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Thanks to Candlewick Press for this copy!
The magical story Hayley Chewins has created twists and turns while slowly bringing light to a terrifying challenge that Mayhap Ballastian must unravel. Something was always strange when her parents brought her and her sisters to Straygarden Place, a house surrounded by tall silver grass and floating trees. The father and mother are scientists and intrigued enough to want to study the flora and fauna. They do find that when they sign papers to live there, they are told they will need to give up something. As it happens, that is all we know of the parents because the tale begins after they mysteriously disappear, only leaving a note that says "Wait for us. Sleep darkly." The house itself takes care of Winnow, Mayhap, and Pavonine, the three sisters, but when Winnow, the oldest at 14, does go outside (breaking the rules), everything is left to Mayhap, twelve, to save her sister. She persists and discovers secrets that are heartbreaking. There is at last relief and good surprises at the end. Figuring out that love and kindness help solve frightening problems creates an underlying theme. Those who love mystery and unimaginable magic where anything can be taken will love this story.
From the creators of the wonderful Crown: An Ode To The Fresh Cut is a celebration, but not just any kind, this is one of all those "good" things a boy believes he is, that he can be. Derrick Barnes lets him tell it all himself in first person. This black boy is energetic, creative, "a coooooool breeze". When he falls, he gets up and sometimes he's afraid because he's misunderstood and called what he is not. Be sure you discover all the things that he is because those many things are very special. Gordon C. James's paintings fill the pages with action and the boy with family and friends and so many smiles. The endpapers are filled, too, with those smiling faces. It is a wonderful book to be shared with children in your lives whether teacher, parent or grandparent!
It's difficult to imagine any art project more fun this fall than to get this book, read and enjoy it, then create your own rainbow wish! Eighteen artists have shared their own and I noticed quite a few wishing for activities with friends! With the virus restrictions and the hope to stay safe and well, it means very little or no time with a group. Brian Biggs writes "My rainbow is playing ball with everyone." He shows a group of very happy children, and a ball! Laura Vaccaro Seeger writes "We will hold hands as we walk and talk and listen and be . . . together." She created a collage of whirling colors and many hands. I didn't choose favorites but only samples. Each one will make you smile.
Thanks to Candlewick Press for the following books!