In a Glass Grimmly

In a Glass Grimmly (A Tale Dark & Grimm, #2)a companion to A Tale Dark and Grimm by Adam Gidwitz  You can find out more about him by clicking on his name.

Where the first book follows Hansel and Gretel through various Grimm fairytales this book follows cousins Jack and Jill through Grimm and Anderson tales , along with rhymes from Mother Goose.  Jack and Jill are not happy in their respective homes.  Jack longs to be admired and Jill longs for beauty and both are bent on making decisions that will enable them to reach their goals.  Off to a rough start, they find themselves working together with the help of a talking, three-legged frog.

After making a deal with a strange baby-faced ancient woman, Jack and Jill set off on a quest that sends them to many different places.  They go to the clouds where they meet a murderous group of giants who are outwitted after stunning amounts of vomit.  From there they journey to the sea only to find beautifully cruel mermaids and then on to the goblin market where truth is not valued, nor are body parts or life.  Lastly they find themselves underground where they befriend an enormous salamander that smells worse than any combination of smells you can imagine – and that is on the outside before they enter his gullet to retrieve a lost treasure.

Irreverently disgusting, this book is full of revolting delights.  It is a well written blend of fairy tale telling with a vocal narrator who offers cautions and belated apologies for events that may have scared or offended.  Along the way there are other ideas to ponder…

One is the ravens’ distinction between being confused and being con-fused.

“As long as you are con-fused you will never find what you seek.  Even though it is right there.”

“There is this weird thing that happens, when you stop worrying so much about what other people think of you.  When you are no longer – to use the ravens’ word – con-fused.  At that moment, you suddenly start seeing what you think of you.”

You’ll love it from beginning to end.  Enjoy!

Starry River of the Sky

Starry River of the Skyby Grace Lin

Rendi has run away from home – gone as far as he can to be away from his father, Magistrate Tiger as he possibly can.  His father, hoping to become an important man, bullies everyone around him with his arrogant and dishonest challenges.  His tricks and plans seem to get him what he wants, but Rendi cannot bear to be part of the deceit. Although it means leaving his mother and sister behind, Rendi’s anger at being used and discarded gets the best of him and he set off.  His journey brings him to the City of Clear Sky.  He finds a job as chore boy in the Inn and here questions and stories unfold around him. They make him wonder about choices – his choices.   Where has the innkeeper’s son gone? Is Peiyi angry or sad?  Why is she concerned about leaving?  Why do neighbors argue, when working together they could find a solution? Is it possible that Mr. Shan cannot tell the difference between a rabbit and a toad?  Where is the moon and why does no one else notice it is missing?  And mostly, what is the sound, the crying and haunts Rendi everywhere he goes?

An elegant lady comes to the Inn and Reyndi wonders why she has chosen to stay there.  At once enchanted by her stories and the ease she brings to their lives, Rendi begins to understand that people are revealed by the stories they tell.  He learns that many stories can be understood different ways – one story may have as many different meanings as there are listeners.  Finally Rendi’s questions are answered and he knows what he must do.

Readers of Starry River of the Sky will smile as they discover how the threads from each story told are woven together to create a rich tapestry combining China’s ancient tales with our contemporary lives to create a new, completely satisfying story challenge, friendship and love.  Mountains, the moon, toads and journeys play an important role in Grace Lin’s new book – a companion to When the Mountain Meets the Moon.  You’re sure to love to journey as you begin to wonder what you reveal through the stories you share and tell.

Grace Lin shares how she came to write this story and how her favorite fairy tales and legends combine in her telling.  Click here to hear what she has to tell.