Sunday, May 1, 2016

Spring Reading 2016 Bloom

Who says fairies have to be tiny and delicate? We've all seen "Maleficent," after all. But Bloom isn't that kind of fairy either; no horns, no darkly sinister appearance. Bloom is a powerful fairy that can make wonderful transformations, but she also leaves cracks and mud in her footsteps. And like most wonderful creatures, she eventually is taken for granted by the people who have profited from her magic. When Bloom decides to live in the forest, they are glad to see her go. Well...they are glad until the kingdom begins to fall apart and even the wonders of duct tape can't hold it together much longer. After the king and the queen both fail to find the magical creature and bring her back to save the kingdom, they decide to send someone ordinary instead. Genevieve, the smallest and quietest person in the kingdom is sent into the forest. And Bloom does what she does best, transforms her. The message that is carried back to the castle is perfect, "There is no such thing as an ordinary girl." Perfect book for celebrating girl power!

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.

No comments:

Post a Comment