Friday, December 26, 2008

Chalice -- book review

Chalice by Robin McKinley (Putnam)
Mirasol is appointed as Chalice to assist the new Master, an outblood, whose job it is to heal the demesne. Since Mirasol is a Chalice of honey, she learns the uses of spring water, herbs and honey to bind the earthlines which she hopes to heal the land and the people. McKinley's links to earth is obvious here. Beautifully written in mystical tones.
Readers 12 and up.

Friday, December 19, 2008

The Way We Work - picture book review

The Way We Work by David Macaulay (Houghton)
Over three-hundred pages explain how the human body looks inside and out. Large clearly detailed and labeled drawings make this an encyclopedia for readers from elementary through junior high.
Also watch for Macaulay's two volumes of The Way Things Work. As in the others, he shows the inner-workings of dozens of machines and electrical instruments. (I never knew what a carburetor in my car was or what it did until I looked at one in the first volume!) These are both wonderful gifts for "guys" who like to dabble with woodworking and electricity.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Boy in Striped Pajamas - book review

The Boy in Striped Pajamas by John Boyne (Random)
Set at the time of the Holocaust, 9-year-old Bruno tells about the barbed-wire fences at "Out-With" under the dictatorship of "The Fury." Young readers (10 and up) will get the allusions to the real names based on a terrible chapter in history. Now a movie tie-in.

The Queen of Style -- picture book review

The Queen of Style by Caralyn and Mark Buehner (Dial)

When the queen becomes bored she starts her own beauty-salon. She "styles" all her subjects and the animals, too. This picture book will bring giggles to young readers with a "read it again !" clamor.

A Curse Dark as Gold - book review

A Curse Dark as Gold by Elizabeth C. Bunce (Scholastic)
A re-telling of the Rumpelstiltskin tale. In this, Charlotte Miller finds a way to save the mill by bargaining to make straw into gold. The villagers, who depend on the mill for their livelihood find they may not only lose the mill but their own lives. Filled with suspense and mystery this is an exciting adventure for readers 10 and up.