MacDonald has been credited with being the inspiration for other “Christian Mythmakers” such as Tolkien and L’EngRead more reviews @ The Bibliosanctum
MacDonald has been credited with being the inspiration for other “Christian Mythmakers” such as Tolkien and L’Engle. Thid story in particular is seen as some of his best work. Despite the publisher, this is not a book that is about religion (but you can catch some religious themes as with the works with all the authors mentioned). The Day Boy and the Night Girl is a fairy tale of sorts, and I’ve heard that this is quoted in Ann Aguirre’s Enclave. Two women, a beautiful noblewoman named Aurora from the king’s court, and a blind, widowed woman named Vesper, are the unwitting guests of Watho, a witch, who aspires to know everything. She allows Aurora to live in the sunlight and have free range of the castle while she hides away the blind woman in the tombs, believing her to know no difference given her condition. Watho finds both women beautiful. Aurora in her vibrance and Vesper in her tragedy. Aurora soon births a son, Photogen. Immediatey upon his birth, he is spirited away from his mother. She’s told he is dead, and she leaves the mansion in despair. Not too long after, Vesper births a daughter named Nycteris and presumably Vesper died after her birth. Watho begins an experiment with the children. She only allows Photogen to see the sunlight, living as his mother had, and she allows Nycteris to see only the dark, living in the tombs as her mother had. Photogen is schooled in many arts while Nycteris is largely kept ignorant save for learning music. Photogen knows nothing of the night while Nycteris knows nothing of the day.
When Photogen decides that he has the courage to face the night after learning about it, he’s seized with a fear he’s never known, only helped through his fear by Nycteris who is ignorant of the sunlight and finds no fear in the dark. In fact, Nycteris is very much in tune with her surroundings. When Nycteris discovers the sun, she believes she is burning. However, unlike Photogen, she is more open to experience despite her naivety, and quickly comes to realize that, despite her fear of the sun, both the light and the dark live together to form a harmony. This harmony is something that both the boy and the girl find in each other, as they learn to balance this realization that there is more to their lives than the small world Watho has condemned to them for her personal knowledge. This is a beautifully crafted tale that’s aged well. There’s a simplicity to the story that kids can appreciate, but at the same time, there’s a depth that adults can admire. Photogen’s resolve to be brave in the face of the unknown and Nycteris’ quiet wisdom are shown beautifully, simply. They complement each other and navigate a world together that they’d been hidden from. Because this is a children’s story, things do wrap up very neatly for the characters, but there is still something affecting about it. Eggington’s narration was great. It wasn’t too over the top, and it wasn’t too boring. He read it just as you’d expect a fairy tale to be narrated. I will admit the story seems to give more weight to the boy’s story, but this could be to show how naive he truly is and how Nycteris offsets that by being compassionate. It made me think of Digory and Polly from C.S. Lewis’ The Magician’s Nephew, but Nycteris is much milder than Polly....more
I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Oh! What a fun book. My children loved it. This book is based on the old HaitianI received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Oh! What a fun book. My children loved it. This book is based on the old Haitian folklore tale "The Orange Tree." Corinne is afraid of nothing. She has to prove that when a beautiful woman makes deadly plans for her island. Corinne has to call on powers she didn't know she possessed to fight for her people. Fun, just creepy enough for children to scare them a little but not leave them running and screaming for the hills. Highly recommend, especially for the beautiful culture....more
I bought this from Audible to listen to with my children yesterday, but we're just getting around to it today. This is the fictionalized true accountI bought this from Audible to listen to with my children yesterday, but we're just getting around to it today. This is the fictionalized true account of two male penguins, Roy and Silo, who live in the Central Park Zoo. A brief history of these two penguins included them partaking in non-sexual mating habits. They'd wanted a chick and had been observed trying to steal the eggs of other couples (not mentioned in the book, obviously,) until the zookeepers finally gave them the egg of a couple who had never been able to raise more than one chick at a time.
From this egg, which Silo and Roy cared for, came Tango. The story doesn't go into all that details, but it presents the story of Silo, Roy, and Tango in a way that was understandable and reinforced that families have various makeups and that families that don't fit the "traditional standard" can be happy and healthy.
More trivia (not presented in this book) Tango actually grew up to take a female partner herself. Roy and Silo ended up separating (I believe this was a decision of the zookeepers due to dwindling numbers). Silo ended up with a female partner, and Roy began living with a group of single male penguins.
Neil Patrick Harris was a wonderful narrator. My kids really enjoyed his reading of this book. My daughter called it "cute." The only problem my children had with the book, well actually my daughter, was that she didn't get to look at the pictures since we listened to this on audio, so I ended up having to get the book for her and all was well in the world....more
The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe has for, quite some time, been a movie that I’ve enjoyed, and I’ve enjoyed in just about every incarnation of itThe Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe has for, quite some time, been a movie that I’ve enjoyed, and I’ve enjoyed in just about every incarnation of it. I first remember seeing the movie as a young girl on PBS. I had to be around 6 or 7 at the time, and I was completely enamored with the movie. Now, at that time, I was also already a pretty avid reader, but it wasn’t until some years later that I realized that movie was based on a book--a book that was part of a series. You’d think as much as I love the movie(s) that I would’ve started reading the books well before now, and honestly, I did have all intentions of reading the series before becoming a grown woman with two children of my own. However, it didn’t quite work out that way. Better late than never, though, right?
I’m reading these books chronologically, even though this book and one other book in the series came a little later than some of the other books in the series. Luckily, Goodreads does have an option to see these books in chronological order, which is a very good thing because I wasn’t even aware there was technically a book before The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe. And I guess I could’ve started there and read them in their publishing order since the other two books only really add a little history to the story, but I’m glad that I started it reading it like this.
Up to this point, the only thing I’d read by Lewis was The Screwtape Letters, which I did enjoy for its humorous way of dealing with Christianity, even though I know there was a stern message about being one of those self-righteous Christians whose “concerns” for other really point to a selfishness in their own hearts, who twist religion to better fall in line with their personal biases. I also like that the story came from the POV of the demon and not the sanctified.
This book chronicles the creation of Narnia and its first inhabitants including how the White Witch came to be and the creation of the wardrobe. The creation of Narnia in many ways parallels the creation as written in the bible right down to having a tree of life and a Adam (Digory) and Eve (Polly). Aslan even sang/spoke things into existence. However, Lewis added a creative flair to the old story and made it a really beautiful read as he described Narnia being born from nothing. I love stories that mark the creation of a new world. I enjoy seeing how different writers think a new world and its inhabitants would be created whether it’s from chaos or being called into being.
The queen was an evil accidentally introduced into Narnia during its creation, and I would’ve liked more backstory on the queen. We’re given just enough of her history to know what she was capable of and the hubris she dressed in, just enough to make her terrifying in the way that evil witch queens, such as Maleficent, are. She came from a dying world where she’d used the “deplorable word” rather than to lose to her sister, but we don’t know exactly what started this fight or if the sister was more evil than Jadis or if she were good. We only get to learn about how little regard Jadis has for life and how she would rather burn a world to the ground than give up her power.
She’s in a state of stasis when the children find her in her world, and she eventually ends up following them back to present day England and on to Narnia. As her world went to nothing, Narnia came from nothing. However, her magic wasn’t strong in Narnia, not like it’d been in her homeworld, at this point. So, she’s forced to bide her time, and Aslan takes precautions to protect Narnia from her influence, though he knows a battle will come.
This was a very quick read. The story is easy to get caught up in. I joked that the title of this book should’ve been Uncle Andrew, No because his playing at magic, with disregard to anyone but himself, is what opened up this new world to Digory and Polly. Which brings to one thing I noticed about the story. Maybe it’s just the way the book is written, since it is a young adult/children’s book (and I am an adult), but there was just something a little too plain cut about this story. There’s not much room for gray. Things are just inexplicably good or evil without much reason why. They just are.
For sure, this book suggests that even “bad” characters aren’t beyond redemption, but it just feels more like they’re “bad” because they just don’t know any better or they don’t know any other way to be, not because they have decided it’s better to be “evil” than “good.” And I’m bit surprised how much more complex these issues seem in the movies when compared to this book. Now, I know I am extremely early and should hold my judgment because I may end up having to eat crow for that statement.
I think this book has something to say about creativity and imagination, and how we can stifle ourselves by not believing in the magic of such things as shown through Uncle Andrew who denied the magic even though he felt it. In the end, he was unable to appreciate the true beauty of Narnia. We purposely silence the creative side of us in favor of being "practical" when those things are very important to who we are and how we view life.
Book 1 of the Series of Unfortunate Events. Read it in about an hour or so. The Baudelaire children find themselves in the care of a very distant (andBook 1 of the Series of Unfortunate Events. Read it in about an hour or so. The Baudelaire children find themselves in the care of a very distant (and cruel) relative after their parents' death. This is the beginning of their unfortunate adventures as orphans.
I was expecting something a lot different when I started reading this book. I enjoyed this book, but it wasn't what I expected it to be. I found it a little jarring how the omnipresent narrator would suddenly start defining words in the middle of sentence, but I can see how that would be important for children who have no interest in dictionaries.
The book was absorbing. The plot was a little thin, but I had to see what happened to the children. Yes, it is slightly despressing for a children's novel--morose, even--but it's an interesting read. I couldn't help hoping that something good happened to those children, but as we all know, this isn't the case. I'll defintely read the later books.
Note: Old review, just importing it from an old book blog....more
Cute book with plenty of chuckles like calling the preacher "The Sermonator" and saying that they must really like nuts because people are always sayiCute book with plenty of chuckles like calling the preacher "The Sermonator" and saying that they must really like nuts because people are always saying "Almonds."...more