Korgi, a Delightful Epic for All Ages

Korgi. Book 1, [Sprouting wings!] by Christian Slade — a beautifully illustrated woodland fantasy about a young girl, Ivy, her Korgi cub, Sprout, and their amazing adventures in Korgi Hallow. This wordless series is the masterful artistic creation of Christian Slade who was a Disney animator for many years. Gaze upon illustrations that are so full of life that the pages radiate the emotions of the characters. No written dialogue is necessary to know exactly what is happening and what is being felt. Join Ivy and Sprout on their perilous encounters with trolls, dinosaurs, and other exotic creatures when they wonder too far from the safety of their village.

If you enjoyed The Invention of Hugo Cabret and Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick, you will be equally impressed with Korgi. If you liked The Hobbit and Owly, you will marvel at the fantasy in Korgi. Let us hope the series continues!

Of Mice and Men...and Pie and Cheese and Cats

Are you in the mood for a delicious story to savor this holiday season? One that is skillfully baked, flavorful, and not too heavy? Then sample Pie by Sarah Weeks and/or The Cheshire Cheese Cat — a Dickens of a Tale by Carmen Agra Deedy and Randall Wright. These savory tales have a pinch of mystery and history, but family, friendship, and faith in oneself are the bread and butter of both books. Seasoned with laughter and garnished with a touch of magic make them tantalizing literary treats you won't want to miss. Feast upon Pie, and you will soon be drooling for a slice. If you are an intrepid baker, you can even attempt to create the culinary delights described because recipes are included with each chapter. If, however, only Cheshire cheese will appease your appetite, you might need to visit your local market since making and aging cheese is a bit more dicey. Eat, Read, and be Merry!

Do You Find School Boring?

Well then, you might try enrolling in either Master Dreadthorn's School for Wayward Villains or Blatt School for the Insanely Gifted. Granted, you must be the child of a notorious evil entity, such as Dracula, The Big Bad Wolf, or a warlock and be lacking in evil to normally qualify for entry into the former school, but heck, you could always give it a shot. "Gifted" has a lot of definitions. The deciding factor for entry into the later school is that you have the ability to invent something the headmaster might want to steal from you, thereby increasing his fame, fortune, and power — but you don't know this of course. Trust me, if you do have the opportunity to attend one of these schools, you will gain a whole new perspective on education.

Villain School : good curses evil by Stephanie S. Sanders — Join Rune, Jez, and Wolf Junior as they try to succeed at a nearly impossible Plot in order to avoid being expelled for not being bad enough.

What Would You Do If

A murder of crows flew off to the forbidden Impassable Wilderness with the baby brother you were supposed to be watching? This is just the first difficult quandary that Prue is forced to deal with in Wildwood by Colin Meloy (lead singer and songwriter for The Decemberists). Well, as you might guess, Prue does elect to sneak into the wilds, followed by a nosy classmate, Curtis. This intrepid duo soon learn they have entered a realm in the midst of violent upheaval. One part of the dark and magical wood is warring with at least one other section. A simple rescue mission explodes into mortal battles featuring incredible creatures and humans as various factions vie for power and control. Honeyed deceit, brutal honesty, and difficult choices force Prue and Curtis to mature quickly. They must tap unknown inner strengths as they risk their lives for a greater cause. Readers rapidly become engaged with all the characters in this eco-fantasy full of twists, turns, and humorous episodes. An unexpected choice at the end leaves one anxiously awaiting Book II in The Wildwood Chronicles. Let's hope Meloy is able to maintain this quality and momentum as the series progresses. This is truly a 'must-read' for all fantasy lovers!

Selznick Creates Another Masterpiece

You will enter a world of breath-taking beauty and spellbinding mystery when you open Wonderstruck, a world so rich and captivating that you won't want to leave it even when you come to the last page. Two stories revolving around hearing-impaired characters are artfully intertwined. One is set in 1977, is told in text and follows Ben, who suddenly loses his mother and never knew his father. The second, depicted richly in shaded pencil drawings that act like a camera, opens in 1927 as young Rose plans to run away from her stifling father and find her glamorous mother in Manhattan. Ben soon flees his aunt's house in Gunflint Lake, Minn. in a attempt to find his father in New York City. Thus begin the dramatic tales of two coming-of-age, angst-filled, somewhat angry, and challenged young teens. Both stories are compelling and impeccably paced, but are seamlessly interwoven throughout so that their final connection is like the ending of a symphonic work. Replete with mystery, suspense, emotion, and fascinating historical facts and details, this page-turning graphic and prose delight will truly leave you wonder-struck.

Ruby Red Rave Reviews

Are you in the mood for an awesome time-travel triology that promises to have a Twilight-ish romance flavor to it too? Then you'd better get started with book #1, Ruby Red by Kirstin Gier now. Gwen lives in London with her mother's rather eccentric family. For years all the attention has been focused on her cousin Charlotte who is supposed to be carrying the family time-travel gene and preparing her for life in the past. However, when Gwen turns 16, she is the one who suddenly starts disappearing into the past. This shocking news sends tremors through the whole family, as well as the Guardians, the old, powerful and dangerous secret society that monitors time travelers and seeks to control what they do. Gwen is a convincing modern teen with a great best friend and mom, who seeking to protect her daughter, ends up making matters more difficult for her and others. A handsome, albeit rather conceited, 19-year-old Gideon adds a romantic element as her destined fellow time-traveler. Action, adventure, humor, mystery, and totally believable characters make this novel a real page-turner. First published in Germany, Ruby Red has enjoyed great success throughout Europe.

Shakespearean Hits

Looking for a good, and not-too-long, book for that historical fiction assignment? Then pick up Gretchen Woefle's All the World's a Stage: a Novel in Five Acts. As you might guess, it is set in England during Shakespeare's time, but it is also a coming-of-age story that revolves around a very interesting event. Twelve-year-old orphan Kit messes up big time as a cutpurse at the Theatre playhouse, but is lucky enough to be offered a chance to work off his offense instead of going to jail. Although Kit is plagued with a volitile temper that often trips him up, he begins to enjoy the on- and offstage dramas of theater life and the work involved in stage productions. When the landlord evicts the Lord Chamberlain's Men from the his land that their playhouse in on, Kit joins the secret plot to dismantle the playhouse and move it to a new location. This clandestine feat must be accomplished while the landlord is away for Christmas and the suspense mounts as they scamble to find skilled workers who are willing to help them. Will they succeed? Will Kit ever his place in life? Will he be able to trust anyone enough to be a true friend? Read and find out!