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Tag Archives: fairy tales

Goldilocks and the Three Bears by Lauren Child

Goldilocks and the Three Bears by Lauren ChildThe liquidation book fairies were very kind to me last week.  As I was cleaning up what was left of our Kids’ department for the umpteenth time one morning, I stumbled upon this lovely version of Goldilocks, as told by Lauren Child.  When I saw that it was illustrated with photographs of handmade dolls posed in a handcrafted cabin, I knew that I had to buy a copy for fellow bookseller and reviewer hardboundandgagged.  In case you don’t know her in real life (which I imagine most of you don’t), she is not only a fantastic kids’ bookseller, but she also does some very unique artwork.  A lot of that artwork utilizes dolls, and she poses them for photographs that are works of art in and of themselves.  So, basically, this book could have had her name written on it.

After I bought it and brought it home, however, I realized that I had a problem.  Although this book was perfect for her, after looking through it in more detail, I realized I was going to need a copy for myself.  And that is the really impressive part – somehow, the very next day, while cleaning up the Kids’ section yet again, a second copy materialized in front of me.  A liquidation miracle!  That kind of magical discovery would never happen while buying books online.  Suffice it to say, we both have our own copies now, and she kindly allowed me to write the review.

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The Grimm Legacy by Polly Shulman

The Grimm Legacy

The Grimm Legacy by Polly Shulman

The Grimm Legacy begins as a tale of an ordinary life: Elizabeth Rew is adjusting to her mother’s death, her father’s remarriage, and switching to public school so her father can help pay tuition for her two new stepsisters.  She has nobody to sit with at lunch time and feels lonely and virtually invisible.  After writing her term paper on the Grimm brothers, her friendly (if eccentric) history teacher offers her an after school job, which she accepts gratefully.

Elizabeth soon learns, however, that this is no ordinary job.  She has been hired as a page at the New-York Circulating Material Repository, a sort of library for objects.  The repository stores and lends out everything from china tea sets to Marie Antoinette’s wig.  But what really surprises our fair heroine is when she learns that the basement of the repository houses the Grimm Collection – magical objects bequeathed to the repository straight out of fairy tales and folklore.

I love this premise for a young adult title, because not only does it make the mundane magical (how many high school students wish their after school job was a bit more glamorous?), it also takes the enchanted and makes it ordinary.  Though apprehensive of these items at first, by the end of the book all the young repository pages have used magical objects in their everyday lives, with varying degrees of success and many unforeseen consequences.

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Of Things Lost and Found

The Book of Lost Things

The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly

My colleague and partner in crime posted some of her favorite books this evening, including The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly.  Since this is one of my all-time favorite books, too, I thought I should elaborate.

A short synopsis, first: David, a young boy growing up in London during WWII, loses his mother and turns to books of fairy tales and mythology for solace.  He soon begins hearing the books whispering to him and catches glimpses of things which don’t belong in his world.  He is eventually transported to a world woven from these stories – but never in quite the way you would expect.

On the surface, this book could be unremarkable.  It’s been done before, many times, this coming of age tale in a fantasy world.  The Book of Lost Things, however, has enough unique and imaginative characters and plot twists to make revisiting the form more than worthwhile.  It is all around well-conceived, well-structured, and well-written.  My kind of book!

In the end, all you really need to know about the book is this: I made the mistake of starting to read it during lunch one day.  My copy still has a large stain on page 6, by which point I was so engrossed that I missed my mouth and dropped a piece of pineapple on it.  If you haven’t had the pleasure yet, drop what you are doing (or eating) and get yourself a copy.  You can thank me later.

 

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