There is so much about this book to love. Doreen Cronin has a knack for writing stories that readers will return to again and again. David Small's illustrations are enchanting; I especially like the way the watercolors capture the translucent glass castle. The text adds to the fun by changing font and size to emphasize words like mud, beetles, and dirt. When the king addresses Bloom, his words begin with a very gothic letter "I." And the queen's speech begins with an "I" done in lots of flourishes and curlicues. Genevieve's words are in a tiny font to match her tiny voice. (Tiny at first, anyway - but that changes after her return from the forest.)
Besides its message of girl power, there are many other things that readers can learn from this story. There is the idea that everyone, no matter their age or size, can do something important. There is the persistence that Genevieve displays when it takes her 17 attempts to make a perfect brick. And there is the wonderful tie-in to making, with Bloom turning sand to spun glass and mud into bricks. It may be a book that centers on female characters, but everyone will be delighted by it.
* Update - 08/01/2016 We have added this title to the Fairview Library.