Posts tagged ‘kings’

STEP INTO ANOTHER WORLD

The Crumbling Brick: The Land of Neo Book 1

Written by JoHannah Reardon

Crumblingbrick,pc

This approximately one hundred page book might be likened to a Christian fairy tale. Some reviewers have noted similarities to The Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe. Targeted for readers age seven and up, I feel that it will appeal most to tweens and young teens. The characters are charming, appealing, and fairly well developed for the length of the story.

Plot involves a twelve year old girl named Ella, who lives in her grandmother’s urban house. One rainy day, she is asked to clean the basement. Ella reluctantly agrees; she finds a loose brick behind an old trunk. When she removes it, Ella finds a beautiful fantasy world on the other side. She steps into it and embarks on an adventure that involves a princess, her suitors, a unicorn, some mischievous monkeys, and a bear mentor named Sequor. Ella learns that the wise and all-knowing Kosmeo has chosen her to save the land of Neo. Ward, her unicorn friend, will assist her in warning the princess Onyma that one of her suitors is involved in a plot to overthrow her kingdom. While the story is somewhat predictable, there are enough twists and turns with delightful characters and moral lessons to give the fairy tale a wide appeal to boys and girls alike.

This book is the first of a series. It can be used as bedtime story, an independent chapter book or a classroom read aloud that combines many interesting elements for classroom discussion. If you enjoy fairy tales, give this one a look.

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GOTCHA ENDINGS

Four Fantastic Surprise Endings for Children 3-6

Written and illustrated by Scott Gordon

FourFantastic

Four stories centering on familiar themes and characters with surprise endings. Each story features one protagonist speaking to the reader in first person. The first story showcases a frog who was once a king now trying to woo his sweetheart. In the second book, a little chickadee discovers there is a certain someone that he cannot get off his mind. How can he tell her that he loves her? The third book features a rather self-centered Easter bunny who is attempting to train the “new guy.” He gives a lot of history about the Easter bunny and what it takes to fill the job. Finally in the fourth book, a robot from the planet Infinim, which is a replica of earth, is interviewing candidates who want to be robots for his planet. Readers will be surprised at the current candidate who is interviewing for the position. Who is he and will he make the cut?

The photos and illustrations are delightful. While the stories feature somewhat familiar characters, the clever surprise endings will delight both the child and adult reader. Each story is about the average length of a picture book. These tales are targeted for the three to six age audience, but older children will appreciate the subtleties and clever twists. The collection is a nice set of bedtime stories or family read aloud. Highly recommended.

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BAIT AND SWITCH

The Seven Sisters: A Fairy Tale

Written by G.C. McRae

Thesevensisters,pic

Story of a foolish king, his selfish wife and seven princesses involved in a deceitful plot. Once there was a foolish king who squandered his subjects’ money, so he was strung up by his toes! Now the brother of this king was so afraid of a similar fate that he permitted all his minsters and advisers to make his decisions. Eventually his subjects insisted he take a queen; he decided on the spinster daughter if a king from a faraway kingdom. She made many demands to which the king agreed. There was one problem he could not solve. The princess did not want more than one child running around the palace; the king had seven daughters.

The king’s advisers concocted an elaborate ruse Six of the daughters would be hidden far away in the castle. Only the eldest would be seen by the new queen. As each of the daughters grew old enough to marry, each of them would secretly leave the castle. Because the daughters looked so similar, the king hoped that his wife could be deceived. Though she was suspicious the ruse succeeded until twelve years had passed and the queen began to age. She grew increasingly jealous of the fact that the princess remained beautiful. The queen removed all the mirrors and banished old women from the kingdom because they reminded her that she was losing her own youth

The youngest princess and the court physician scheme to find a solution, but it backfires. What will happen to the king, the queen, the seven princesses and their kingdom? Is there a lesson to be learned?

The cover of the book is beautifully illustrated; the plot is fairly well developed with a clever ending. I think this book will appeal especially to middle grade students and young teens. Humor, fantasy and fairy tale are nicely interwoven.

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