This book has an unusual style of narration. Kate DiCamillo has the narrator speak directly to the audience, to ask them thought provoking questions, as if it was a tale told at their bedside.
As a 5th grade teacher, I have decided to make this a classroom read aloud. It is at times challenging with the way Ms. DiCamillo presents 3 timelines converging. That jump in sequence of events may need to be explained to younger readers/listeners. Yet it is well laid out, contains enriching vocabulary, and at times requires higher-level thinking or analysis. The story is not overly complex. In addition, it has many elements of other fairy tales. But, those elements only add to the charming way she has the characters and plot unfold.
Is this a book for the parents? No. Would I buy it just for me? No.
But I do believe it is a captivating and worthy listen/read for someone who is 9-14. Furthermore, it is a good book for a family to enjoy together. Listen and discuss the points or thoughts the narrator directs at the reader/listener, write a continuation of other tales, or just let it stand on it own as an enjoyable way to spend 3 hours. This book offers many ways to be enjoyed. It was well worth the investment.
Not every child likes to sit down and pick up a book as a Freetime activity.
Infact, those parents who have a child like that, feel blessed. This book though is one of the few books I have found that get my reluctant readers to want to open a book and read ahead. I can tell you it is a real delight to see 10 copies of this in the laps of children at recess, independent reading time, and before/after school waiting for parents.
This is delightfully read and well written. (Written much better than any review I could give it).
I tend to agree with many of the above comments. Mr. Jones has, as always, a wonderful voice, clear deliverance/vocal inflections and proper pacing. BUT the piano is often distracting. I'd be able to listen to the Word of God better without the music.
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