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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Book Review: The Slippery Slope by Lemony Snicket (A Series of Unfortunate Events #10) #BookReview #ChildrensBooks #Fiction

The Slippery Slope (A Series of Unfortunate Events #10)

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By Lemony Snicket

My review:

The Slippery Slope, book number ten in A Series of Unfortunate Events, begins right where book nine left off. It’s as terrifying as ever with poor little Sunny Baudelaire now separated from her older siblings and in Count Olaf’s clutches. Not only is Sunny in danger, but Violet and Klaus are in their own horrifying predicament: speeding down the Mortmain Mountains in an uncontrolled caravan. As they descend further and further away from Sunny, they scramble to concoct a plan, and contemplate when and if they’ll be reunited with Sunny again.

Violet and Klaus moved closer to one another, and felt the icy winds of the Mortmain Mountains blow down the road less traveled and give them goosebumps. They looked at the dark and swirling waters of the Stricken Stream, and they looked down from the edge of the peak into the mist, and then looked at one another and shivered, not only at the fates they had avoided, but all the mysterious fates that lay ahead.

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Book Review: Stranger Things: The Other Side by Jody Houser #BookReview #StrangerThings #GraphicNovel

Stranger Things: The Other Side

By Jody Houser

 Stefano Martino, Keith Champagne, Lauren Affe, and Nate Piekos (Illustrators)

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My thoughts:

I was super excited to read this book which contains Stranger Things: The Other Side comics #1-4. Stranger Things is one of my favorite Netflix series (all three seasons), so I grabbed this as soon as I saw it.

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These four comics are basically Will’s story from the Upside Down, which is something you don’t get much of in the series. It was neat seeing some of the different events that were happening with Will, but some of it seemed like speculation to me; for instance, I don’t remember Will finding Barb’s glasses or helping her in the Upside Down. Maybe I’ve forgotten some flashbacks in season two, but I don’t think so. I also don’t remember Will having his gun in the Upside Down once he was taken from home either. Little things like this niggled me, but it’s neat to see someone else’s perspective. I may need to rewatch the first two seasons to see if I missed some things because these scenes are thought-provoking. Other parts in the book are exactly like the series.  Continue reading “Book Review: Stranger Things: The Other Side by Jody Houser #BookReview #StrangerThings #GraphicNovel”

Book Review: The Carnivorous Carnival by Lemony Snicket (A Series of Unfortunate Events #9) #Book Review #ChildrensBooks #Fiction

The Carnivorous Carnival (A Series of Unfortunate Events #9)

By Lemony Snicket

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In this installment, the Baudelaires arrive at Caligari Carnival after hitching a ride in Count Olaf’s trunk. Their plan, as usual, is to seek safety from Count Olaf, but they soon discover that there’s nowhere to go, and Count Olaf will be in the vicinity for some time to come. They take a huge chance by disguising themselves as freaks in order to participate in Caligari Carnival’s freak show (Violet and Clause as a two-headed freak, and Sunny as Chabo the Wolf Baby), which lands them working right alongside Count Olaf.

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Book Review: Stepsister by Jennifer Donnelly #BookReview #Stepsister #ReadingChallenge #2019ReadingChallenge #Retellings

Stepsister

By Jennifer Donnelly

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I read Jennifer Donnelly’s Lost in a Book which is a Beauty and the Beast retelling and I truly loved it, so Stepsister was highly anticipated. There’s a special place in my heart for fairy tales, especially Cinderella. To be honest, I haven’t read that many Cinderella retellings.

Will my review spoil this book? Not totally…although I do mention the plot and certain themes which lead into the ending.

Stepsister begins right at the end of Cinderella as the prince seeks the girl to fit the slipper. Isabelle and Octavia–the evil stepsisters–will do whatever it takes to get the slipper to fit, even if it requires cutting off parts of their feet. Once everyone notices what the sisters have done, they are shamed and hated throughout the kingdom, and their sister Ella now sits with the prince.

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Book Review: Echo North by Joanna Ruth Meyer #BookReview #2019ReadingChallenge #EchoNorth #Retelling

Echo North 

By Joanna Ruth Meyer

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My review:

The first quarter of Echo North was wonderful and had me captivated as everything was setting up, but the rest of the book was up and down for me. I wanted to fall in love with this book, but it turned out to be just an okay read for me.

The story begins with Echo, a young girl who lost her mother at birth and now lives with her father and brother. After attempting to help a wolf in a trap escape, Echo is attacked and her face is permanently scared. She’s treated differently because of her scars and ends up working in her father’s bookshop with little belief in herself. After being reunited with the wolf who attacked her, she agrees to live in his magical house for one year which will spare her father’s life. The wolf intends for her to be the new ‘keeper’ of the house because he’s dying and there is no one to tend to it. Echo wishes to find a way to save his life as she struggles to help keep the house from unbinding, with more rooms disappearing each day.

“Everyone is searching for their true selves. But everyone hides their true selves from each other. Look for the truth. If you find it, you will see through the enchantment.”

I love retellings and did feel the similarities (although subtle) to Beauty and the Beast and East of the Sun and West of the Moon, but the book had some definite uniqueness to it. I can say with certainty that I haven’t read a book with a library of enchanted ‘book mirrors’ in it before, where you enter a mirror and become part of the story within it, visiting all different sorts of book-worlds, all containing different adventures. The idea is unique to me and what I found most interesting in the tale. I also had questions throughout the story with certain parts that were puzzling, but appreciated that everything was nicely wrapped up by the end of the book.

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