The Search for Delicious
by Natalie Babbitt
How would you define delicious? If you could use just one food to define delicious, what would it be? If you asked your family and friends to do the same, would it be easy to come to a consensus? Now, imagine a king creating a dictionary for the first time and wanting a single food to describe delicious. You have just created the world of Natalie Babbitt's imagination in The Search for Delicious.
In this humorous tale of human folly, a prime minister of a kingdom is making a dictionary and using the best example of a word rather than a definition to complete it. As you might imagine, an argument quickly erupts as the court members each offer their opinions as to what is delicious. To solve the matter, Gaylan, the prime minister's assistant is sent out to poll the citizenry for the answer. While on his quest, Gaylan discovers a kingdom near civil war. He will need help to complete his assigned task and calm the unrest in the kingdom. Help comes in the form of a wordweller and a mermaid.
I must say it is an imaginative and well-written tale. There are elements of a coming of age story, legend and brotherly conflict. It is called young adult literature, but if you have an able reader that is younger, they too might find the story worthwhile.