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review 2017-08-13 06:42
Cinderella or the Little Glass Slipper by Marcia Brown
Cinderella - Marcia Brown

Genre: Fairy Tale / Fantasy / Royalty

Year Published: 1954

Year Read: 2010

Publisher:   Charles Scribner's Sons

 

 

Cinderella

“Cinderella or the Little Glass Slipper” is the winner of the Caldecott Medal and is one of the earlier books by Marcia Brown that retells the French fairy tale “Cinderella” about how a miserable girl named Cinderella tries to go to the grand ball with the help of her fairy godmother. “Cinderella or the Little Glass Slipper” is clearly one of Marcia Brown’s most memorable books yet!

Marcia Brown has indeed created many children’s books throughout her life. Imagine my surprise and excitement when I read her first children’s book! Marcia Brown has made this version of Cinderella much more tame than in the other versions of “Cinderella” I have seen as Cinderella’s stepsisters in this version seem a bit nicer to Cinderella by easily telling Cinderella about their time at the ball, although they still maintained their cruel nature by teasing Cinderella about not going to the ball, which is a bit unusual for in most versions that I have read of “Cinderella,” the stepsisters were always mean to Cinderella regardless of the situation that Cinderella was in. Marcia Brown’s illustrations are truly beautiful and simplistic in this version of the classic fairy tale as Cinderella truly looks beautiful with her wavy golden hair and beautiful black eyes. Also, the illustrations are a bit simplistic due to the fact that there is barely any color in the background, but the color is mainly focused on the characters, which allows the characters to stand out more, which I have never seen done in any other book that have simplistic illustrations.

Cinderella

“Cinderella or the Little Glass Slipper” is a brilliant retelling of the classic fairy tale that I think will be more suitable to children who want to read the more tame version of the fairy tale and will be a great hit for children everywhere. I would recommend this book to children ages four and up since there is nothing inappropriate in this book other than the stepsisters’ poor behavior towards Cinderella.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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review 2017-08-13 06:41
Cinderella or the Little Glass Slipper by Marcia Brown
Cinderella - Marcia Brown

Genre: Fairy Tale / Fantasy / Royalty

Year Published: 1954

Year Read: 2010

Publisher:   Charles Scribner's Sons

 

 

Cinderella

“Cinderella or the Little Glass Slipper” is the winner of the Caldecott Medal and is one of the earlier books by Marcia Brown that retells the French fairy tale “Cinderella” about how a miserable girl named Cinderella tries to go to the grand ball with the help of her fairy godmother. “Cinderella or the Little Glass Slipper” is clearly one of Marcia Brown’s most memorable books yet!

Marcia Brown has indeed created many children’s books throughout her life. Imagine my surprise and excitement when I read her first children’s book! Marcia Brown has made this version of Cinderella much more tame than in the other versions of “Cinderella” I have seen as Cinderella’s stepsisters in this version seem a bit nicer to Cinderella by easily telling Cinderella about their time at the ball, although they still maintained their cruel nature by teasing Cinderella about not going to the ball, which is a bit unusual for in most versions that I have read of “Cinderella,” the stepsisters were always mean to Cinderella regardless of the situation that Cinderella was in. Marcia Brown’s illustrations are truly beautiful and simplistic in this version of the classic fairy tale as Cinderella truly looks beautiful with her wavy golden hair and beautiful black eyes. Also, the illustrations are a bit simplistic due to the fact that there is barely any color in the background, but the color is mainly focused on the characters, which allows the characters to stand out more, which I have never seen done in any other book that have simplistic illustrations.

Cinderella

“Cinderella or the Little Glass Slipper” is a brilliant retelling of the classic fairy tale that I think will be more suitable to children who want to read the more tame version of the fairy tale and will be a great hit for children everywhere. I would recommend this book to children ages four and up since there is nothing inappropriate in this book other than the stepsisters’ poor behavior towards Cinderella.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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review 2015-10-05 01:14
Toads and Diamonds by Charlotte Huck
Toads and Diamonds - Charlotte Huck,Anita Lobel

Genre:  Family / Fairy Tale / Manners / Magic


Year Published: 1996

 

Year Read:  2015

 

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

 

 

Now to be honest, I had heard of this story through an episode of “Adventures from the Book of Virtues” and I really enjoyed it! So, when I finally got the chance of reading this story in book format, I was just as impressed with this book that was written by Charlotte Huck along with illustrations by Anita Lobel, as I was with the TV episode!

 

There once lived a widow who had two daughters: one was her daughter Francine, who was spoiled and cruel like her mother and the other was Renee, who is kindhearted and is actually her stepdaughter. Renee is often mistreated by her stepmother and Francine as they force her to do all the housework, including getting water from the spring every day. One day, when Renee had to go to the spring to gather water, she meets up with an old woman and the old woman asks Renee if she could have some water. Renee gladly gives the old woman some water from her cup and the old woman decided to give Renee a reward for her kindness. The reward ends up being that whenever Renee speaks, flowers, diamonds and pearls will fall from her mouth. When Renee showed this gift to her stepmother and Francine, her stepmother decided that Francine must receive the same gift as Renee and she forces Francine to go out and meet the old woman by the spring.

 

Will Francine get the same gift as Renee?

 

Read this book to find out!

 

I actually really enjoyed this version of the classic French tale about the power of true kindness! I have read many fairy tales and folktales that has a “Cinderella” vibe to them and this tale definitely has the classic “nice girl who lives with a cruel step family” element woven into the story! Charlotte Huck’s storytelling is fantastic as Renee is portrayed as being a resourceful female protagonist who tries to think her way out of troublesome situations (just as the author stated in her author’s note that she wanted to create a more resourceful protagonist rather than the stereotypical helpless female protagonist that is often shown in some fairy tales and folktales). I was also impressed with the idea about how Renee is rewarded for her kindness by having pearls and flowers coming out of her mouth every time she talks since I wondered to myself about how a regular person would feel about having jewelry coming out of their mouths (personally, if someone rewarded me with the gift of getting diamonds and flowers, I wouldn’t want them to come out of my mouth)! Anita Lobel’s artwork is truly gorgeous to look at as the environment surrounding the characters is lushly drawn and they bring so much beauty to the story. I also loved the clothing that the characters wear as they represent the Renaissance Age and they bring an exotic tone to the story.

 

The only problem I have with this book is that in some of the artwork, the characters’ facial expressions look a little off, such as their mouths are almost opened in every panel and I have to wonder to myself about whether or not they really fit in well whenever the characters are getting angry or happy during a situation in the book.

 

Overall, “Toads and Diamonds” is a fantastic book about the power of kindness and how it can bring its own rewards. I would recommend this book to children ages five and up since the length of this book might be tiresome to smaller children.

 

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

 

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review 2015-09-12 01:45
Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
Scarlet - Marissa Meyer

 

Genre: Urban Fantasy / Horror / Fairy Tale / France / Dystopia

Year Published: 2013

Number of Pages: 454 pages

Date Read:  9/3/2015  

Publisher: Feiwel and Friends

 

Series: The Lunar Chronicles #2

 

 

After reading Marissa Meyer’s first book in the Lunar Chronicles series “Cinder,” I just I had to pick up the second book in the series “Scarlet” and I never would have thought that I would enjoy this book as much as the first book!

 

After the tragic events of the first book, Cinder ends up being thrown into prison when she defied Queen Levana at the ball in the last book. However, Cinder ends up escaping from prison with the help from the charming and hilarious fellow fugitive Captain Carswell Thorne and her newly found Lunar abilities. Both Cinder and Thorne try to travel around the planet Earth in order to escape from Queen Levana’s ruthless forces and find out more about Cinder’s mysterious past. Meanwhile, a young teenage girl named Scarlet Benoit is on a journey to find her grandmother, who has been missing for weeks and she ends up meeting a mysterious young man named Wolf, who might know about her grandmother’s whereabouts.

 

Wow! This book surprised and terrified me at the same time! I will admit that when I saw the title of this book “Scarlet” the first time around, I thought that this book was only going to focus on Scarlet and not be connected to “Cinder” in any kind of way. However, I was pleasantly surprised at the fact that this book still continued Cinder’s story, but has Scarlet subtlety get involved in Cinder’s story, while her story is being told at the same time. Marissa Meyer did a fantastic job at writing the story from two different perspectives as we get Cinder’s side of the story of trying to escape from Queen Levana and learning more about her dark and mysterious past, while we also get Scarlet’s side of the story as she tries to search for her grandmother who has been missing for weeks and I loved the way that their stories intertwine with each other throughout the book. I also loved the way that Marissa Meyer wrote each character as I fell in love with each character in this story, especially with Wolf and Captain Carswell Thorne! I loved the way that Scarlet was being written in this book as she is shown to be a strong female protagonist who is determined to find her grandmother at all costs and I loved the fact that Scarlet shows so much love for her grandmother, despite everyone being against her in this universe. I also loved the character development that Cinder goes through in this book as in the first book; she was mainly a lowly stepdaughter who worked on mechanics on a small scale while in this book, she used her abilities in mechanics to help her escape from Queen Levana’s soldiers and it was interesting seeing her struggle with her true heritage as a Lunar and seeing what that would mean for the world. I absolutely loved Captain Carswell Thorne’s character as he is probably the funniest character in the entire book and I just loved his bantering with Cinder! I just hope we get to see more of him in the later installments of this series! And who could forget the ever loving yet mysterious Wolf in this story? I loved the fact that his character is full of mystery and it was pretty interesting seeing a human character possess wolf-like abilities in this retelling of “Little Red Riding Hood.”

 

For anyone who does not like horrifying moments in a novel, this book does have plenty of scary moments, especially when the true nature of Queen Levana’s army is revealed, which I found to be pretty creepy.

 

Overall, “Scarlet” is a truly fantastic book that is full of twists and turns that any fan of the “Lunar Chronicles” series will definitely enjoy reading! Now, I am off to read the third book in the series “Cress!”

 

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

 

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review 2015-09-12 00:20
Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers
Grave Mercy - Robin LaFevers

Genre: Historical Romance
Year Published: 2012
Number of Pages: 549 pages
Date Read: 8/8/2015
Series: His Fair Assassin #1 
Publisher:  Houghton Mifflin

 

 

Now, I have read many historical romances during my time reading various romance novels, but I rarely read romance novels that deal with war and assassins all in one package! “Grave Mercy,” the first book in Robin LaFevers’ “His Fair Assassin” series, is seriously one action packed and intense story that I immediately fell in love with!

 

When Ismae was seventeen years old, she was forced into an arranged marriage by her father to the brutal Guillo, who would constantly beat her to death. Ismae then thought that there would be no way to escape this horrible life until a handmaiden from the convent of St. Mortain told her about the convent and that she could live there to escape her life of misery with Guillo. Ismae then goes off to live in the convent for many years and was taught the ways of following St. Mortain the God of Death’s will which included learning how to be an assassin and using different kinds of poisons to kill their victims. One day, the abbess of the convent sends Ismae on a secret mission to the high court of Brittany to seek out the traitor amidst the Duchess’ company and it is there that Ismae meets the mysterious duke Gavriel Duval, who is regarded with suspicion at every turn. Even though Ismae is trying to do St. Mortain’s will throughout her mission, will her love for Duval blind her from her faith in St. Mortain and the convent?

 

Wow! I am quite impressed with how exciting and intense this book was! Now, many of my book friends have been telling me forever to check this book out and when I finally did, I was not disappointed! Robin LaFevers’ writing is truly beautiful and mesmerizing as the story is written in an ancient manner that really captures the society of 1485 Brittany and it felt like I was experiencing this culture through the writing itself! I also loved the fact that Robin LaFevers was writing this story from Ismae’s point of view as we get to see the world of Brittany through her eyes and hear her thoughts on what she thought about her beliefs in St. Mortain and her growing love for Duval. Ismae is an extremely fantastic heroine as I was quite impressed with her assassin skills and I also loved the fact that she is a cunning character as she easily figures out what is going on in the high court of Brittany and tries to come up with many strategies to protect the Duchess from any harm. I also loved the fact that we get to see Ismae struggle with her faith in St. Mortain and her love for Duval as it made her character even more complex and I was wondering throughout the entire book about who will Ismae choose: her faith in St. Mortain or her love for Duval? I just loved Duval! I will admit that at first I found his character to be a bit obnoxious at the beginning, especially with how he was treating Ismae, but as the story progresses, we start to see more dimensions to Duval’s character as he proves to be a caring character who cares about his family and Ismae eventually and those personality quirks just made me love his character! I also loved the bantering between Ismae and Duval as it was hilarious as well as heartwarming and I always believed that these two were just made for each other!

 

For anyone who does not like graphic battle sequences, this book does have some scenes where people are killed in gruesome ways which includes getting shot in the head by an arrow and getting cut up by a sword and that might be unsettling for some people.

 

Overall, “Grave Mercy” is one book that you should definitely check out if you are a fan of lady assassins! Now, I am off to read the rest of Robin LaFevers’ “His Fair Assassin” series!

 

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

 

 

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