Category - Books

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Children’s Library Corner: David LaRochelle
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The Fairy Ring, or Elsie and Frances Fool the World by Mary Losure – Review
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The Three Little Pigs and the Somewhat Bad Wolf by Mark Teague – Book Review

Children’s Library Corner: David LaRochelle

It’s been a while since we have heard from Ann, our local children’s librarian.  She hasn’t forgotten about us, and she’s back with another awesome Children’s Library Corner: David LaRochelle!  

Everyone say, “Hi, Ann!  How’s your summer been?”

While summer for many folks means lazy days of lemonade and porch swings, summer at your local library often means BUSY BUSY BUSY! (Gianna here:  She has been incredibly busy!  I can attest!)Not only do we have double the kids in the library, but there are programs, bookclubs, and our Summer Reading Program activities in general. However, it’s still a great time to take a step back and write about one of my favorite local author/illustrators, Mr. Tall Dave himself, David LaRochelle. Read More

The Fairy Ring, or Elsie and Frances Fool the World by Mary Losure – Review

This week, we are finishing up The Fairy Ring, or Elsie and Frances Fool the World by Mary Losure. Afterward, we are going to watch FairyTale: A True Story.  Both stories are about the cousins, Frances and Elsie, who faked pictures of fairies around the time of World War I. Although the movie takes a lot of creative liberties with the facts, it will be a nice way to help my children picture a time a place that are very different from their own.

The Fairy Ring: Or Elsie and Frances Fool the World

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 In The Fairy Ring, Mary Losure writes the kind of children’s biography that I always thought should be written.  It is both factual without being dry.  She doesn’t underestimate her readers, but she picked a subject that excites the imagination. She tells the facts in a simple way that kids can follow.  In the end, she leaves it up to the reader whether to believe if Frances saw real fairies.  Not even her children were in agreement on that point.

This book is recommended for Age 10 and up.  I am reading it out loud to my 8-year-old. We need to stop a lot to answer questions and often go back to clarify something important that I thought she understood, but she is very interested in the story and following it pretty well. The toddlers are not at all interested. I had a vague knowledge of this subject when we started and really enjoyed learning the full story. I’ve actually read ahead and finished it on my own.

I’ve also pre-watched FairyTale: A True Story. I would recommend watching it after you’ve finished the book, since it takes so many liberties with the real story.  The girls are much younger and the events happen much closer together, for instance. Overall, though, it is a slow-moving but good story and age-appropriate for an eight-year-old. Again, the toddlers will have no interest in it.

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Mary Losure has also written Wild Boy: The Real Life of the Savage of Aveyron by Mary Losure (Amazon link) — another true story that has taken on folkloric proportions. 


FFTC did not receive any incentives for this review. Both the book and the movie were obtained from the library. We have added affiliate links to Amazon if you prefer to purchase these items. FFTC receives a small commission on sales made through Amazon links.

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The Three Little Pigs and the Somewhat Bad Wolf by Mark Teague – Book Review

Around the time Mark Teague visited the Twin Cities on his promo tour for, The Three Little Pigs and the Somewhat Bad Wolf, we checked the book out from the library. The best part of Mark Teague’s books are the illustrations. The are big, bright, and engaging. The pictures alone will draw in your younger audience. The story is a slightly goofy version of the fairy tale, with enough grown up jokes speckled throughout the pages to keep adults amused.  

The Three Little Pigs and The Somewhat Bad Wolf

I love the illustrations in this book!

Some people do not like modern retellings of fairy tales that smooth away the rough (scary or violent) edges of the classic tale. If that’s you, you wouldn’t like this book. The Big Bad Wolf is only Somewhat Bad in this retelling and, in an ending reminiscent of a Raggedy Ann Tale, the pigs win him over with niceness and everyone agrees to live together in harmony. I think this retelling is okay. After all, if you want to be true to the classic tale, two of the three pigs get eaten and then the wolf is eaten by the third pig.

This book definitely passes my read over and over and over again test. The story is a simple, classic favorite. There is something about tales like this that read a little like a song. The reader keeps coming back to the same refrain. It makes a more enjoyable read for the reader and for the small child. The grown up jokes that he tosses in are just enough to make it amusing but not overwhelming. The illustrations really are the cream.

Where to find The Three Little Pigs and The Somewhat Bad Wolf

If you are interested in adding this book to your permanent collection, you can pick it up at most bookstores. It is also available through Hennepin County Library — where they will store it for you for free when you are done with it. I’m a huge fan of free book storage!

*If you purchase the book through our Amazon affiliate link below, Family Fun Twin Cities receives a small commission.

The Three Little Pigs and the Somewhat Bad Wolf

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