The Mouse with the Question Mark Tail

Mouse Minor is what everyone calls him, but it's not his real name. The hero of The Mouse with a Question Mark Tail doesn't have a name. And it bothers him immensly. He never knew his parents either. He lives with Aunt Marigold under the Royal Mews, the carriage house of Buckingham Palace. Mouse Minor... Continue Reading →

Kris Kringle’s Magic

Just how did Kris Kringle (aka Santa Claus) meet Mrs. Kringle (aka Mrs. Claus)?  How did he get started on his Christmas Eve tour? Diane Stringam Tolley gives her answers to these questions in Kris Kringle's Magic: The Story of a Boy Who Became a Legend. Rebecca, Mrs. Claus, tells the story of how a... Continue Reading →

Mary Engelbreit’s Nutcracker

If you're a fan of Mary Engelbreit's artwork, you'll really enjoy her book Mary Engelbreit's Nutcracker. Engelbreit summarizes the story line of the famous ballet into a book format, lavishly illustrated in Engelbreit's signature style. If you plan to take a child to see The Nutcracker ballet this holiday season, this is a great way... Continue Reading →

Saint George and the Dragon

Retold from the tale found in Edmund Spenser's Faerie Queene, Saint George and the Dragon by Margaret Hodges is a classic for the modern ear. Saint George wears hand-me-down armor to face his first foe - an unspeakably huge dragon.  The princess Una rides next to him, leading the knight to her home, where the... Continue Reading →

The Light Princess

A fairy tale written by George MacDonald, The Light Princess has echos of Sleeping Beauty - a forgetful king does not invite a guest he should have invited to his daughter's christening. But there the similarities end.  The king forgets to invite his own spiteful, but terribly clever, sister.  She comes anyway.  In her clever... Continue Reading →

Squire’s Tale

If you have only heard of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, but haven't read any of their stories, please do!  You don't need to read the original stories in the ancient English.  Gerald Morris has done a great job of retelling the old stories for modern ears. The stories are a... Continue Reading →

Brush of the Gods

Brush of the Gods by Lenore Look and illustrated by Meilo So tells the story of Wu Daozi, one of China's greatest painters. As with all historical great figures, his story has been enlarged and exaggerated, although his artistic ability was not. Look writes a fictional account of Daozi's life, based upon references in Chinese... Continue Reading →

Golem

If I asked you, "Who is Golem?", you'd probably answer, "That horrible creature from The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings who coveted the One Ring." You'd be right, even though Tolkein spells the name differently. But Golem is a mythical character from Jewish folklore - long pre-dating Tolkein's work. In fact, knowing the... Continue Reading →

Starry River of the Sky

Rendi has a problem - an attitude problem.  In my childhood, a General Bad Attitude (GBA) was grounds for punishment.  In Starry River of the Sky by Grace Lin, Rendi has run away from home, so his parents aren't around to punish him. Instead, he's forced to work as a chore boy at an inn... Continue Reading →

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