Children's Literature, Fantasy

Review: Ella Enchanted

Ella EnchantedElla Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I enjoyed watching – but did not love – the film adaptation of Gail Carson Levine’s Ella Enchanted but I cannot resist a good fairytale retelling. And that’s what Ella Enchanted is. This retelling of the Cinderella story stands out from the pack for a couple of reasons: Ella, in this story, is under a curse which explains how a spunky young woman would allow herself to be treated so cruelly by her step-family; most of the story encompasses Ella’s pre-Cinders life, and the story is filled with unique and fun characters. Ella Enchanted’s greatest strength, however, is Ella herself with her fun, sassy narrative voice and her honest emotions.

If you enjoyed Ella Enchanted but you are looking for something a bit more mature, then I highly recommend William Goldman’s The Princess Bride or Kathryn Wesley’s The 10th Kingdom and then (if you haven’t already) watch the hilariously classic The Princess Bride movie and the lesser-known but totally fun miniseries of The 10th Kingdom.

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Children's Literature

Passing on Precious Memories

I recently received an invitation to a baby shower with the most wonderful suggestion. Instead of a card, it said, write a personal message in a children’s book.  I was thrilled when I read that.  I firmly believe that you cannot start building a child’s library too early.  But it also opened a bit of a can of worms where I’m concerned.  By the afternoon that I received the invitation, my shopping cart already had six beloved books in it and I kept thinking of more.  With much difficulty, I narrowed my selection to two books and saved the others for later – my future cousin should expect to get at least one book from me for every Christmas and birthday.  I tried to stick to the classics when coming up with ideas.  Here is part of my original selection:

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein         

 

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A personal favorite

 

 

The Real Mother Goose by Blanche Fisher Wright

 

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A staple for any child’s library.

 

Curious George by H.A. Rey  

 

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Who doesn’t LOVE Curious George?

 

Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown  

 

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A classic.  I didn’t choose this one because I figured the baby would receive like 10 copies.

 

 

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle     

 

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Another classic for every child’s library.

 

Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne

 

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That chubby little cubby all stuffed with fluff.

 

 

The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter     

 

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Any of Potter’s books would do.

 

 

One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss

 

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Because Dr. Seuss is essential and the baby’s mother studied marine biology.

 

 

Yertle the Turtle by Dr. Seuss 

Morris the Moose by Bernard Wiseman      

 

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Another childhood favorite.  Morris is still funny 30 years later.

 

 

The Berenstain Bears by Stan Berenstain

 

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I love the Berenstain Bears but this will probably be better saved for later.

 

 

The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister

Clovis Crawfish and His Friends by Mary Alice Fontenot      

 

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A beloved local author that infuses Cajun French phrases and songs in her works.

 

 

ANY of the Little Golden Books

Literally ANY

Poems and Prayers for the Very Young by Martha Alexander

 

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Out of print but a beautiful addition to any child’s library.

 

Hope is a Handful of Dreams by June Dutton (Illustrated by Susan Perl)

Another favorite from my childhood that is out of print but is timeless for its simple message and Perl’s unique and funny illustrations

Where’s Spot by Eric Hill      

 

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Interactive and adorable but I was afraid that doors and blankets would be ripped out before too long.

 

If any of you have favorites that you would have added to this list, pass them on.  I would relish more ideas for all of those birthdays and Christmases to come.