*This book took me a while to get into, but once I did, I had to know how it ended. I loved the unique narrator and the fairy tales throughout. I will...more*This book took me a while to get into, but once I did, I had to know how it ended. I loved the unique narrator and the fairy tales throughout. I will say half way through the book changes directions drastically and it surprised me, but the ending redeems and weirdness about the change. overall a beautifully written book full of mystery.(less)
This book is more than just a retelling of Cinderella, it is a look at our society and the importance (or lack there of) of physical appearance and celebrity. I would love to know which celebrities influenced Rudnick for some of the crazy characters in Gorgeous. I also loved Becky as a person—she is quite funny and a very good person, even after she dives into Rebecca. Readers who love romance, fashion, Hollywood, and royalty will find a winner with this book and will also find a book that delves into deeper issues than it seems originally.(less)
Jane Yolen just doesn’t make bad books. Every time I read one of her books, I know I am reading a piece of great literature. This book is no different. Grumbles from the Forest takes 15 different fairy tales and then has a poem from two different perspectives for each fairy tale. Some are two different characters: Cinderella and her stepsisters, the frog and the princess, the wicked fairy and Sleeping Beauty, etc. including some characters who didn’t have a voice in the original fairy tale like the pea from The Princess and the Pea. Some are from one character, but two points of view: Snow White talking to the witch and with the magic mirror. I was fascinated with all of the poems they came up with!(less)
I love fairy tale retellings! They are so clever and I am so impressed with how an author can read a story and then think up a prequel or a different version of it. This specific retelling has jumped to become one of my favorites because I felt that she has made a wonderful, fantastical world and was able to see Rumpelstiltskin as more than just an antagonist.
I also felt that the book did have a moral, as all fairy tales should, but it is one that creeps up on you at the end and is such a great discussion starter.(less)
I'm a big fan of this book. I thought is was extremely clever, funny, and a good story. (Though I am a sucker for fractured fairy tales :D) What a fun...moreI'm a big fan of this book. I thought is was extremely clever, funny, and a good story. (Though I am a sucker for fractured fairy tales :D) What a fun way to introduce or connect with nursery rhymes! It also would be great to use to have students write their own versions. There is also quite a fun mystery at the end. (less)
*A wonderful follow-up to the first Hero's Guide. I was worried that it wouldn't be as good (sequel-syndrome), but the characters grew, the story moved along nicely, and it made me even more excited for book 3. Everyone's place in the group is questioned in this book, including their place within their relationships.
I read this book for a different purpose than just to review, I wanted to really look at the princesses in the book for our girl power series we'll be doing at the end of the month and I am so impressed at the different personalities and how each princess is so unique.
Mentor text for: Making connections (like fractured fairy tales), Characterization, Multiple Story Lines, Humor, Rhyming Poetry/Songs (p. 4 et al.), Foreshadowing, Letter Writing (p. 208), Grammar (Princes Charming, Dwarves), Idioms (p. 311), Synonyms (p. 361), Oral Tradition (the bards) (less)
I knew this story, or at least the basics of it, but I wanted to reread it because my mom mentioned that it was one of our favorite holiday reads and I LOVED the ending (which I did not remember). If you haven't read the original very short story, read it and let your heart warm. (less)
3.5 stars We have all known the Cinderella story since we were little kids. Either through our parents telling it to us at bedtime or the Disney classic with Bipity-boppity-bo. And because this story has always been in our lives, we don't question much about it. But what happened in the castle before the ball? What happened after the ball? Where is Cinderella's other slipper? What is the prince like? All of a sudden, as I thought about it, I had so many questions that could be answered if someone else would tell the story. Now thanks to The Other Slipper, the spectacular adventure that we never knew happened.
Before I continue, I wanted to share a conversation I had just yesterday. Do we need to know the answers to questions? Yesterday at the Scholastic Warehouse sale, we got talking about prequels and if you should read them before the first book or after like the author wrote it. I really like prequels and sequels because even though I love having my own opinion on a book and predicting what I think is going to happen, but I also love hearing what the author had in mind. [And if you were wondering my opinion, I think you should read the prequel in the order that the author published it.]
So, if you are like me, you love fairy tale retellings because it goes deeper into the fairy tale. The Other Slipper takes the very story of Cinderella that we know and shows us what is happening behind the scenes. Kenechi Udogu's story, though, is not just a story to live in Cinderella's limelight- it is a story that stands on its own feet and is actually a fun, fantastical adventure.
Read Together: Grades 6 to 10
Read Alone: Grades 7 and up
Read With: Cinderella, Chinese Cinderella Adeline Yen Mah, Bound by Donna Jo Napoli
Snatch of Text: "The girl who stepped down from the carriage was simply beautiful, a delightful combination of flawless skin and delicate features. Her hair was held up at the top of her head with strings of shiny pearls and her gown, like the carriage, was exquisitely detailed and in a unusual style." (Kindle Location 161)
Mentor Text for: Allusion, Point of View, Predicting
Writing Prompts: Take an object from a fairy tale that has some unanswered questions (Sleeping Beauty's spindle, Rapunzel's tower, etc.) and write your own fairy tale explaining what happened to them.
I am so glad that my friend Maria shared this title with me. Adrienne of Princeless is so kick butt (and definitely is right up there with all of the...moreI am so glad that my friend Maria shared this title with me. Adrienne of Princeless is so kick butt (and definitely is right up there with all of the girls on the Girl Power Middle Grade list from the Nerdy Book Club). She is an atypical princess who not only doesn't want to be prime and proper and she definitely doesn't want to be swept off of her feet by Prince Charming. She wants to be in control of her own life, but that is hard when your parents have locked you in a tower guarded by a dragon waiting to be rescued by her "true love". And MAN! she takes the bull, well dragon actually, by the horns.
I think this graphic novel will be a great transition book for girls who have not read any graphic novels or comics yet, but enjoy fantasy books. I cannot wait to share it with my students (and I've already passed it along to a friend to read). I am so glad my friend Maria introduced me to this series. (less)
Lemke's take on tall tales are quirky, funny and a blast to read. This graphic novel would be a great addition to any traditional literature collectio...moreLemke's take on tall tales are quirky, funny and a blast to read. This graphic novel would be a great addition to any traditional literature collection and kids will definitely like it allowing them to be exposed to America's traditional lit- tall tales. (less)
I LOVE retellings of fairy tales and this one is no exception. And what is even better about this one is it is HILARIOUS! It reminds me a bit of Shrek except I liked the humor in Hero's Guide better because I feel it is a very smart funny. Just the concept is funny and smart- the four Princes Charming from the Snow White, Cinderella, Rapunzel and Sleeping Beauty stories star in this book (unlike the original stories where they don't even get credit with their real name!) and the Princes each have such a fun, unique personality.
While reading this, the teacher in me found many different parts that I could use- specifically when talking about point of views. I already use The True Story of the Three Little Pigs and the movie "Hoodwinked" to discuss it and Hero's Guide will be a perfect addition. I even found a part that made grammar funny!! And there is foreshadowing, a perfect plot arc, and suspense. (less)
Take The Secret Garden throw in some folk tales, a dash of mysterious characters, and a handful of Ellen Potter's luscious descriptions and you have yourself The Humming Room. Ellen Potter does a great job of capturing what we all loved about The Secret Garden- the secrets, the mystery, the hope; but she also added in her own touches through a unique setting on the St. Lawrence River and the folk tales that exist in this magical place. I also loved Roo much more than Mary from The Secret Garden. I understood why Roo was angry and acting the way she was while I always felt that Mary was just being spoiled and rude. And Roo is a character than many will connect with. Her subtle way of going about life and appreciating so many little things is a beautiful quality. Also, some readers will connect with her need for isolation and her disconnect from other people- a quality that is not often found in a book and just might be what this reader needs. Overall, a beautiful book giving homage to a wonderful classic. (less)
*Wow. Marissa Meyer completely impressed with this one! I was afraid that it was going to be just another dystopian or fairy-tale retelling, but it was so unique and really was entertaining and well done. I can definitely see why Cinder was a huge hit when it came out and I am so glad that I finally got to read it. What I specifically loved about Cinder is it didn't completely rely on being a fairy tale retelling or on being a pure dystopian novel- it is a unique combo of the two.
Characters: I love how Marissa Meyer didn't overwhelm the story with too many characters, as I have seen in other dystopian novels, she specifically delved deep into the most important characters. It made me, as a reader, feel like I had a deeper connection with the characters who actually mattered.
Setting: Holy world building batman! I am always a huge fan of a character who can build a world that is futuristic yet completely realistic. Although the Lunar colony and the glamours are a bit of a reality stretch, Kai's Commonwealth is completely plausible.
Conflict: Wow! Levana is so evil! She is a great antagonist to go up against the hardcore Cinder and handsome Kai.
In the classroom: The parallels between Cinderella and Cinder combined with many human issues throughout Cinder will definitely make it so it can be part of a classroom read aloud or novel analysis.
Topics: War, Humanity, Mechanics, Propaganda, ID Chips, Plagues, Politics
Snatch of text: "The screw through Cinder's ankle had rusted, the engraved cross marks worn to a mangled circle. Her knuckles ached from forcing the screwdriver into the joint as she struggled to loosen the screw one gritting twist after another. By the time it was extracted far enough for her to wrench free with her prosthetic steel hand, the hairline threads had been stripped clean." (p. 1)
"The lingering moon caught Cinder's attention, and a shock of goose bumps covered her arms. The moon had always given her a sense of paranoia, like the people who lived up there could be watching her, and if she stared for too long, she might draw their attention. Superstitious nonsense, but then everything about Lunars was eerie and superstitious." (p. 43)
(Went back and forth between a 4 and a 5, so sticking with a 4.5 only because I figured out the big secret. Otherwise- Loved it!)(less)
Summary: Jerry Pickney shares his favorite Aesop fable, "The Lion and the Mouse" through a wordless picture book.
What I Think: This book obviously has beautiful illustrations- they are mini pieces of art on every page. I also truly enjoyed how Pickney decided to give some back story to the characters by adding a setting we all know (African savanna), antagonists we all despise (poachers), and giving each character a family so that the situation for both characters is even dire. This picture book, just like the fable, shows why compassion is so important and one choice can change your life. (less)
Jon Scieszka has such a weird sense of humor- I LOVE IT! This book is a great add on to any fables lesson and would truly prompt kids to write their o...moreJon Scieszka has such a weird sense of humor- I LOVE IT! This book is a great add on to any fables lesson and would truly prompt kids to write their own fun fables. (less)
This graphic novel had pretty basic retellings of fairy tales with extraordinary artwork illustrating them. Each retelling was told by a different aut...moreThis graphic novel had pretty basic retellings of fairy tales with extraordinary artwork illustrating them. Each retelling was told by a different author and illustrated by a different artist.
The retellings were just that- retellings with no flair or adaptation from the original fairy tales (except Princess & the Pea which added humor in the illustrations and dialogue). Although some may come into this book wanting more than what they find, it was nice to go back to the originals and basics.
Although each story had a different artist, the style was perfect for each tale. For Rapunzel: the artwork was sinister and sketchy, Thumbelina: more colorful, friendly, Snow White: Realistic, dark and more like a comic strip, Beauty and the Beast: Cartoony, blocky, Princess & the Pea: Almost anime, looks the most like a picture book.
And the best parts about the book (from a teachers point of view any ways) were 1) Each story started out with a cast of characters. 2) After each fairy tale there was a history page where it discussed the history of the fairy tale or author. The blurbs held some interesting pieces of information.(less)
I was enchanted with this book from the opening pages when the descriptive language grabbed me! I could close my eyes and picture exactly what Anne Ursu was describing. Ursu also alludes to so many great novels and fairy tales throughout Breadcrumbs such as When you Reach Me, A Wrinkle in Time, Harry Potter, and The Little Match Girl on top of the main inpsiration for the story: The Snow Queen. Though I am not familiar with The Snow Queen either, it was easy to fall into Ursu's magical world.
On top of the language of the book, the protagonist is such an exceptional young girl. Hazel is someone that I wish I was friends with! She has the best imagination, but this also separates her from what is expected in "the real world" which is why she always navigates back to Jack- the one person who seems to get her. So, when Jack stops talking to her, you see Hazel having to mold herself to fit into a niche where she is not tormented- this devastated me! However, when she learns that Jack needed to be rescued, Hazel returns to her old self and knows that she must be the princess to save the knight (pretty empowering for a 5th grader!). (less)
Jane Yolen weaves a beautiful retelling of the hero's journey where the hero is a liar and his mentor is *gasp* a girl. Yolen's story is accompanied b...moreJane Yolen weaves a beautiful retelling of the hero's journey where the hero is a liar and his mentor is *gasp* a girl. Yolen's story is accompanied by amazing artwork that at times is so delicate that it resembles traditional Japanese painting.
There a couple things that I specifically liked about this graphic novel- 1st, I loved the personification that Yolen used to describe the dragon and its surroundings at the beginning of the book: "dragons slept by the ocean's edge, in the green shade of trees that wept their leaves into the water." Phenomenal writing. 2nd, although the 3 sisters were kind of stereotypical for fairy tales (Rosemary: plain and a hard worker, Sage: one beautiful and air headed, Tansy: one hard headed and unique), Sage was entertaining throughout the story. Loved the comic relief. Other puns and humor were thrown in throughout as well such as the name of the town is Meddlesome because everyone quarrels and Yolen would put thought bubbles of what characters were thinking that were hilarious.
This graphic novel is perfect for so many readers and will certainly find a home in many classrooms and probably curricula as well.
(There were a couple of things I didn't like- 1st, I hated that a character that I really liked had to die so close to the beginning to get the story going. It does fit into the hero/fairy tale story, but I really liked him. 2nd, I didn't like the dialogue font, but I think since it was an e-galley that could change before final printing.)(less)