“The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore”
By William Joyce
For ages 4–8
This book about books is anchored in its story of love, loss, healing and growth. Adults will see the beauty in this tale from the first page. Children will revel in the illustrations and delight in the adventures.
When Mr. Morris Lessmore loses his collection of books in a terrible storm, which has echoes of Oz, he ends up finding a marvelous magical library. The stories come to life and Morris decides to care for them. He doctors them and revives them with a good reading. As Morris grows old, his books never change. One day a very old and gray Morris decides it is time for him to go. After leaving, a young girl finds the library and a new book which tells the tale of Mr. Morris Lessmore.
As Morris says, “All stories matter” and lovers of books will love this story.
“Newfangled Fairy Tales: Classic Stories With a Funny Twist”
By Bruce Lansky and
For ages 7–10
In these two collections of fairy tales you’ll find contemporary takes on classics, such as: Red Riding Hood, King Midas, Rapunzel, and Goldilocks as well as 16 others. Think you know everything to know about the old fairy tales? Think again. The Big Bad Wolf is running a dream scam for food on Little Red until his son L.B. messes things up. And did you know that King Midas was a workaholic?
Kids who think they can’t relate to classic fairy tales may want to gives these versions a read. The modern twists make them accessible to today’s children and will have them giggling as they turn the page to begin the next fairy tale. Kids may miss the message in each story but they won’t miss the humor.
“Twice Upon a Time: Beauty and the Beast, the Only One Who Didn’t Run Away” By Wendy Mass
For ages 8–12
Wendy Mass continues her “Twice Upon a Time” series with a retelling of “Beauty and the Beast.” Beauty is the odd one out in her family. She is awkward, loves to read books, and collect treasures dropped by other people. She is not poised, or graceful or even all that beautiful – like her older sister. Riley likes to play the bagpipes, he’s not very athletic and he is surely not brave. As a prince he is sort of a flop – unlike his perfect older brother. Both Beauty’s and Riley’s lives are turned upside down. Beauty embarks on a quest and Riley is turned into a beast. They then have to learn about themselves before they can rescue each other.
Young girls will adore this tale filled with humor, adventure and plenty of romance. Unlike much of the fantasy on the market today, this story is very clean. No real bad guys; no mean families; and no edge. This story is sweet and fun for those who just want to sigh when they read a romantic fairy tale. ?
McGeath Freeman is a regular columnist for Lowcountry Parent. Address comments, questions or book suggestions to editor@lowcountry parent.com. To see past reviews and more on children’s literature visit McGeath Freeman at www.chapteronereviews.blogspot.com.