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Friday, October 21, 2016

Book Jeopardy! by Benjamin

On Sunday night my eight-year-old, Benjamin, made us a jeopardy game. I have got to record it, because it was adorable. The categories were his favorite fantasy book series: Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians by Brandon Sanderson, The Unbelievable FIB by Adam Shaughnessy, Harry Potter by J.K Rowling, Percy Jackson and the Olympians by RIck Riordan, and Dreamdark by Laini Taylor.

The questions were not strictly Jeopardy style, in fact they were quite the opposite. I don't think Benjamin has ever watched an episode of Jeopardy. He has taken a lot of AR quizzes though.

Here were the questions:

Dreamdark
100 Who is the main character?
200 Who is the Magruwen's champion?
300 Who is the Magruwen?
400 What dragon was the last to die?
500 Who is Magpie's favorite person and why?

Percy Jackson
100 Fill in the blank: Camp ___ ____
200 Double tragedy, lose 200
300 Who is Annabeth's mom?
400 What is the name of Percy's sword?
500 Where is Kronos's throne room?

Harry Potter
100 Name Harry's 2 best friends
200 What do dementors guard?
300 How many times has Harry faced Voldemort?
400 What kind of tart is Harry's fave?
500 What is a bezoar?

building the game
Alcatraz
100 What book does Alcatraz use 2 lies?
200 Is Bastille a Smedry?
300 What is the High Library?
400 Do 10 jumping jacks or lose 100 points.
500 What Smedry has the talent of making rude noises?

FIB
100 Tragedy, lose 100
200 Who is the trickster?
300 Special, gain 300
400 Mister Fox's looking glass has a ____
500 Daily Double: Who is Fay Longintime?


Levi and I had a great time playing the game, even though we both ended up with a negative score. I haven't read the Alcatraz or FIB series, and it's been long enough since I read the others that I was a bit rusty.

Benjamin wanted me to be sure to post the answers to the questions for you, in case you wanted to play for yourself. I'll put those in the comments.

If you're curious about any of these series, Benjamin and I are happy to answer your questions. Also, I linked to their Amazon pages above, for your convenience. If you shop through my affiliate links to Amazon I make a small commission at no extra cost to you. Did some of this money go toward purchasing the last Alcatraz book, The Dark Talent? Yes it did.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Fractured Fairy Tales: 8 Great Titles that Mix Things Up

Hello! Today I have another helpful booklist for you, from Bethany Jensen. You can see previous posts by Bethany here. Thanks for these great suggestions, Bethany. 


In my last post I shared the funny way my dad read our bedtime stories. My favorite jumbled stories were fairy tales, the stories I know by heart. I grew up with classic characters like Rindercella, her Gary Fodmother, and the never-waking princess Aurora Borealis.

Speaking of lights in the heavens, here are two fairy tale twists that take place in a land far, far and even farther away than the Brothers Grimm ever imagined.




The Three Little Aliens and the Big Bad Robot by Margaret McNamara and Mark Fearing

In this story aliens travel the galaxy in search of homes of their own, but they have to watch out for the big bad robot. There is lots of fun language, although I'm still not sure how to pronounce Nklxwcyz (I wish that was a scrabble word). Also, Mark Fearing studied Nasa photographs for the illustrations. Very cosmicly cool.



Interstellar Cinderella by Deborah Underwood and Meg Hunt

Cinderella is a intergalactic fix-it gal. Instead of a shoe that fits, the prince is looking for that special girl that can repair a spaceship. His only clue is a lost socket wrench. I love this concept and the sparkling word choice. The illustrations are saturated in color and in a style reminiscent of 1960's space. I half-expected to see the Jetsons zoom by across the page.


Now back to Earth. My all-time favorite fractured fairy tale is:



Sleeping Ugly by Jane Yolen and Diane Stanley

No, this book is not the awful truth about bedhead and morning breath. It is almost twenty years since its publication, but I still love this retelling of Sleeping Beauty. I remember reading this in my younger years and liking the illustrations of the prince in a jogging suit; so relatable. This story is about being beautiful on the inside and how that can shine through to the outside, even if you don't have the perfect hair, nose or teeth. And if you do have all the perfect features, you can still be nice. I don't want to leave out pretty people. Don't be fooled by the title. This book is for you, too.

And something with a little mix of everything:



Little Red Gliding Hood by Tara Lazar and Troy Cummings

I think this is a darling story of Little Red finding a partner to skate with. I love all the cameos of other fairy tale and nursery rhyme characters. The opening pages have Little Red gliding across the ice through whimsical painted fairy tale land and you can pick out some of the familiar stories.


Finally (because this list could go on forever, so I really must stop somewhere) I want to mention a series of stories that share fairy tale versions from all around the world. These aren’t funny twists, instead each book contains three to four of the same fairy tale told by a different culture. The illustrations are beautiful and unique for each story. The stories are shortened and simplified which is good for a young audience. Sometimes the shortness of the text seems jarring as so many original fairy tales are actually very dark. I think it’s fascinating to learn the tales from countries around the world and the origins of our favorite fairy tale gems.




Snow White Stories Around the World by Jessica Gunderson.



Little Red Riding Hood Stories Around the World by Jessica Gunderson.



Rapunzel Stories Around the World by Cari Meister.



Cinderella Stories Around the World by Cari Meister.

That was fun! Thanks again, Bethany. Now I have a bunch of books to put on my library list. Do any of you readers have other favorite

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Cybils Nominations Open!

Hey everybody!


Cybils nominations are open. If you loved a book that has been published in the last year (for the children's or YA market) I hope you will nominate it. Go here.

Alysa

p.s. If you're too lazy, at least leave your idea in a comment here, then I can follow up with it and others can nominate on your behalf.
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