When Harry Colebourn saw a baby bear at a train station, he knew he could care for it. Harry was a veterinarian. But he was also a soldier in training during World War I. Harry named the bear Winnie, short for Winnipeg, his company’s home town, and he brought her along to the military camp in England. Winnie followed Harry everywhere and slept under his cot every night. Before long, she became the regiment’s much-loved mascot. But who could care for the bear when Harry went to battle? Harry found just the right place for Winnie–the London Zoo. There a boy named Christopher Robin played with Winnie–he could care for this bear too!
Do you love Winne-the-Pooh? Did you know Winnie was based on a real bear? Intrigued? If so you should check out this book. It tells the story of how Winnie, short for Winnipeg, touched the lives of many people.
Winnipeg was named after Winnipeg, Canada which is the town that the soldier who adopted her was stationed at. She became the mascot of a Canadian army company during World War I. Later she would find a home at the London Zoo where Christopher Robin would fall in love with her. Christopher`s relationship with Winnie inspired his father to write the Winnie-the-Pooh books.
This book is a heartwarming tale of a bear that touched many lives throughout history. It also features photographs and documents from Winnie`s life.
Colm Candorly has eight sisters. Eight’s a bunch of anything, but that’s a whole lot of sisters! They call him cutesy names and steal his underwear and giggle all the time. Colm copes by hiding when he can using superior stealth skills and by teasing them mercilessly, like stealing their brushes and hair pins.
Colm’s dad has it worse – he has to feed and clothe them all. But Colm’s parents make do and are happy doing it, until Colm’s sister Seysha gets sick and their meager stack of coins isn’t enough to pay for food as well as a doctor. Colm might get annoyed at his sisters, but he can’t stand the thought of any of them suffering. He turns his stealthy brother skills to shady but necessary use heading to the Village Square and “acquiring” a rich man’s purse with his nimble fingers. Colm justifies his actions like Robin Hood would – stealing from the rich to give to the poor. When Colm’s father sees the money he doesn’t see it that way at all and is determined to have Colm confess to the Village Magistrate and return the money. Colm’s father wants him to confess, hoping to save Colm from a more severe punishment – like the removal of his thieving hand!
At just the right moment, in steps Finn Argos, a mystery man who observed Colm’s pickpocket skills in the Village Square and has an idea for how best to use them. Mr. Argos is a teacher; a mentor, looking for an apprentice. He thinks Colm is perfect for the job. Stealthy. Quick. Nimble Fingers. What does Mr. Argos teach? “The Aquisition of Resources.” In other words, “Thievery.” Finn Argos recruits talent for a guild lead by one Tye Thwoden. The guild practices dungeoneering, a kind of treasure hunting that pits teams of raiders against the trolls, goblins, and other assorted monsters that guard treasure hidden in dungeons – treasure protected further by sinister booby traps, diabolical wizardry and complex locks. Finn agrees to pay off Colm’s debts in exchange for Colm’s talents – Finn wants Colm to come live at the guild and learn to be part of a dungeoneer team, because all good teams need a crack lockpick wiht nimble pickpocket fingers.
Colm takes Finn up on his offer. Arriving at the guild, Colm is put on a team specifically chosen to work together. Colm’s role is to be the Rogue, picking locks & outsmarting traps. His teammates are:
Lena, a warrior girl (who can’t stand the sight of her own blood)
Quinn, a stuttering wizard (who has major confidence issues)
Serene, a druid who can talk to animals (who is too afraid to talk to animals with teeth)
The four of them, with their talents and fears, become a team in Thwoden’s Legion.
Friends. Adventure. Challenges. Treasure. Glory.
It is as exactly as fun as it sounds.
“Now I’m not sure how a stuttering mage, a swooning barbarian, a timid druid, and a fledgling rogue will play out in the bards’ songs, but I’ve shaped the most brittle iron into a blade so strong it can cut through a behemoth’s hide. So as long as you are members of this guild, we will turn you into dungeoneers, or my name’s not Tye Thwodin.” (page 145)
Bored with traditional palace life, a princess goes off to live with a group of dragons and soon becomes involved with fighting against some disreputable wizards who want to steal away the dragons’ kingdom.
Cimorene is not your typical princess. In fact, she’s interested in everything a princess is not supposed to be: Magic, Juggling, Economics, Sword fighting, Latin and quite frankly anything that would make life more interesting than the mundane rituals of what is “proper.” And by proper, they mean: being a Princess waiting for some Prince to come and do everything for her. Cimorene is strong-minded, smart, stubborn and bored. She’s so bored that she runs away to live with a dragon – and finds the family and excitement she’s been looking for.
In Dealing with Dragons, Patricia C. Wrede weaves a wonderful tail of action and adventure along with finding and being true to yourself. Readers young and old will enjoy this playful trip through a world full of fairy godmothers, dragons, wizards and witches that reflects on some of silliness of fairytales altogether. Read along as Cimorene discovers that you can decide your own future in a world that is constantly telling her, “It’s simply not done.”
With classes on how loudly it’s permissible to scream when being carried off by a giant to references of characters from other famous fairytales (King Author, Jack and the Beanstalk, etc), Wrede weaves a fantastically fun not your everyday fairytale that will leave you wanting more. Thankfully there is. Dealing with Dragons stands well enough on its own but it’s also the first book in the Enchanted Forest Chronicles.
All of which are available at the Indianapolis Public Library!
Recommended by: Jason Walters – Brightwood Branch Library