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03Aug 22

See you soon!

  IT'S VACATION TIME! We're taking some time off to read, relax, and re-energize so we can bring you more GoodReadsWithRonna.com this fall. In the meantime, wherever your plans take you, we wish you a ...      

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02Aug 22

Middle Grade Fiction – The Beatryce Prophecy

  THE BEATRYCE PROPHECY Written by Kate DiCamillo Illustrated by Sophie Blackall (Candlewick Press; $19.99, Ages 8-12)         ★Starred Reviews - Booklist, Kirkus Reviews, and Publishers Weekly   NOTE #1: I meant to write about The Beatryce Prophecy almost a year ago when I first read it. However,  being in dire need of a feel-good story, I just reread it so I'm happy to finally share my review of this fairy tale. NOTE #2: You definitely do not need to be between the ages of 8-12 to enjoy every last word of this wonderful novel. Written by Kate DiCamillo and illustrated by Sophie Blackall, The Beatryce Prophecy is full of promise and a resounding message of love we could all use. The book begins with: It is written in the Chronicles of Sorrowing that one day there will come a child who will unseat a king. The prophecy states that this child will be a girl. Because of this, the prophecy has long been ignored.   The kingdom, readers learn in text running parallel to the main narrative, is at stake due to the disappearance of a young girl according to the "Prophecies," so the hunt is on. At the same time a child, no more than 10 years old, burning with fever and clinging to the ear of an ordinarily unruly goat, is discovered in the barn. The rescuer is Brother Edik, a thoughtful monk who belongs to the Order of the Chronicles of Sorrowing. He is the monastery illuminator of the "glorious golden letters" that begin the text of each page of the Chronicles. Brother Edik also looks after the goat, Answelica.     Brother Edik, aided by the unusually attentive Answelica, cares for the girl who, when recovered, remembers only that her name is Beatryce. This name also happens to be one that appears frequently in the Chronicles of Sorrowing. Most notable however is that Beatryce can read and write, something forbidden by law for girls in the kingdom. Could this rare ability be a clue to Beatryce's identity? It doesn't take long for the monk to feel a strong bond with Beatryce, but his superior, Father Caddis says she must leave to find her people. As Beatryce is gaining her strength, she encounters Jack Dory. This industrious 12-year-old orphan possesses an excellent memory and gift for mimicry which comes in handy. He's been dispatched to the monastery by a dying soldier to find a monk to write his confession. But since Father Caddis wants Beatryce gone to keep the Order out of the king's crosshair, he sends Beatryce instead of Brother Edik.       The pair (with Answelica of course) set out for the village inn where Beatryce, dressed as a monk with shaved hair and pretending to be mute, begins the task committed to. But when the king's men begin to search, Jack tells his friend they must leave or risk capture.       In the dark woods during their…

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28Jul 22

Picture Book Review – Look and Listen

    LOOK AND LISTEN Written by Dianne White Illustrated by Amy Schimler-Safford (Holiday House; $18.99; Ages 4-8)         ★Starred Review - School Library Journaltar   From the Publisher: “In this exciting guessing game for budding nature lovers, a child takes a walk to explore the sights and sounds in a garden, across a meadow, and along a brook ... Dianne White’s playful text is paired with the vibrant collage artwork of Amy Schimler-Safford.”     Dianne White’s simple, rhyming text introduces young readers to the colors and sounds of creatures that live in each ecosystem using a riddle-like structure that invites page turns. At the same time, Amy Schimler-Safford’s gorgeous, collage-style art encourages little eyes to seek and find the hiding creature …     making this a truly interactive and enjoyable reading experience.     Accessible backmatter in Look and Listen offers readers and/or teachers more information about the habitats and animals highlighted in the book. This radiant picture book inspiring all five senses would make a great read-aloud for preschool classrooms to use just before a nature walk or trip to a National Park. Reviewed by Roxanne Troup    

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