Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Witches and Dragons and Ghosts...oh, my!

The witch's guide to cooking with children by Keith McGowan

In this modern retelling of Hansel in Gretel, siblings Connie and Sol, along with their dad and step-mom, move next door to a suspicious older lady named Fay Holaderry. The duo quickly realizes that all isn’t as it seems in their new town. Their father and step-mother are trying to get rid of them, and Mrs. Holaderry is just the witch for the job. Can they keep from becoming tonight’s dinner?

Told with a touch warped humor (my favorite kind), this tale is a wonderful adaptation of the classic.

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin

Minli and her family live in an extremely poor village in China. Her mother sighs sadly while her father tells fantastic tales of dragons and the Old Man of the Moon. After talking to her newly released goldfish, Minli decides to embark on a journey to ask the Old Man of the Moon how to change her family’s fortune. Along the way she makes unexpected friends and finds answers to questions she never dreamed of.

Lin does an excellent job of interweaving Minli’s tale along with stories from Chinese folklore.

A Drowned Maiden’s Hair by Laura Amy Schlitz

Maud has been an orphan for many years. Her wild demeanor keeps her from being adopted…until the Hawthorne sisters arrive, looking for a little girl a lot like Maud. At first Maud thinks her dreams of being loved have come true. Soon she finds that she is just a pawn in the Hawthorne sisters’ game of ghostly deceit. Will Maud blow the whistle on their secrets, or will she continue to play the part of the ghostly Caroline?

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