Friday, December 9, 2016

Fablehaven Book of Imagination

Learn how to make Wizard Slime, create fairy fashions, and solve the Dreamstone maze in this first-ever interactive book of Fablehaven awesomeness. And that’s just the beginning:

·         Make your own origami model of Raxtus the dragon
·         Draw a map of your own magical preserve
·         Practice withstanding a distracter spell
·         Solve riddles from the sphinx
·         Learn how to play a game of Shadow Tag
·         Learn how to draw a dragon
·         Color detailed coloring pages of Fablehaven creatures
·         Make an enchanted rain stick
·         Learn to cook Ogre Stew
·         And much, much more . .

And within the pages of this book are secret codes that will help readers discover a secret message from Brandon Mull about Dragonwatch, the sequel series to Fablehaven.

Available at Deseret Book and Amazon

This was so much fun! 

My son and I did several of the activities together. Made powerful Wizard Slime (check out the awesome video below), Ogre Stew, and a paper dragon! 

Many of the drawing and writing activities were a little old for my kid, but I plan on doing them as he gets older. Though I'll admit I got involved in solving the puzzles without him. 

Warning: There is a code that reveals something about Dragonwatch. I have old hardback versions of the books, so the page references didn't match up. You'll need the paperback version in order to decipher the fun clues. 

My favorite part is all the quotes about dragons and imagination throughout the book. One of my favorites from Lewis Carrol: "Imagination is the only weapon in the war against reality." 

So true!

Enjoy this fun gift idea for children of all ages who love fantasy and hands-on projects. Great for family time as well. 

Have an awesome day!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Fun Halloween Story for All Ages

Length -  350 Pages 
Chased by a vengeful witch, hunted by an undead corpse, and guided by a secretive preacher, a boy must protect a magical lantern that can either save Boston . . . or destroy it.

In October of 1730, young Rip Van Winkle sneaks into a graveyard and comes face-to-face with the ghost of William Blaxton, the first settler of Boston. Warning Rip that the city is in danger, Blaxton gives him a mysterious gift: a pumpkin lantern with power over life and death. Before fading into midnight, the ghost tells Rip to take the lantern to Feathertop, a mythical pumpkin-headed scarecrow.

Pursued by Mistress Hibbins, a witch of terrifying power, and hunted by the nightmarish Midnight Minister, young Rip must rely on the aid of Jonathan Edwards, a stern and secretive preacher, and Nathaniel, a talkative, know-it-all raven. Guided by the magical light of the lantern, Rip races across New England to find Feathertop, save Boston, and become a most unlikely hero!

From the bestselling, award-winning author Seth Adam Smith comes The Pumpkin Lantern--a fantasy novel influenced by the writings of Nathaniel Hawthorne, Lloyd Alexander, and C. S. Lewis. Loaded with humor, action, suspense, and fascinating American history, The Pumpkin Lantern is also a poignant fable about faith, family, and the power of life over death.

Book Purchase Link: Amazon

My thoughts: 

A touching tale about finding a place to belong and facing the darkness life often throws at you. Though the style was a bit hard to get into at first, I found I really enjoyed this tale that was part adventure and part fable of hope and light. Set in the early-1700s, in the Boston area, the author weaves a tale reminiscent of C.S. Lewis and the classic fairytale tradition that embed rich meanings into wondrous stories that capture imagination.

The book does have some pacing issues, especially the events leading up to Charity’s fate, but fits with the storytelling style. Also, some grammar and punctuation errors were distracting, but didn’t detract too much when I read it aloud to my toddler. It provided a great message, and an entertaining way to prepare for Halloween. We both enjoyed the illustrations that showed the settings and characters, which were fun to explore. I especially connected with the Van Winkles warm relationship and their willingness to open their hearts and homes to the children who most needed them. As someone who struggles with depression, I really liked the message of becoming the person one was born to be and overcoming the bleak darkness that often overwhelms. Definitely will read to my kids as they get older.

I recommend for middle-graders that want magical journeys, and families who enjoy reading uplifting tales together.

Happy Halloween!