Monday, November 30, 2020

Bibliophile's Corner

The Lost Spells
written by Robert MacFarlane
illustrated by Jackie Morris

Goodreads Description:
Since its publication in 2017, The Lost Words has enchanted readers with its poetry and illustrations of the natural world. Now, The Lost Spells, a book of kindred in spirit and tone, continues to re-wild the lives of children and adults.
The Lost Spells evokes the wonder of everyday nature, conjuring up red foxes, birch trees, jackdaws, and more in poems and illustrations that flow between the pages and into readers' minds. Robert MacFarlane's spell-poems and Jackie Morris's watercolour illustrations are musical and magical: these are summoning spells, words of recollection, charms of protection. To read The Lost Spells is to see the natural world within our grasp and to be reminded of what happens when we allow it to slip away.

My Thoughts:
Since I'm a big fan of illustrations created by Jackie Morris, I was anxious to read The Lost Spells. Not only is her artwork exquisite, the poetry of Robert MacFarlane is beautiful. This book is one that I'll read again and again. If you're conservation-minded, a lover of poetry, and enjoy lovely illustrations, The Lost Spells is a book not to miss! 

Friday, November 27, 2020

Storyteller's Journey

My NaNoWriMo Update!

When you get in a groove of writing between 1,500-2,500 words a day, it's both gratifying and depressing. It's depressing because you wonder why you don't attain those wordcounts everyday! As of Wednesday night my total was 48,747 words; only 1,253 more to go! With four days left in November, I'm fairly confident I'll make it. Thankfully, I "put words in the bank," so I was able to take a couple of days off this week. πŸ˜€

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Whimsical Word of the Week

Hireath (n.)
homesickness for a home to which you can't return.
Example: The citizens of the country all felt a sense of hireath, since the pandemic had wreaked havoc within the society.

Monday, November 23, 2020

Bibliophile's Corner

The Polar Bear Explorers' Club
written by Alex Bell and
illustrated by Tomislav Tomic
Flap Copy Description:
Stella Starflake Pearl knows without a doubt that she was born to be an adventurer. It's too bad girls are forbidden from becoming explorers. But Stella's father, Felix, has never been one to play by the rules.
Leaving behind her pet polar bear, Gruff, and beloved unicorn, Magic, Stells sets off with Felix on an expedition to the snowy Icelands. There, Stella plans to prove herself as a junior explorer, worthy of membership to the Polar Bear Explorers' Club. So when Stella and three other junior explorers are separated from the rest of their expedition, she has the perfect opportunity. Can they explore the frozen wilderness and live to tell the tale?

My Thoughts:
I discovered this wonderful book while perusing Twitter and I'm so glad I did! It was published in 2017 by Simon and Schuster, and written by the British author Alex Bell. Since I enjoy fantasy novels (and polar bears!) I expected to enjoy the read. However, what I didn't expect was the creative characters and stunning settings created by Bell. When I did a bit more researching, I discovered it's the first book in the fantasy series; there are two more published books already available. I anxiously look forward to reading the entire series. I highly recommend The Polar Bear Explorers' Club to readers aged eight to fourteen!

Click here to learn about the author, Alex Bell.

Friday, November 20, 2020

Storyteller's Journey

My NaNoWriMo Update!

While I'm thrilled with my progress (I'm at 35,801 words), it's taken a toll on my reading, my housework, and my time in the out of doors. Thankfully, I pre-posted for this blog! πŸ˜‰ It feels good to have Thanksgiving coming up next week, even though we'll be home alone this year complying with Washington State pandemic regulations. 
Wishing each of you a very Happy Thanksgiving! πŸ¦ƒ

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Whimsical Word of the Week

Ombudsman (n.)
someone who researches complaints about an organization or government.
Example: The ombudsman was much less busy since the new president had taken office.

Monday, November 16, 2020

Bibliophile's Corner

The Mysterious Benedict Society
Riddle of Ages
by Trenton Lee Stewart

Flap Copy Description:

After starring in three adventures, the inimitable quartet of Reynie, Sticky, Kate, and Constance haven't had a mission together in some time. But with the arrival of a new Society member - and a new threat - they must reunite to face dilemmas more dangerous than ever before, including the return of the villainous Mr. Curtain and his Ten Men a a formidable enemy with a mystifying ability to track their every move.

In its triumphant return, the Society encounters all-new challenges, but the series' trademark sly humor, sweet camaraderie, hairbreadth escapes, and perplexing puzzles are all as engaging as ever.

My Thoughts:

With the introduction of a new character, Tai Li, Trenton Lee Stewart recently released a new addition to his The Mysterious Benedict Society - The Riddle of Ages. I've read all the books in the series, and was anxious to read this one too. While I enjoyed it, I found it not quite as intriguing as the previous books. That being said, it reads more like a young adult novel, rather than middle grade. (Maybe that's because the cast of characters has grown up a bit!) If you're a fan of The Mysterious Benedict Society, be sure to check out The Riddle of Ages!

Click here to learn about the author, Trenton Lee Stewart.

Friday, November 13, 2020

Storyteller's Journey

My NaNoWriMo Update!

This week went a bit easier than the last; my current wordcount is: 23,208. Since I'm hoping to take off a few days this month (including Thanksgiving), I must put the pedal to the metal! πŸ˜€While people familiar with this challenge understand the idea behind it, for those who aren't familiar with NaNoWriMo, the idea isn't so much to complete a finished novel, as it is to complete the first draft of a novel. Which is a good thing, since I'll have a lot of revising to do when this is all over!

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Whimsical Word of the Week

Canid (n.)
a mammal of the dog family.
Example: The wolf lumbered through the winter snow searching for members of his canid family.


Monday, November 9, 2020

Bibliophile's Corner

by Darcie Little Badger

Flap Copy Description:

Imagine an America very similar to our own. It's got homework, best friends, and pistachio ice cream.

There are some differences. This America been shaped dramatically by the magic, monsters, knowledge, and legends of its peoples, those Indigenous and those not. Some of these forces are charmingly everyday, like the ability to make an orb of light appear or travel across the world through rings of fungi. But other forces are less charming and should never see the light of day.

Elatsoe lives in this slightly stranger America. She can raise the ghosts of dead animals, a skill passed down through generations of her Lipan Apache family. Her beloved cousin has just been murdered, in a town that wants no prying eyes. But she is going to do more than pry. The picture-perfect facade of Willowbee masks gruesome secrets, and she will rely on her wits, skills, and friends to tear off the mask and protect her family.

My Thoughts:

Since I'm a fan of middle grade and young adult fantasy novels, I was excited to crack the spine of Elatsoe; I wasn't disappointed! Darcie Little Badger's debut book is full of unique characters, Lipan Apache folklore, and a plot with unexpected twists and turns. I especially enjoyed the strength and courage of Ellie (Elatsoe), the protagonist. In general, it's a well-written, imaginative fantasy story that is well worth the read. I highly recommend Elatsoe to readers aged ten to eighteen!

Click here to learn about the author, Darcie Little Badger.

Friday, November 6, 2020

Storyteller's Journey

Ready, Set, Write!

This November marks the third time I've participated in the National Novel Writing Month - NaNoWriMo for short. In years past, it was a mountain to climb to complete the 50,000 word writing challenge. (Thankfully, I was successful both previous times.) However, with the Covid-19 Pandemic this year, NaNoWriMo should be a bit easier. (I'm working on another middle grade novel; this one is historical fiction, set in France.)

Unfortunately, I've been a bit distracted this week with the noise from a general contractor who is remodeling one of our bathrooms. In addition to that, I'll admit that I've had one eye on the election results as well. That being said, my current total after five days is only 8105. πŸ˜€

For the next several Fridays I'll be using this blog as a way to update my NaNoWriMo progress. I'll post my word count and my thoughts about the challenge. My final update will be on Friday, 12/4/20.

Wish me luck! 

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Whimsical Word of the Week

Cabby-labby - (n.)
a noisy quarrel or disagreement in which everyone is speaking at the same time.
Example: After the presidential election, the citizens of the country were hoping the never-ending cabby-labby would cease.

Monday, November 2, 2020

Bibliophile's Corner

The Next President
by Kate Messner and illustrated by Adam Rex

Flap Copy Description:
This compelling exploration of the presidents before they were presidents - as kids, adventurers, journalists, prospectors, gun-slingers, TV hosts, and More! - brings across powerfully that the presidents of the future could be practically anyone...including you.

My Thoughts:
The Next President is a wonderful way to present to children just how unique, and yet relatable, each of our presidents has been. Raising the concept that the child reading, or listening to, this book, just might be our next commander in chief is a fantastic message for the youth of America. The vibrant illustrations bring the informative text beautifully to life. I highly recommend The Next President to children of all ages!

Click here to learn about the author, Kate Messner.
Click here to learn about the illustrator, Adam Rex.

If you've not yet voted, please do so!