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Category Archives: Fantasy

A Dragon’s Guide to the Care and Feeding of Humans

Title: A Dragon’s Guide to the Care and Feeding of Humans
Author: Laurence Yep & Joanne Ryder
Series: Dragon’s Guide
Recommended for: Grades 3-7
Pages: 192
Call Number/Link:  J Fiction YEP, L.

Synopsis: Crusty dragon Miss Drake has a new pet human, precocious Winnie. Oddly enough, Winnie seems to think Miss Drake is her pet—a ridiculous notion!

Unknown to most of its inhabitants, the City by the Bay is home to many mysterious and fantastic creatures, hidden beneath the parks, among the clouds, and even in plain sight. And Winnie wants to draw every new creature she encounters: the good, the bad, and the ugly. But Winnie’s sketchbook is not what it seems. Somehow, her sketchlings have been set loose on the city streets! It will take Winnie and Miss Drake’s combined efforts to put an end to the mayhem . . . before it’s too late.

Comments: In searching for source material for my dragon program, I picked up this book based solely on the title. It’s told from the point of view of a three thousand year old dragon, grumpy Miss Drake, who has always had a human companion. When her last human dies, the dragon is surprised to discover that she has sent for her great neice, 10 year old Winnie, to be her new companion. Miss Drake doesn’t like Winnie at first and their relationship slowly grows as they get to know eachother better. She starts to grow fond of Winnie and introduce her to the magical world. Of course something goes wrong ang they have to work together to solve it. My favorite part of this book was that it dealt with relationships, grief, and loss in a relistic way, and it was cool for a kid to read about how they might seem to a dragon.

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Posted by on May 31, 2017 in Adventure, Fantasy, Juv

 

Convergence

Title: Convergence
Author: Stan Lee
Series: The Zodiac Legacy
Recommended for: 5th grade and up 
Pages: 463
Call Number/Link:  J FICTION LEE 

Synopsis: When twelve magical super powers are unleashed on the world, a Chinese American teenager named Steven will be thrown into the middle of an epic global chase. He’ll have to master strange powers, outrun super-powered mercenaries, and unlock the mysterious powers of the Zodiac.

My Thoughts: This is a action packed book with an interesting premise.  This is the first book of the series so it is laying out who all the characters are and giving a taste as to what is to come.  This gives you some information about the team of young people that are collected for the one team.  I know this a book, but I really didn’t think the parents of the younger kids would give up the child so easy. There is also a lot of self doubt that has to be overcome and coming together as a team.  One of my son’s loves the series and is already on the third book in the series.  I feel children that love action packed/ super powers will love this series.

 
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Posted by on March 20, 2017 in Adventure, Fantasy, Juv

 

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Bliss

blissTitle: Bliss
Author: Kathryn Littlewood
Series: A Bliss Novel (Bliss Bakery Trilogy)
Recommended for: Grades 3-7
Pages: 375
Call Number/Link:  J LIT

Synopsis: Rosemary Bliss’s family has a secret. It’s the Bliss Cookery Booke—an ancient, leather-bound volume of enchanted recipes like Singing Gingersnaps.

Rose and her siblings are supposed to keep the Cookery Booke locked away while their parents are out of town, but then a mysterious stranger shows up. “Aunt” Lily rides a motorcycle and also whips up exotic (but delicious) dishes for dinner. Soon boring, non-magical recipes feel like life before Aunt Lily—a lot less fun.

So Rose and her siblings experiment with just a couple of recipes from the forbidden Cookery Booke. A few Love Muffins and Cookies of Truth couldn’t cause too much trouble . . . could they?

Kathryn Littlewood’s culinary caper blends rich emotional flavor with truly enchanting wit, yielding one heaping portion of hilarious family adventure.

Comments: This book was recommended to me by a child here at the library and I really enjoyed the entire series. It has a bit of humor when each magical recipe has unexpected reactions, things get worse and worse for the small town, and the siblings have to come up with solutions. Some antics get sillier and sillier, like when they have to speak backwards to get people under a spell to understand them. There is a slight core moral of “be careful what you wish for,” without being overbearing. I also really liked the believable actions of the siblings in the story. They are well drawn out individuals and the main character really feels torn when faced with family dilemmas urged on by a slightly shady “Aunt.” This book is great for anyone looking for a fun fantasy with a tween main character, that also focuses on family.

 
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Posted by on March 3, 2017 in Adventure, Fantasy, Juv

 

The Wizard

the-wizardTitle: The Wizard
Author: Jack Prelutsky & Illustrated by Brandon Dorman
Series: N/A
Recommended for:  Kindergarten – Grade 5
Pages: 32 pages
Call Number/Link:  E PRELU

Synopsis: In a spooky tower on a cozy suburban cul-de-sac lives a wizard pondering evil deeds. He uses “elemental sorcery” to turn a bullfrog into a flea, which becomes a pair of mice, which emerge as a cockatoo, and so on, until the wizard brings back the frog and banishes it. Contemplating his next trick, the magician peers from his tower window to the street below, where children play: “He may pluck someone off the spot / and turn them into . . . who knows what?” Prelutsky’s rhyming text, adapted from a poem originally published in Nightmares: Poems to Trouble Your Sleep (1976), combines well with Dorman’s sumptuous, full-page digital art, featuring a grandfatherly wizard “tall and thin with wrinkled skin, a tangled beard hangs from his chin.” Children will particularly like the way the wizard’s spells glow and splash across the pages, and the creepy feeling that evil may lurk even on their own street. Consider this somewhat eerie, but not over-the-top scary.

Comments: I grabbed this book off the shelf because of the beautiful cover and the inside illustrations were even better! Each page is incredibly detailed, colorful and full of action. The poem might be a bit scary for toddlers, but would be another great read around Halloween or for family story time. If you read the book one-on-one there are so many things to find in each picture that you could spend a long time together searching for hidden objects.

 
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Posted by on March 3, 2017 in Fantasy, Holidays, Picture Books, Scary

 

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Fairy Tales I Just Made Up!

fairy-tales-i-just-made-upTitle: Fairy Tales I Just Made Up: Snarky Bed Time Stories For Weirdo Children
Author: Ray Friesen
Series: N/A
Recommended for: Grades 3-7
Pages: 80
Call Number/Link:  J Fiction Friesen, R.

Synopsis: All the beloved fairytale classics are kinda… broken. I mean, they don’t have ANY Dinosaurs, Robots, Zombies or Space Aliens in them. I don’t know what those guys from olden days were thinking. So! I took all those cherished children’s stories, added some crazyness, and vastly improved them! Probably!
Fairy Tales I Just Made Up is jam-packed with weirdo fun, including The Dumbest Love Story Ever, Magical-Science, and Bacon Helicopters.

Comments: I grabbed this book because of the funny title and it was exactly as advertised. It is illustrated by the author of Pirate Penguin and Ninja Chicken. The first story made me laugh out loud (literally!). It is an odd retelling of tales that reminds me of the ways that younger kids think, full of non sequiturs, silly jokes, and very literal interpretations (goldilox can turn things into gold, Robin hood is a bird). Each story is illustrated by a different artist, one is done in clay (IlluClayted), and in “The Princess and the Whatever” all the artists drew a different princess. The only problem with this book is that it might be too wacky! There are some recurring characters to look out for throughout the stories that are drawn in the different styles. This might be a funny read aloud book for an older kid’s bedtime.

 
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Posted by on February 23, 2017 in Fairy Tales, Fantasy, Funny, Juv

 

The Adventures of Sir Lancelot the Great

Title: The Adventures of Sir Lancelot the Great
Author: Gerald Morris
Series: The Knights’ Tales
Recommended for: Third Graders and Up; Boys Who Like Adventure and Swordfights; Fantasy Fans
Pages: 92
Call Number/Link:  J MOR (To add Link highlight and click the chain up top.)

Synopsis:

“Many years ago, the storytellers say, the great King Arthur brought justice to England with the help of his gallant Knights of the Round Table. Of these worthy knights, there was never one so fearless, so chivalrous, so honorable, so…shiny as the dashing Sir Lancelot, who was quite good at defending the helpless and protecting the weak, just as long as he’d had his afternoon nap. Behold the very exciting and very funny adventures of Lancelot the Great, as only acclaimed Arthurian author Gerald Morris can tell them.” –Amazon

 

My Thoughts:

This series is a hilarious and well-done introduction to the Arthurian legends. Morris has obviously read (and better yet, likes!) Mallory’s Le Morte d’Arthur, yet he also understands how children’s minds work, as well as what appeals to them. The stories of Sir Lancelot presented here feel fresh, funny, and accessable for third-graders, but do not compromise the integrity of the original tales. For instance, when he meets the Lady Elaine of Shalott, Sir Lancelot gets shot in the–well, we’re not told exactly where he’s shot, but he has to sit on a pillow when he rides, and the accompanying illustrations provide more clues. After sustaining this injury, however, Sir Lancelot is able to return (anonymously) to a tournament at court, where he saves the day in more ways than one. Thus, the beauty of the original story is intact, but the readers are sure to howl with laughter once they “get it”.

 
 

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Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

order-of-phoenix-cover

Title:   Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Author:   J. K. Rowling
Series:   Harry Potter
Recommended for:  kids in grades 4 and up, teens, adults
Pages:   775 p.
Call Number/Link:  Teen Fiction Rowling, J.

Rating:  ***

 

 

Synopsis:

In response to his reappearance, Dumbledore reactivates the Order of the Phoenix, a secret society which works to defeat the Dark Lord’s minions and protect his targets?especially Harry Potter. But Harry doesn’t want to be protected. Even as the Ministry of Magic denies his claims, The Daily Prophet discredits him, and even Dumbledore won’t look him in the eye, Harry grows more and more determined to fight his lifelong enemy Voldemort?if only he had the “weapon” the Order is guarding. In the meantime, he visits his godfather at his ghoulish London home, Grimmauld Place, and learns more about Voldemort’s deep reach into Wizarding history and the Wizarding world. Back at Hogwarts, Harry must deal with a Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher with a personality like poisoned honey; a surprising new member of the Gryffindor Quidditch team; the possibility of his first real romance; and the looming nightmare of the Ordinary Wizarding Level exams. He’s haunted by dreams of a heavy door at the end of a silent corridor, and a vision of his father and the young Severus Snape that changes everything he thought he knew about them. Even the joy of working with “Dumbledore’s Army”?a group of Soon Harry will discover the true depth and strength of his friends; their boundless loyalty and unbearable sacrifices. His fate depends on them all.

Comments:

I can’t say that I enjoyed Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.  The kids in my Harry Potter Book Club didn’t like it either.  I really really dislike Delores Umbrage.  Even though she is not a death eater, I think she is more evil than Voldemort.  At least he is honest about his true nature and motivations.  (And doesn’t talk in a fake sweet voice, wear a fluffy pink cardigan and have tons of pictures of cute fluffy kittens.)

Thank goodness for Dumbledore’s Army and Luna Lovegood.  They made things a bit better.

Our group has enjoyed the other books in the series and look forward to Half-Blood Prince.

 

 

 
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Posted by on February 7, 2017 in Adventure, Fantasy, Juv, Scary

 

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