Posts tagged ‘fashion’

DRESS FOR SUCCESS

HAILEY’S WHITE DRESS

Written by Sigalit Benbenishti

Illustrated by Ambadi Kumar

Hailey is a young girl with a flair for fashion. She has a closet full of colorful dresses. One day her mother brings her a gift. Hailey is delighted to find a beautiful white dress decorated with flowers inside. She decides to save this dress for a special occasion, her upcoming birthday. When that day finally arrives, Hailey wears the dress and enjoys her birthday celebration with friends and family. Hailey’s neighbor notices a stain on the dress. Hailey tries to remove the stain. When she is unsuccessful, Hailey determinedly searches the internet for a solution to her dilemma. Hailey finds something guaranteed to work and eagerly awaits the washing machine cycle to finish. Will she get her dress back again, good as new?

I would describe this book as a beginning reader that will also appeal to reluctant readers. There are a few minor editing issues. The text is not overly challenging and there are lots of color illustrations to assist the reader. Recommended especially for young girls who love pretty dresses.

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HATS AND HIJINKS

Gaspar and the Fantastical Hats

Written by David A. Lindsay

Illustrated by Pilich

GasparHats,pic

This fantasy novella just short of one hundred pages is set in medieval times amidst dark alleys, cobblestone streets, a wizard’s den and raucous taverns. Gaspar has just spent the night at one of his favorite haunts, The Bag O’Silver Inn where he could pick up gossip on who to target and who was after him. Shortly after, two assassins named Sloat and Weasel confront him in a dark alleyway. An unknown intruder saves his life.

The Council of Guild Masters run the city. These guilds are arranged in a hierarchy of power. Strangely enough the City did function. The wizards had a monopoly of magical artifacts. Gaspar is a petty thief who is a freelancer not a member of any guild. How does he get involved in a dangerous caper? The women of the Merchant’s Quarter had taken a liking to wearing hats that were decorated with magical objects. Some of the wizards began taking bribes, while the milliners took advantage of the fad. Eventually magical artifacts became scarce. Gaspar is enlisted to steal a magical artifact for one such hat. His friend, Hubris, the Spell-broker is recruited separately to steal another. They break into the Wizard’s Hall where they are confronted with a golem, a giant living stone statue. Both thieves must steal an artifact and successfully escape the golem. These partners will discover that appearances are deceiving; the plot twists and turns to reveal new deceptions, and the reader does not foresee the conclusion.

The characters are interesting and the plot well developed in this novella even though the sentence descriptions can be wordy at times. The combination of fashion, mystery, adventure and intrigue are nicely balanced in the right amount for a middle grade reader that will appeal to boys and girls. The golem’s riddles are a nice touch; they will encourage young readers to ponder and philosophize This book can easily be read in a couple of hours or broken up into sections for discussion as a class read aloud.

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LESSONS FROM OUR ANIMAL FRIENDS

Tales of the Friendly Forest

Written by Alexi Lushkin
Translated from Russian by Galina Krylova

TalesoftheFriendlyForest,pic

This kindle book is a collection of ten fairy tales told from the point of view of several animals living in the forest. At the outset the reader is introduced to a poem that tells of the song of the forest. The animals in the tales introduce themselves one verse at a time. In the beginning, the forest was in chaos. Each of the animals went about doing whatever he wanted. One day a clubfooted bear shouted out to the other animals of the forest from the top of a tree that from now on there would be a truce; all animals would be friends to one another and there would be no territorial boundaries. From that point on, all the animals of the forest had their own names, but they were all friends and helpers to each other.

The rest of the stories focus on one or two animals who are able to teach the reader about compassion for others, the need to share knowledge, not to be afraid of the unknown, and to be true to oneself. In the story about fashion, the animals decide to be fashion mongers. Even though the boars delight in rolling around in the mud, they then rub against the trees ridding themselves of all dirt. The animals decide that boars are the neatest and cleanest animals in the forest. Appearances can be deceiving! In the story about the forest beasts watching children play hockey, children learn that TV and cinema did not always exist, there should be time for other pursuits.

These short stories are intended for children and adults. The format is a bit unusual in that the book begins with a poem and then switches to verse. In a few places the flow is a bit choppy due to the translation. Still, I found the stories refreshing with good lessons for children and reminders for adults. The book can be broken up into sections for younger children and read independently by children eight and older. Makes a nice bedtime story book for children who love animals.

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