Posts tagged ‘witches’

HALLOWEEN ON HIGH

Halloween Snowman Paul

Written by Yossi Lapid

Illustrated by Joanna Fasen

I was delighted to see a new release in the Snowman Paul series because I have previously enjoyed this author’s funny character and memorable illustrations.

This new book features a tree house on Halloween night. As visitors come upon the site, they encounter a warning sign not to come near the tree house. Who can refuse a dare on Halloween night? As the reader continues his journey three more warnings are posted. Visitors are warned of many types of danger. Trespassers might encounter space aliens, witches or ghosts.

I won’t give away where Paul fits into this picture, but readers will be urged to tell spooky stories and sing scary songs. Trick or treaters will not be disappointed.

This multicultural book is replete with large, soft and expressive watercolor illustrations that are not too scary for the youngest readers. Recommended especially for children in the three to eight year old range. Warning…adults will enjoy the book even more than the kids. Well done!

I was given a copy of this book by the author and voluntarily decided to review with my honest opinions for no compensation.

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HALLOWEEN HAUNTINGS

halloweenmysticalpeterpicHalloween: Mystical Peter: (Peter, A Darkened Fairy tale)

Written by William O’Brien

The author has written many tales based on the character of Peter. In this book O’Brien has focused on Halloween with its spells, witches, goblins, vampires, zombies and the like. He has provided the reader with a series of dark poems that evoke images of the best and worst Halloween has to offer. O’Brien employs his creative talents with a skill in using descriptive language including rhyme, alliteration, and onomatopoeia to evoke fear and dread in the souls of readers. At the end of the book, O’Brien adds a prose story about Charlie Featherwick. He lives in a strange town called Temptus Vale whose inhabitants include a witch named Mrs. Cruelmonger. When a group of children play a prank on her on Halloween night, the stage is set for an adventure that none of them will ever forget.

This collection is a perfect choice for a Halloween party read. Imagery is clear, crisp and really frightening. Fair warning for children who are easily spooked. Targeted for readers who are eight to eighteen, but not for the fainthearted.

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HALLOWEEN HAUNTINGS

Halloween: Mystical Peter: (Peter, A Darkened Fairy tale)

Written by William O’Brien
halloweenmysticalpeterpic

The author has written many tales based on the character of Peter. In this book O’Brien has focused on Halloween with its spells, witches, goblins, vampires, zombies and the like. He has provided the reader with a series of dark poems that evoke images of the best and worst Halloween has to offer. O’Brien employs his creative talents with a skill in using descriptive language including rhyme, alliteration, and onomatopoeia to evoke fear and dread in the souls of readers. At the end of the book, O’Brien adds a prose story about Charlie Featherwick who lives in a strange town called Temptus Vale whose inhabitants include a witch named Mrs. Cruelmonger. When a group of children play a prank on her on Halloween night, the stage is set for an adventure that none of them will ever forget.

This collection is a perfect choice for a Halloween party read. Imagery is clear, crisp and really frightening. Fair warning for children who are easily spooked. Targeted for readers who are eight to eighteen, but for the fainthearted it is more suited for teens and young adult audiences.

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THE SECRET DOOR

The Witch With The Glitch: A Fairy Tale And Adventure (A Lost Book Adventure)

Written by Adam Maxwell

Cover by Dale Maloney

witchglitchpic

Charming adventure of Nina and her two friends Ivy and Oswald who frequently meet in her Aunt and Uncle’s bookshop. Doesn’t sound like the place for a real adventure? Well, it turns out there is a hidden room in the bookshop, and once Nina places the key in the lock the children are on their way to a journey into the unknown. This time the children find themselves in the parlor of a gingerbread house. To their chagrin the three friends find themselves transformed into a vampire, ghost, and a werewolf!

They will meet a witch who has a problem using and controlling her powers, a village of strange little people, two kidnapped children, and a magical cat named Izzy. The three friends will have to learn to control their new identities and transform themselves. If they are unable to find Izzy before midnight, Belinda the witch will be unable to undo their spells, and they will be trapped forever. Will they be able find their way back to the bookstore and their families?

The author combines fairy tales, adventure, paranormal and lots of humor to keep the plot interesting. Characters are well-developed and the dialogue crisp and clever. This book is perfect for readers in grades three to six. Chapters are short and vocabulary provides enough challenge while not being overwhelming for the early reader. A few illustrations would have enhanced the book’s appeal. This could be a fun story to share with a family or class around Halloween.

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WITCHES STEW

Lula’s Brew

Written by Elizabeth O. Dulemba

Lula

Lula is a young witch who has a problem. She does not want to be a witch; she wants to be a chef with her own restaurant. Lula hides her cookbooks under her bed. But Lula lives with her four Aunties who are witches dedicated to making Lula a successful witch. At the beginning of the story they are supervising Lula in preparing a brew to cast a magic spell on the town, but Lula sneaks in other ingredients when they are not looking. Soon a delicious aroma wafts across the town and its residents come knocking on the witches door to partake of the brew. When they demand seconds, Lula has an unusual request for them. Lula manages to cast her magic in a most peculiar way.

This tale is beautifully illustrated. The text will have young children laughing. This is a cute Halloween story that is not scary and appropriate for preschoolers and children in the early elementary grades. Makes a nice read aloud in the classroom, bedtime story or a family share to celebrate the holiday.

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A RELUCTANT HEROINE

The Amber Ring (A Novella)

Written by A.L. Walton

AmberRing,pic

This book of approximately one hundred pages might be described as a dark fantasy. There are many traditional fantasy characters like gryphons, trolls, fairies, unicorns and witches. A few others like the Talking Bear Mayor and the satyr sheriff are a bit of a stretch. Then there is a reluctant heroine and her twin sister who is a magical weaver and heroine.

Allow me to summarize the plot briefly. Maya is a rather morose and cynical twelve year old whose twin sister Sofia has recently drowned. Sofia had magical powers along with a magical ring which now belongs to her sister. Two years prior to her death, Sofia had managed to rid the Fairwoods of the trolls under the power of the Cedar Witch. Their lands became peaceful. One day Camden, her sister’s pet gryphon, reappears at the site where Sofia died. He attempts to convince Maya that the Fairwoods are again in danger, and that she is needed to restore peace. Maya has no interest in being a weaver or leaving her comfortable life in Oregon. But she feels guilty and eventually agrees to spend Labor Day weekend with Camden on a quest to find the Morning Stone and restore the balance of power.

Maya loses her backpack to Duskrats, and then travels on to the home of the Maple Witch who feeds them and attempts to show Maya how to weave magic just as Sofia had done in the past. Maya is unsuccessful and frustrated. She and the gryphon will meet up with a unicorn, goblins, a geographer some cobblers, and trolls in their attempts to find the Morning Stone. When Maya finally reaches her destination, she is shocked to find that her heroine sister’s death was not an accident. Maya must now make a decision whether or not to avenge it. Will Maya ever be able to put the tragedy behind her or will she forever be molded by it?

I like the multiculturalism introduced by using Spanish phrases, particularly Maya’s grandmother’s description of her as Hueca (hollow) . That is a good way to explain the way Maya feels about herself at the beginning of the story. As mentioned previously, there are some fantasy elements included that are a stretch with the plot, but all in all, I feel that the short novel will appeal to children ten and older as well as adults who like a quick fantasy read.

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BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR

Hannah and the Kingdom of Bugbears

Written by Tom Steephen

Hannanandthekingdompic

This rather short fantasy adventure of approximately seventy five pages attempts to pack a lot of elements into one story. There are classic fairy tales, witches, soldiers, princes, even animal heroes like mice, penguins and parrots. Strange combination but the story does work for the most part. The language is not complicated though at times a bit forced. There are enough twists and turns to keep a young reader on the edge of his seat, and adults could make this a really exciting read aloud for a young child.

Hannah, our heroine, is the loyal companion of Princess Aleena who has just turned eighteen and is about to marry Prince Ronald of Linesland. Suddenly, the Bugbear army of Prince Brewer appears outside the gates of the castle. They inform King John that their Prince Brewer will marry the princess. The humans of the kingdom of Cait Berg are unable to subdue their scaly and much larger Bugbear enemies. King John’s army is defeated, and the princess is abducted. Hannah manages to sneak away and hide in the carriage transporting the princess. After many trials and tribulations, Hannah finds the princess, who is locked in one of the chambers of the castle. But the princess urges her to go back to their kingdom and get help to rescue her. Hannah bravely consents. She will meet many animal friends and enemies like a witch who tries to prevent her return. Once Hannah arrives home at the castle, she needs to concoct a strategy to rescue the princess from her dilemma.

Why does Prince Brewer want to marry a human princess? The reader does not find out until near the end of the adventure. In the interim many of the characters in the story like Chef Maatia and Prince Brewer learn a lot about themselves and others. Many moral lessons like the value of trust, loyalty, determination and being true to oneself are embedded in the tale.

Most early chapter readers and tweens will find familiar and popular threads in the tale. Seems to be just the right mixture of adventure, fantasy, fairy tale, battle scenes, danger and moral lessons that do not come off as adult preaching. A nice book to spend a couple of hours reading.

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