Book Review: A Wolf for a Spell by Karah Sutton #BookReview #Netgalley #MiddleGrade #ChildrensBooks #AWolfforaSpell

A Wolf for a Spell

by Karah Sutton

Pauliina Hannuniemi (Illustrations)

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From Goodreads:

The Girl Who Drank the Moon meets Pax in this fantastical tale of a wolf who forms an unlikely alliance with Baba Yaga to save the forest from a wicked tsar.

Since she was a pup, Zima has been taught to fear humans—especially witches—but when her family is threatened, she has no choice but to seek help from the witch Baba Yaga.

Baba Yaga never does magic for free, but it just so happens that she needs a wolf’s keen nose for a secret plan she’s brewing… Before Zima knows what’s happening, the witch has cast a switching spell and run off into the woods, while Zima is left behind in Baba Yaga’s hut—and Baba Yaga’s body!

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Book Review: The Journey of Joseph Winter by John Anthony #BookReview #20booksforChristmas #Christmas #ReadingChallenge

The Journey of Joseph Winter

by John Anthony

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My thoughts:

This story begins with Geraldine, an older woman who brings all of her family–children and grandchildren–together to share a story none of them have ever heard: the story of her brother, Joseph Winter.

“The mind of a child is one of the places all adults wish to exist again. Only there, surrounded by youthful innocence, do dreams never disappear.”

Joseph has been living his life with regret, missing out on all the possible joy in his life. As a child he said something to his mother that he’s never been able take back, and it’s haunted him for what feels like forever. When a mysterious package arrives at his door, he has no idea what’s in store for him. Then a stranger appears and takes Joseph on a journey by train toward the North Pole where he revisits old memories, meets some very special people (including a sweet, young boy named Max), and in turn learns what it means to forgive.

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Hansel & Gretel by Neil Gaiman and other Versions…

Hansel and Gretel was originally published in 1812 by the Grimm brothers. It’s a story of German origin. Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm heard the tale “Hansel and Gretel” from Wilhelm’s friend at the time, Dortchen Wild. Wilhelm later married her and she became Mrs. Grimm.

It’s possible that this fairy tale originated in medieval times when the Great Famine caused people to abandon children in the woods due to lack of food.

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Arthur Rackham’s illustration of Hansel & Gretel from 1909.

Hansel and Gretel is one of my personal favorite fairy tales from childhood. I was so fascinated with the story as a child. I used to have a copy of the Disney book that contained a record I could listen to on my record player. I can still remember sitting in my room and reading along with the story. This version is from Disney and came out in 1967.

Here’s a picture of the one I had a child.

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Here’s my review for this edition:

This is a little book and record that I must have listened to a thousand times when I was little. I can remember listening to this on my little record player repeatedly. Side one of the record is the story and side two contains three songs from the opera Hansel and Gretel by Engelbert Humperdinck.

I love the illustrations in this version and I’m amazed how clear the record sounds. As soon as it started playing it evoked nostalgia within me. I recently purchased it for my collection for my family to enjoy. It’s perfect for children to follow and it does have the page turn signal.

If you’re a Hansel and Gretel fan, pick this up online. There are a handful of other stories you can get to go with the series as well. You won’t be disappointed.

5*****

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Book Review: Nordic Tales by Chronicle Books & Ulla Thynell (Illustrator) #NordicTales #ChronicleBooks #FolkTales #FairyTales #BookReview

Nordic Tales

By: Chronicle Books

Illustrator: Ulla Thynell

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My Review:

Nordic Tales by Chronicle Books and illustrated by Ulla Thynell is a beautiful collection of 17 folk tales from Norway, Sweden, Finland, Iceland, and Denmark. Every tale varies in length, but most are fairly quick and easy to read.

The book is divided into three sections: Transformation, Wit, and Journeys.  Under each title, the author has included where it originates, and a few tales have more information attached at the bottom of the page for more clarification of a word used, or a historical fact; for example, the word jöjking is a Finnish word which means to sing songs.

Many of the tales in this book were unfamiliar to me, while others reminded me of tales from childhood; for example, “The Old Woman and the Tramp” was very similar to “Stone Soup” with the concept and the lesson it teaches of kindness and sharing. Another familiar tale was “East of the Sun and West of the Moon”. Most contain  folkloric characters we’re all familiar with including trolls, witches, dragons, giants, and talking animals of course. Some tales end happily, while others don’t.

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