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