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Penelope Anne Cole enjoys writing children’s stories to be read aloud. “Reading to children is the best way to help them love literature.” Ms. Cole has taught and tutored at every grade level, K to 12, and community college. She also reviews children's books. When not writing or reviewing children’s books, Ms. Cole enjoys dog walking, reading, gardening, church, and choir activities. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, a member of the California Writers Club:  Fremont Area Writers, SF Peninsula Writers, and South Bay Writers, and is a Reading Therapist with Read America. Ms. Cole reviews books at

http://pennyreviews-chat.blogspot.com/

See reviews of Ms. Cole's books at

http://reviewsforpenny.blogspot.com/

Her website is www.penelopeannecole.com

Contact Ms. Cole for School Author Visits, locally in-person, or by SKYPE.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Wishing Well by Kai Strand



Today I’m reviewing The Wishing Well, Another Weaver Tale, by Kai Strand, with cover art by K.C. Snider.  This is the second in the Weaver Chapbook series for ‘tweens about folks in the town of The Tales who are “word weavers.”  At the drop of a hat, or when asked, each person can weave tales, stories, riddles, poems, or fables to entertain and instruct.  Their last names - and sometimes their first names - are word-related as well.  The story is compelling from the first page and keeps your interest throughout -- I couldn’t put it down until I’d finished.

Poor Molly Minstrel is badly treated by her own mother and two sisters.  She’s required to do all the chores:  washing, ironing, cooking, cleaning, chopping wood, running errands, even filling the water bucket from the well.  It’s much too much work for an eleven year old.  Fortunately, she has a dear friend named Riddle who helps her so she can enjoy some play time with her friends.  Since this is in the “Cinderella” theme, you wonder, along with Molly, why would her own mother and sisters treat her so terribly?  After all, Molly is family, not step family.  We wonder, too, until the end of the story.

There is magic in the story in the person of a small, ugly, blue creature called “Unwanted.”  Molly is kind to Unwanted and he rewards her with a wish.  How that wish plays out in the book reveals why Molly is badly treated by her family and how they work out their problems in the end. 

The story is entertaining, but also has important life lessons.  Kids will easily relate to the feelings of the children and the problems Molly faces.  They’ll see that others’ life experiences shape the way they behave, but also see they can be helped to change for the good.  The values of kindness, generosity, helping, and problem-solving are woven throughout the book along with the characters’ “word weavings.” 

I look forward to reading all of the books in this charming series.  K.C. Snider’s cover art is lovely and puts you right in The Tales.  You want to visit and you want to see more illustrations of life in this special place.  Thank you, Kai Strand, for a perfectly delightful tale.
 

Available from Guardian Angel Publishing.  http://www.guardianangelpublishing.com

 

10 comments:

  1. What a delightful sounding book! Thanks for the review. Your book sounds interesting as well. Hmmm, must read both.

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    1. Thanks for visiting, Sharon. It's a really fun book.

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  2. This book sounds wonderful! Thanks for another great review Penelope.

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    1. Hi Susan, Thanks for visiting and comments. I really like this book and the concept of the series.

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  3. An intriguing book topic and a terrific interview. A winning combination!

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    1. Thanks, Nancy, for visiting and your comments. It's a really good book and series.

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  4. I love good books with important life lessons! That's what my blog is all about. :) Thanks for the review. Kai is great!

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    1. Thanks, Margo, I really like books with lessons, and teach us gently, like Kai's do.

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  5. Thanks Penelope. I loved The Weaver want to read this.

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    1. Hi Susan, thanks for stopping by and your comments. I hope to read the Weaver, too.

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