BOOKS FOR CHILDREN: How do you know what's good?

While there are many places (especially on the internet) where you can read book reviews, how do you really know if it's a good book or not when a single book might receive anywhere from one to five stars?
The answer: read the reviews of a book-addicted teacher librarian.

** The age recommendations are guidelines only; whether or not a certain book is suitable for a particular child depends on multiple factors, including their maturity, reading level, interests, and in some cases their experiences.
** While the ratings are largely based on my own personal appreciation/enjoyment of the book, they are also influenced by my experiences as a teacher and the potential attraction for the target-aged child (acknowledging that what one child may love, another may find exceptionally boring). A rating of 5 indicates the book is likely to be popular with the majority.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

The Sleeper and the Spindle (Pic Fic)

AUTHOR: Neil Gaiman (UK) ; illustrated by Chris Riddell.
PUBLISHED: Bloomsbury, c2014.
PAGES/ILL: 66 pages, ill.

A thrillingly reimagined fairy tale from the truly magical combination of author Neil Gaiman and illustrator Chris Riddell weaving together a sort-of Snow White and an almost Sleeping Beauty with a thread of dark magic, which will hold readers spellbound from start to finish. On the eve of her wedding, a young queen sets out to rescue a princess from an enchantment. She casts aside her fine wedding clothes, takes her chain mail and her sword and follows her brave dwarf retainers into the tunnels under the mountain towards the sleeping kingdom. This queen will decide her own future and the princess who needs rescuing is not quite what she seems.

This dark fairy tale adaptation (not for young children) is spectacular (but I have a bit of a soft spot for Gaiman's work). The story has threads of the familiar, but at the same time is a new story. The black and white illustrations are enhanced with gold accents. With the Vellum cover, it's a delight.

AGE: 8+.
GENRE: Fairy tale
RATING: 5 stars.

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