing was presents. Well, I’ll be happy just to see Matthew and hear his stories. Still,” she added, “presents would be nice.”
Amanda Greenleaf laughed, and her golden hair shook in the dark. “Matthew has never forgotten us before,” she said. “He has always brought stories and presents, and tonight will be no different.”
Greta and Glinka jumped high in the air.
“Ooh, I wish he was here now,” said Greta.
“He will be soon,” said Amanda Greenleaf, “and I must go prepare for him.” And with that she dove into the water and swam toward the centre of the falls. She rose gently into the air, passed through the falling water, and stepped into a beautiful cozy room, for the falls was her front door, and behind it was her house.
In a corner a small fire burned cheerfully, but Amanda Greenleaf was not at all wet. This was one of the many special things about her, for she was the Guardian of the Waterfall, its keeper, and the water did not make her uncomfortable or cold. Around her neck she wore a beautiful silver necklace with a green leaf. It was this leaf that gave Amanda Greenleaf her special powers. For her, the sound of the water was a magical language that she could understand. At night, when it was time to sleep, she would lie down in her bed of lilac and heather, and the soothing sound of the water brought her dreams, and in her dreams the spirit of the waterfall talked to her, and told her many wonderful things.
But now she was looking all around, making sure everything was ready for Matthew’s arrival. Yes, there was the spring water, a bowl of sweet apples, and Matthew’s favourite chair. Amanda Greenleaf went to a mirror and began to brush her long, golden hair. Her hair shone beautifully because it was not just golden in colour—it was made of real gold.
When she finished brushing her hair, she bustled about the house making sure everything was perfect—even though she knew it was. Finally, she went outside and sat on a ledge near the falls. Greta and Glinka were laughing and splashing in the pool. Again, she looked up at the Blue Star, and at that very moment she heard a curious buzzing. She jumped to her feet and saw a large, dark figure slowly descending to the ground. But what was it? Greta and Glinka looked up in astonishment. And then Amanda Greenleaf saw wings. They were as fine as spiderwebs and shone dimly in the starlight. The figure pitched gently next to the waterfall, and she saw that it was a dragonfly—a huge dragonfly. On its back was an old man with a brown hood and a lean, dark face. The man murmured a few words to the dragonfly, looked over at Amanda Greenleaf, and smiled.
Matthew had arrived.
The combination of action and intriguing characters in a novel with a distinctly moral cast is reminiscent of L’Engle, or perhaps even Le Guin, though for a younger set; and that is high praise.-- Canadian Children’s Literature --
...unpredictable and sometimes hilarious adventures…Aimed at a young audience, Kavanagh’s pacifist message is effortlessly relayed with a dollop of magic…appropriately illustrated by Janice Udell’s sensitive pencil drawings.-- Books in Canada --
Unifying these classics in a revised volume and adding a final story to bring the series to a satisfactory close make this work of art nothing short of a masterpiece.-- 2006 Newfoundland and Labrador Book Awards jury --
It is the magic and wonder of Kavanagh\'s stories and the touching, often lyrical nature of his writing that will keep [children] enthralled; hopefully, for generations to come.-- The Independent --
Amanda Greenleaf: The Complete Adventures would make a terrific addition to any collection of fantasy books for young readers. The stories are entertaining and the characters enchanting.-- Suite101.com --