Tag Archives: suspense

A House that Once Was

A House that Once Was
by Julie Fogliano, illustrated by Lane Smith
Roaring Book Press, 2018

The title promises a trip back in time, a mystery, and that’s exactly what’s delivered in this story poem tale with its mystical, magical illustrations.

We’re invited into an old house and on each page, we learn a few more things about the house, on a hill.  All the items of the last owner are still in their place, as told my favorite line:

Who was this someone
who left without packing
someone who’s gone
but is still everywhere?

Two children are the house explorers, but not the main characters.  The illustrations feature the main character, the house and all its contents.  Readers learn much from a yellow mustard jar, an artist’s palate, and photos on the wall. The author draws us into the story when she wonders who may have lived there, and where they may have gone.  After what must have been several hours, the children return home and the illustrations show they returned with a few treasures.

This is the kind of story poem that takes readers to a special place and will entice readers to return into the story’s feeling again and again.

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King Aurthur’s Very Great Grandson

King Aurthur’s Very Great Grandson
by Kenneth Kraegel
Candlewick Press, 2012

A whimsical story of a brave, six-year-old Henry who heads out into the world for adventure.  He comes upon a dragon and challenges it with, “BEHOLD, VILE WORM! I, HENRY ALFRED GRUMMORSON, A KNIGHT OF KING AUTHUR’S BLOOD, DO HEREBY CHALLENGE YOU TO A FIGHT TO THE UTTERMOST!”  But when the dragon only blow smoke rings, Henry says, “I have no time for smoke rings!  I want to fight, strength against strength, might against might!”  And he heads off for another monster who will match his challenge.  After facing four fearsome foes, he finds what he was looking for all along…friendship.  Cleverly written, fearsomeness builds upon fearsomeness, and bravery reaches its peak.  A fun adventure that will ignite a child’s dreams and fantasies.

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Nighttime Ninja

Nighttime Ninja
By Barbara DaCosta, illustrated by Ed Young
Little Brown and Company, 2012
2013 Children’s Choice Book Award

It’s midnight. A little ninja appears. He enters the house. He creeps in silence, he listens in the shadows. He takes out his tool…when suddenly lights flash on and a figure looms above him. This delightful story has the mystery and suspense—in kid’s terms—that every young ninja seeks, as well as the love of a patient parent.

Let your ninja live in the mysterious—yet safe—illustrations depicting night, created by award winning artist Ed Young, and the understanding, loving words of Barbara DaCosta. For the youngest ninja lovers.

2013 Children’s Choice Book Award

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