by Boaz Yakin illustrated by Joe Infurnari 2012 Some Greek guy runs from one place to another. And for this a race is named after him. Have you ever seen a movie storyboard? At its most basic, it's a collection of images with key dialog or actions described beneath the sketches to help communicate what the final film sequence should look like. It is a way for the director to communicate toAdd a Comment
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Blog: The Excelsior File (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: graphic novel, legends, first second, 12, boaz yakin, YA, joe infurni, greek, Add a tag
Blog: Kid Lit Reviews (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: 5stars, Historical Fiction, Library Donated Books, Middle Grade, 2013 Ariana Awards, blacksmiths, Cheryl Carpinello, Kaytallin Platt, King Arthur, knights, legends, Medieval Times, middle grade book reviews, Muse It Up Publishing, swards, Add a tag
. Young Knights of the Round Table, Book 1: The King’s Ransom by Cheryl Carpinello Muse It Up Publishing 2012 Ariana Ebook Cover Finalist 5 Stars Back Cover: At Pembroke Castle in medieval Wales eleven-year-old Prince Gavin, thirteen-year-old orphan Philip, and fifteen-year-old blacksmith’s apprentice Bryan, brought together in friendship by the one they call The …Add a Comment
Blog: Elizabeth Varadan's Fourth Wish (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: legends, Merlin, Mary Stewart, King Arthur, John Matthews, Albion, Camelot, Excalibur, Add a tag
So, as I say, when I saw Arthur of Albion listed in books to choose for review, I got my dibs in, and I wasn't disappointed. John Matthews is an expert on the Arthurian legends, and he tells ten of the main ones here in this lovely collection. If you get a chance (and if you are smitten with the Arthurian world as I am) get a copy of this book for your own private libary. And visit Sacramento Book Review for more interesting reviews by various reviewers.
What about you? Are you hooked on a particular theme or series in literature?
To the review, then:
8 Comments on Book Review Friday -- Arthur of Albion, last added: 6/28/2011
Blog: Welcome to my Tweendom (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: legends, mental illness, Mystery, royalty, missing parents, arc9/10, artists, siblings, arc from publisher, Feiwel and Friends, family, shelf appeal, voluntary mute, Add a tag
siren song of a book simply from title and cover art alone. This was my initial experience with The Kneebone Boy by Ellen Potter. Now, I have enjoyed Potter’s work in the past, so I wasn’t worried at all about experiencing the dreaded feeling of, “but I wanted to like this book!” that happens when readers fall for covers and titles sometimes. From the creepy dark haired young children staring out with their older blond brother wrapped in a scarf and holding a cat, to the bare feet hanging from the tree, I was simply intrigued.
Upon opening the arc, I was greeted with Chapter 1 followed by a bit of foreshadowing of the upcoming chapter: “In which we meet the Hardscrabbles, unearth a triceratops bone, and begin to like Lucia even more.” The Hardscrabbles are siblings Otto, Lucia and Max, who all live in the town of Little Tunks with their artist father Casper. Their mum is simply gone. She had been there, then she wasn’t. As in most small towns, the rumours began to spread…especially when Otto gives up talking aloud (he has invented a sort of sign language that he and Lucia use) and takes to wearing his mum’s scarf everywhere.
Casper is a peculiar sort of artist in that he paints portraits of royalty…exclusively exiled royalty. Casper says, "...there is something extraordinary about the face of a person who has fallen from greatness. They remind me of angels tossed out of heaven who are now struggling to manage the coin-operated washing machine at the Scrubbly-Bubbly Laundromat" (arc p.23) As you can imagine, exiled royals are not big on settling up their bills, so the Hardscrabbles don't live a luxurious existence by any means, and it means that their father is often traveling to wherever it is that the exiles are.
Usually when their dad goes away, the children stay with kooky Mrs. Carnival from down the way, but this time Casper tells them that they are to stay with their cousin Angela in London. Lucia especially is quite excited about this turn of events, and some time in London would be great if cousin Angela were actually at home. Stuck on their own in London, the kids come up with a plan that doesn't involve staying back in Little Tunks with Mrs. Carnival. Instead of trying to head home, the kids go on another adventure to find their Great Aunt Haddie in Snoring-by-the-Sea.
It turns out that not-so-old Haddie is renting a castle folly that is chock-full of its own secrets, including the entrance (a Tyrolean traverse), a parent castle (named the Kneebone Castle), and some pretty interesting rats.
I don’t want to go too deeply into the plot and get all spoiler-y. Suffice it to say there are some twists and turns that will make readers want to start flipping back through the text looking for clues. From the beginning where readers are told that the narrator is one of the Hardscrabbles, but not which one, to the very big reveal, Potter has woven together a plot that flows pretty seamlessly. The characters are all well developed (I grew particularly fond of Otto) and their personalities will draw readers in. This is the kind of book that captures readers at the beginning and keeps them in its thrall all the way through. Emily Reads captures the essence in her haiku review found 3 Comments on The Kneebone Boy, by Ellen Potter, last added: 8/11/2010
Blog: Teach with Picture Books (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: myths, ancient cultures, legends, Greek mythology, Nomad Press, book giveaway, Candlewick, Add a tag
Blog: A Chair, A Fireplace and A Tea Cozy (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: GN, myths, cybils, graphic novels, legends, middle grade, reviews, Add a tag
Hercules: The Twelve Labors. A Greek Myth by Paul Storrie, illustrated by Steve Kurth. Copy donated by Graphic Universe, in support of the Cybils. Graphic Novel. Cybils long list.
The Plot: Ancient Greece, Hercules, twelve labors.
The Good: Hercules is one of those people who are "in" the common knowledge, but really, how much do you really know? Seriously, can you name even half of the twelve labors? Without peeking over at Wikipedia, of course. This Graphic Novel is a great introduction for younger readers.
Storrie tells this part of the Hercules saga with lots of action and humor. During one labor, there is the boast that "my club will strike you down!" followed by a "perhaps not" when the club does not in fact slay the beast.
The illustrations are colorful; and since this is a classic retelling, using original sources, Kurth illustrates the book to reflect Ancient Greece, in the architecture and dress.
Also good: a map to help the reader understand Hercules' travels as he performed his twelve labors. I love maps, what can I say! Plus, there are websites for those who want to learn more.
Myths and legends can be a tricky thing for kids; while kids like to read about them, and schools like to teach them, they weren't originally for children. Which means the question arises: how much to include? What to exclude? For example, this version of the Twelve Labors is told without any mention of Hercules killing his wife and children.
Blog: AmoxCalli (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: native americans, children, indigenous, legends, illustration, Add a tag
All the Stars in the Sky: Native Stories from the Heavens
Author: C.J. Taylor
Publisher: Tundra Books
All the Stars in the Sky is a beautiful book. I’m always a big fan of collections of old folktales, myths and legends, especially when they come from the Americas because there was so much that was lost. Anything reclaimed or re-told is good in my mind. We need our culture and our history. I believe it’s vital. In this book, the author draws on many traditions and their legends inspired by the skies. Each is beautifully told as well as gorgeously illustrated.
I loved the legend of the Old Man and the Sun’s magical leggings. It was witty and funny. The sweeping illustrations in bright sun-colored tones really added depth to both the story and the humor. The illustration of Old Man sitting in the lake to cool himself off after misfiring the leggings arrows of flames was just too great. I laughed and laughed at that one.
Every time we save a legend from our indigenous past, we honor our ancestors. Every time we tell a story from our ancestors, we teach a history lesson to our children. Each story is a pearl of culture, of tradition and fosters both understanding and pride. Our children need these foundations to stand upon. This book is a prayer, an offering to the ancestors. I encourage everyone to buy it, not just those of us who are indigenous. Children will love the stories as will adults. Highly recommended!
About the Author:
C.J. Taylor is an internationally acclaimed artist and children’s author of Mohawk heritage. She has traveled extensively throughout North America helping make the rich cultural history of native people accessible to the young. Her paintings are in many private collections across Canada and the US. She is a self-taught artist and storyteller who has organized exhibitions of Native art across North America. All the Stars in the Sky is C.J. Taylor’s eleventh book. She lives in B.C.
ABOUT THIS BOOK (from the publisher)
The heavens — the sun, the stars, and the moon — have inspired, intrigued, and mystified us from the beginning of time. We’ve always searched for ways to comprehend their beauty and their meaning. Mohawk artist and author C. J. Taylor has drawn from First Nations legends from across North America to present a fascinating collection of stories inspired by the night skies.
The legends — Salish, Onondaga, Blackfoot, Netsilik (Inuit), Wasco, Ojibwa, and Cherokee — are by turns funny, beautiful, tragic, and frightening, but each one is infused with a sense of awe.
From the Ojibwa legend of the great hunter, White Hawk, and his love for an unattainable maiden, or the Salish legend of a magical lake that is threatened when human beings turn greedy and lose their respect for its gifts and for the sun’s power, to the delightful Cherokee legend of Grandmother Spider who brought light to the world, this is an important collection that is enhanced by Taylor’s glorious paintings.
Blog: A Chair, A Fireplace and A Tea Cozy (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: reviews, SF, YA books for adults, YA, retelling, legends, fantasy, adventure, myths, fiction, books that surprise me, Best Books of 2007, Add a tag
Bloodsong by Melvin Burgess, sequel / companion to Bloodtide. Copy supplied by publisher. The first image is the UK version; the second is the US version. Review based on uncorrected book proof.
The Plot: Sigurd is born to be a hero; and Bloodsong begins with Sigurd facing the classic hero quest: slay the dragon.
The Good: Loved it. A Best Book for 2007.
Bloodtide and Bloodsong are set in a future that's barely recognizable. It's a post--apocalyptic world that is as bloody and brutal as anything out of the medieval past. It's a world of death and violence. Science has made magic real; with cloning and machines, and "magic rings" studied under microscopes.
Yet magic is not lost; gods such as Odin and Loki are real (or are they the result of some high tech machine?) For example, Sigurd says he is born to do great things: "You think I'm arrogant; I'm not. I was made for this -- literally. My father designed me for it. Every gene in my body was picked for this purpose. My mother brought me up for it; the gods shaped me as the keystone for this time and place. It's no credit to me. I have less choice than anyone." Magical swords coexist with people that are part pig and part dog because of DNA manipulation.
Bloodsong is about adventure; love; greatness; weakness. It is bloody and violent and heartless. And it's realistic, in the sense that things don't always work out they way you think they should or the way you want them to. Bloodsong takes some unexpected twists and turns, changing the story entirely. I never knew what was going to happen next, which is refreshing. And it's why I won't tell anything of the plot beyond Sigurd is off to slay a dragon.
Burgess often shifts POV; mixing it up, so sometimes it's first person, other times third person, and it's not consistent. It's a bit unsettling at first; but it works because it means that, despite the UK cover ("one hero. one kingdom. one chance to make it his own"), there is no one hero; we see Sigurd's view of himself, as well as how others view him; we get into the heads of all the characters, as well as seeing them more objectively. Which makes the violence, the betrayals, the hope and lost hope all the more real and all the more heart-shattering.
The US cover says "a legacy's final heir. a country's only hope." As mentioned above, Burgess provides a slick mix of Sigurd being the heir and the hope not just because the gods say so, but also because Sigurd himself has been genetically engineered to be heir and hope.
Do you have to read Bloodtide to read Bloodsong? No; I read Bloodtide when it first came out and had forgotten much of the details. While I want to reread it, I didn't have the time. No worries; while there are some connections I may have missed, for the most part Bloodsong stands alone. Actually, anyone reading Bloodtide expecting a true sequel may be disappointed; Bloodsong does not continue the story of Bloodtide, but rather tells the story of Sigurd, son of Sigmund, one of the characters in Bloodtide. It's like first reading the story of Henry II and then reading a book about Richard I.
While my copy of Bloodsong didn't mention it, these books are based on the Volsunga Saga. Many of the names are the same; others are close: Sigurd is a Volson, for example. Those of you familiar with the saga will be less surprised than I at the twists and turns of Sigurd's story, and instead will take greater enjoyment at how that story is reborn, retold and reimagined.
Links, all of which refer to the source material so all are highly spoilerific
The Story of the Volsungs (Volsunga Saga)
More on the Volsunga saga.
Interview with author. (video interview)
Blog: PaperTigers (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: Tell Me a Story, The Lovely Mrs Davis, Tsuki, Books at Bedtime, The Tiger's Bookshelf, Amanda Hall, Animal stories, Barefoot Book of Animal Tales from Around the World, Bunny Lune, Cat Mallard, Crackle Mountain, Darbling Wood Studios, Hare, India, Japan, Kae Nishimura, lagomorphs, legends, Looking Around the World, moon, Moon God, myths, Naomi Adler, rabbit, Rabbit in the Moon, reading aloud to children, Sarx, Tanuki, Add a tag
…that’s the question that Little Brother prodded me awake with two mornings ago. I have to say that my response did not immediately live up to expectations… However, having ascertained from the child-who-swallowed-the-animal-encyclopaedia-whole that lagomorphs are “rabbits, hares and pikas”, I was eventually able to fudge an answer.
Later on, I returned to the question and said that I had chosen the rabbit in the moon, at which Little Brother laughed at me and told me, “That’s just a myth.”, but he was more than happy to curl up and listen again to the story, so beautifully retold by Naomi Adler in The Barefoot Book of Animal Tales from Around the World (Barefoot, 2006). We agreed afterwards that even though a heart of gold is not really made of gold, it is definitely worth striving for and is “much better than a heart of stone”. I felt reassured that he may be able to recognise the fantasy element in myths and legends, but his imagination is still caught up in the magic of a good retelling: and this collection is an excellent one for reading aloud. Naomi Adler is first and foremost a storyteller and her background in the oral tradition shines through. In fact, her narration on the accompanying CDs is a joy listen to. I also like the page at the end of the book where she describes her sources for each tale – all passed on through the oral tradition by someone first-hand from the country in question!
Amanda Hall’s illustrations also contribute to bringing the stories alive. She emphasises their cultural diversity, by incorporating subtle variations in style according to the country of origin. I love the different borders/motifs, which give each story its own space and identity within the collection.
This version of “The Rabbit in the Moon” comes from India and describes how Rabbit influences all the other animals to aspire to be kind and good. The “great heavenly spirit” disguises himself as a beggar and tests Rabbit’s vow to offer herself as food. Astonished that she attempts to sacrifice herself, he rescues her and sets her in the moon as a shining reminder that “if you give something precious away you may receive something back that is very special.”
This story of the Rabbit in the Moon appears in many different traditions – Cat Mallard at Darbling Wood Studios outlines a different version here, alongside her own whimsical watercolour. This is the version, featuring a fox and a monkey, that is included on the acclaimed Tell Me a Story: Timeless Folktales from Around the World CD, which proved to be an unexpected bedtime hit with The Lovely Mrs Davis’ young son… you can listen to extracts here. Looking Around the World pays a visit to the Tsuki or Moon God Shrine in Japan, where rabbits are particularly venerated – and Sarx has some beautiful photos of a rabbit wood-carving from there too.
Crackle Mountain relates this very different story from Japan of Hare making his way to the City on the Moon, after overcoming the wicked Tanuki (”a raccoon-like dog often mistakenly referred to as a badger”) - it’s a gruesome tale and reminds us of how some traditional stories have been sanitised over the years – but not this one. If you can’t stomach the story, though, I recommend looking at the accompanying artwork – the eighteenth century porcelain dish is exquisite.
And a story, which is definitely not traditional but requires a background awareness of being able to see a rabbit in the moon is Kae Nishimura’s delightfully witty Bunny Lune (Clarion, 2007). We read it again this evening and had a good giggle imagining what our different moons would be – not fields of carrots like Bunny Lune’s!Add a Comment
Blog: Welcome to my Tweendom (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: Friendship, legends, 2010, cross country, swimming, basket ball, ghost stories, Borzoi Book, copy from local library, water polo, Alfred A. Knopf, baseball, summer camp, sports, Add a tag
Eleven-year-old Riley Liston isn’t exactly a jock. Don’t get me wrong, he is good at some sports. Especially the kinds that involve distance and endurance like cross-country and swimming, but he’s not standard fare for sport’s camp.
Camp Olympia turns out not to be quite like the brochure. The “arena” was nothing more than an old barn with a cement floor and the “stadium” a plain old field with the chain link backstop. “The Camp Olympia Institute for Sports and Nutrition” was a smoky, greasy cafeteria that serves food that the kids don’t even want to eat! (They stock up on snacks at the Trading Post to survive.)
But Riley figures out a way to get by. Since all of the campers have to participate in the team sports, Riley simply tries not to screw up. All during the two weeks of camp the bunks are earning points to try to win the Big Joe Trophy, and Riley doesn’t want to be the camper who costs Cabin 3 the cup.
Rich Wallace has written a summer camp story that will snare sports enthusiasts and non-sports enthusiasts as well. The camp setting is familiar to many kids, and if not, readers will take their first journey along side of Riley. Since the sports in the camp are varied, readers will get a glimpse of softball, basket ball, water polo, cross country, and even hot dog eating contests. Readers get to see Riley’s confidence grow as the days go by. All of the trappings of summer camp are in the mix as well, including ghost stories, a famously huge and famously unseen resident snapping turtle, and cabin trashing shenanigans.
Pack this in the bag of a camp going guy you know this summer!