by Joan Aiken
Overall: 3 out of 5 stars
Category: Folk Tale
Personal Evaluation: Joan Aiken’s name caught my eye since I really enjoyed her Wolves series when I was younger, so I had to give this a shot. Also a librarian I really respect recommended it, but overall I thought it was just okay.
What might interest children: The stories are entertaining and good for kids who have long memorized the classic fairy tales as these ones are definitely original (even a little too off-the-wall for my taste) but you can still identify the elements of a classic fairy tale in them.
by Jerry Spinelli
Overall: 4 out of 5 stars
I’ve been meaning to read something by Jerry Spinelli and this one slid across my check-in desk at work the other day. The title grabbed my attention so I tucked it away for lunchtime. Somehow I missed the fact that it was short stories and so I was waiting for all the characters to be brought together. For a while I thought they all lived near each other and then it became clear that was impossible. Then I thought maybe the card itself was magical; also false. As individual stories, they are charming and real, if slightly exaggerated in some areas. But I think most kids could probably find themselves in one of the four protagonists and be happy. Just as a word of warning though, they are definitely all separate stories, so don’t expect them to come to any grand conclusion! My friend H gave me a new assignment for Spinelli, that I’m to read Maniac Magee as she considers it his best, so stay tuned for that review!