A handful of children's fantasy

Monday, June 7, 2010

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Instead of four individual posts, I am presenting these books together, two picture books and two chapter books. I thought they were all cute enough to share.

First the picture books.

The Toy Brother by William Steig is charming book about role reversal when the older brother accidentally shrinks himself while their parents are away for the week. My son picked out this book at the library, and we both enjoyed it. (Yes, I'm training him young to appreciate fantasy.)

Yours Truly, Goldilocks by Alma Flor Ada and illustrated by Leslie Tryon has a more complex story, told through a series of letters. Each character uses a different type of paper and handwriting style, with the pictures filling details on setting, mood, and events. In addition to being a cute story, I think it would make a great visual aid to teaching letter writing. Each letter has header, greeting, body, closer, and signature.

Now the chapter books.

Tollins: Explosive Tales for Children is written by Conn Iggulden, author of The Dangerous Book for Boys, and illustrated by Lizzie Duncan. I loved it. From the book: "Tollins are not fairies. Though they both have wings, fairies are delicate creatures and much smaller. When he was young, Sparkler accidentally broke one and had to shove it behind a bush before its friends noticed. Tollins are also a lot less fragile than fairies. In fact, the word 'fragile' can't really be used about them at all. They are about as fragile as a housebrick!" Sparkler is an oddball. He finds humans and their science fascinating. Though it is against Tollin law, his scientific studies may be just what they all need to save them from human encroachment and Dark Tollin takeover. The three linked stories in this book, beginning with "How to Blow Up Tollins," made me chuckle the whole way through. The accompanying illustrations add to the whimsy. Duncan's style goes perfectly with the stories.

Though I've never picked up The Dangerous Book for Boys, I'm interested now to see if Iggulden's non fiction has any of the same style his fiction does. DBB might come in handy as my son gets older.

Harvey Angell by Diana Hendry is a middle grade story and winner of The Whitbread Children's Book of the Year Award. Henry is an orphan living with his stingy Aunt Agatha. When their attic boarder leaves after a row with Aunt Agatha over her penny pinching ways (and banging his head once too often on the sloping ceiling), she interrogates new prospective boarders. Harvey Angell enchants her into accepting him with his small stature, lack of needing breakfast, and his sunbeam smile. Somehow, he begins to brighten the cheerless house. Henry just doesn't know whether to trust this "electrician" who wants to reconnect them to the circuit. Henry is determined to figure out what that means, because this strange man is up to something.

Fantasy really is for all ages. If you have children, you may want to consider these stories.


Tahereh said...

how cool! thanks for the recommendations!

Angela Ackerman said...

Thanks for the chapter book recommendations. I'm always looking for more good ones to read. :)

Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

Brad said...

Thanks for the ideas!

Jaleh D said...

I had fun reading these. You are most welcome.

I'll have a few more chapter book recommendations on Wednesday. I hope you will enjoy those as well.

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