Saturday, January 31, 2009

Sienna the Saturday Fairy

The audience is bored. Then the clothes come up missing. How are Rachel and Kirsty supposed to do a fashion show with that kind of trouble?

The answer is, magic! If they could only find the Saturday Fun Flag, everything would be perfect. But how to find it when a goblin is thwarting their every attempt to put things right?

Then it's Sienna to the rescue! The Saturday Fairy flutters out of of a glove, gets the Saturday Fun Flag back, and saves the show from ignominious disaster.

If you like fairies, and you're in grades 2 to 6, the Rainbow Magic series by Daisy Meadows may be one you'd enjoy reading. There are seven books, one for each day of the week, and each features a different Fun Day fairy.

You can find the books in the juvenile fiction section of the library, under Meadows. Some of them are in the New Books section at the entrance to the Children's Department.

If you read one or more of these modern fairy tales, write on our blog and tell what you thought of it!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Castle Corona by Sharon Creech

A significant object has been lost in the kingdom ruled by the royal family in the Castle Corona. A pair of peasants, Pia and her brother Enzio have found it, and they don’t know what to do with it. They are aware that the authorities are searching for the object, which is a leather pouch emblazoned with the king’s seal. But something holds them back, keeps them from immediately returning it. Perhaps they are afraid of being accused of stealing it. Or perhaps they are simply fascinated by the pouch and its contents, which include couple pieces of red coral, a lock of black hair tied with a purple ribbon, and a small piece of parchment on which are written undecipherable words.
Meanwhile, the king, the queen and their spoiled children, Prince Gianni, Prince Vito and Princess Fabrizia, ponder the problem of how to find the thief who has stolen the pouch. “A thief wants what he does not have,” a hermit tells the king.
Pia and Enzio have been told by the King’s Men that if they find any significant object, they are to take it to an old woman, Signora Ferrelli. But before they take the pouch, they decide to check the old woman . They visit her, and she gives them a present: a small packet that they might need.
Then more and more objects go missing in the kingdom. This gentle, mysterious and sometimes amusing story is largely about life and the search for meaning. People who live in castles don’t have the happy, perfect lives that we might imagine. And peasants aren’t always what they seem, either.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Butter Man

I like stories that teach. The Butter Man, by Elizabeth Alalou and Ali Alalou, is a story like that. It’s a simple tale, not particularly exciting. But through it I learned what life was like a few years ago for the Berbers in Morocco. I also learned some Moroccan words.
At the start, the story is told by Nora, whose father Ali is a native of Morocco. She watches her baba (father) cook a pot of couscous, including meat and vegetables. She’s very hungry, but when she tells him, “I’m starving,” instead of a snack, she gets a story.
The story of The Butter Man.
It’s a story of a time when because of a lengthy drought, there were no crops. Gradually, the amount of bread Ali’s mother gives him to eat gets smaller and drier. And very quickly the butter jar grows empty.
“Ma,” he asks her, “Don’t you have just a little bit of butter for me?”
His wise mother tells him to go outside and wait for the butter man. “If he passes,” she says, “ask for a little bit of butter to go with your bread.”
He goes outside to wait and watch, but the butter man doesn’t come. Still, he manages to eat his small piece of bread without it.
The same scene is repeated day after day: While his daily allotment of bread gets tinier, Ali’s stomach continues to growl, and the butter man doesn’t come.
But someone else eventually comes!
To find out who, you’ll have to read the book. When you do, please write a comment and tell what you learned from this story.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Sisters 8: Annie's Adventures

When I saw the title, The Sisters 8, I knew I had to read this book. I am also one of eight sisters! However, unlike the sisters in this book by Lauren Baratz-Logsted, we were all born on separate days and years. I am 17 years older than my youngest sister.But the Sisters 8 are octuplets!Not only that, but each is an inch taller than the next sister in order of birth. (Yes, that means the last one out is pretty darn tiny.)The last name of the sisters is Huit, which means eight in French, so apparently the circumstances of their birth were a foregone conclusion. But now their parents are gone, “disappeared, presumed dead, actually dead,” whatever that means. So the Sisters 8, who are seven years old, have a double challenge: surviving in their huge, castle-like house, and keeping their state of solitude a secret from the adult authorities.If that’s not enough to get you to want to read this book, consider this: In addition to eight sisters, there are eight cats in this book!And one more thing: a mysterious note has been found behind a loose stone in the wall. The note informs Annie, Durinda, Georgia, Jackie, Marcia, Petal, Rebecca and Zinnia that each of them possesses a power and a gift, which they must discover in order to find out what really happened to their missing parents.
Wow! That’s a great beginning for a book. Read it! I am.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

That Book Woman

It takes only about 5 minutes to read this book by Heather Henson, but in only two pages, I was crying. Yeah, I'm an emotional idiot -- but there's something about this book that touches me deeply. Probably because I'm a part-time librarian and I love books.
That Book Woman is told by a rebellious young man, Cal, who initially has no interest in reading, even though his younger sister, Lark, loves to read. Still, when the Book Woman comes calling every two weeks, on her horse loaded with a bag of books that she lends for free, Cal gradually has a change of heart.
The story is based on a real historical happening. The Pack Horse Librarians, mostly women, were hired by the government during the Great Depression to bring literacy and books to the isolated people of Appalachia.
Learning to read opens new worlds now, as in the past. Spend a few minutes with That Book Woman, and you'll gain a deeper appreciation for reading, for books, and even for librarians.