Book Review: The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman and Chris Riddell #BookReview #RetellingsReadingChallenge #FairyTale

The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman and Chris Riddell (illustrator)

Blurb:

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. Twisting together the familiar and the new, this perfectly delicious, captivating and darkly funny tale shows its creators at the peak of their talents.

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2021 Retellings Reading Challenge: #2021ReadingChallenge #FairyTales #RetellingsReadingChallenge #Retellings #Books

In 2019 I participated in the Retellings Reading Challenge over @cornerfolds.com. Unfortunately, Tracy isn’t hosting the retelling challenge this year, so I decided to create my own personal retelling challenge for 2021!

I love retellings, and there are so many on my shelf waiting to be read. For the original challenge, here was my list:

  • Shadowsong by S Jae-Jones
  • A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
  • Ragnarök (Erik Storm) by Kai Mjaanes
  • Cinder by Marissa Meyer
  • The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle
  • The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden
  • Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman
  • Beauty by Robin McKinley
  • Geekerella by Ashley Poston
  • Finding Baba Yaga: A Short Novel in Verse by Jane Yolen
  • Heartless by Marissa Meyer
  • The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman
  • Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson
  • The Wrath and the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn #1) by Renée Ahdieh
  • Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George
  • Daughter of the Forest (Sevenwaters #1) by Juliet Marillier
  • Mother Knows Best by Serena Valentini
  • Echo North by Joanna Ruth Meyer
  • Stepsister by Jennifer Donnelly
  • Depravity by M.J. Haag
  • Snow, Glass, Apples by Neil Gaiman

Originally, seven above were crossed out as they were read for the 2019 challenge. I’ll continue to cross more out as I read. I’m challenging myself to read these 10 titles below. Not all are from my old list, and there may be more added on throughout the year.


Shadowsong by S Jae-Jones

I absolutely loved Wintersong, the first installment in this series. It reminded me so much of Labyrinth, one of my all-time favorites from childhood. When this second installment came out, I was in such a hurry to grab a copy, and here we are in 2021 still not having this one under my belt! I’m excited to see how the author continues this story.

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Reading Challenge: 20 Books for Christmas: Did I complete it??? #20booksforchristmas #ReadingChallenge @littlejojackson

A few months ago I joined in for the 20 Books for Christmas reading challenge hosted by Tea and Cake for the Soul. The goal was to list 10, 15, or 20 books and read them. Did I complete the challenge???

Here are the books including reviews written from my original list:

1. Christmas with a Cowboy – Review

2. The Christmas Tree Keeper – Review

3. Christmas in Winter Hill – Review

4. 25 Days ‘Til Christmas – Review

5. A Treasury of Christmas Miracles- Review

6. A Wedding in December – Review

7. The Illustrated History of the Snowman – Review

8. The Journey of Joseph Winter – Review

9. Letters from Father Christmas –

10. Let it Snow by CJ Carmichael – reread

11. Spirit of the Season by Fern Michaels –

I ended up reading all the books above EXCEPT for Let it Snow, which was a reread.

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Book Review: The Illustrated History of the Snowman by Bob Eckstein #BookReview #20booksforChristmas #Snowman

The Illustrated History of the Snowman

By Bob Eckstein

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My thoughts:

I don’t know what it is that’s so fascinating about snowmen, but just like scarecrows, they captured my heart as a child and I’ve loved them ever since. We draw them, decorate with them, make snowman Christmas cookies, watch them on TV, and build them outdoors the first chance we get. So when this book was staring at me at the bookstore, there was no leaving it behind. I knew my family would enjoy it, and we surely have for the past two winter seasons.

“Who made the first snowman? Who first came up with the idea of placing one snowball atop another and then sticking a carrot in the top sphere?”

The author set out on a quest to find out who made the very first snowman. Here in this book he presents all of his extensive (over seven year) research on the history of the snowman. It goes way back in time all the way to the dark ages. The book is somewhat of a snowman ‘encyclopedia’–chock-full of beautiful photos from around the world, which I’ll admit was my favorite aspect of the book. There’s so much to learn here though: world records including the largest and smallest snowman, snowmen in pop culture (my favorite: the Burl Ives snowman from the original children’s special), snowman festivals, appearances of snowmen with historical figures and even wars, how they’re celebrated in other cultures, use in art and politics, and fun little facts about snowmen that are sure to surprise you.

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We had no idea just how much historical background the snowman actually had! It was nostalgic for me in many ways, especially looking at some of the old vintage snowman ornaments and decorations from the past. We also loved the fun facts.

“Average number of calories burned, per hour, building a snowman: 238”

If you like snowmen, definitely give this book a try. My whole family has enjoyed it, including the children. My only wish is that the organization were different; it would be nice in chronological order. There are a few parts that are quite offensive too, but it’s fairly easy to skip over those. It’s good to be aware of that if you’re viewing this with young children.

This book is one to revisit over and over again.

4****

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