Sunday, December 25, 2016

The Lump of Coal, by Lemony Snicket

Finally, here’s a holiday story told from a different perspective.  At Christmastime, a living lump of coal falls off a barbecue grill and wishes for a miracle to happen.  This particular lump of coal wants to be an artist, but is rejected by a local gallery.  He’s also unsuccessful in finding work at a restaurant, and is about to give up when he runs into a man dressed as Santa Claus.  Finally, through a strange turn of events, the lump of coal finds himself in a position to become the perfect Christmas gift.

This book is a true Christmas miracle, a holiday story without any type of preachy message.  It’s a book about fitting in where you can, and like all of Lemony Snicket’s other books the author has a way of building rapport with the reader.  Children who pick up this book will not be talked down to, but rather taken along on a short but special holiday journey.

Merry Christmas, everyone!  Keep reading!

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Fizzlebert Stump: The Boy Who Ran Away From The Circus (and joined the library), by A.F. Harrold

There are many boys in the world and some of them have the same name, but there’s only one Fizzlebert.  This boy is as unique as his name, as he travels with a circus and makes a living by helping the lion tamer with his show.  Unfortunately, the one bad thing about living on the road is that he never has time to make any friends his own age.  During one particular stop, Fizzlebert finds a library book and attempts to return it himself, not knowing that this trip would change his life forever.

The best thing about this book is its pure outlandishness.  Most kids have joined a library, but who would ever think of running away from the circus?  My favorite part was when Fizzlebert’s mother and father, a circus clown and a strongman, venture out in town to look for their lost son.  Since I don’t want to spoil this great story you’ll have to read it yourself, so run down to your local library (or circus) and pick up a copy!