Last weekend I took my nephew to see Pinkalicious, the Musical at our local community theater. Surrounded by little girls in pink tiaras, he might have felt slightly out of place. I had a great time, however. In case you are one of the few people on the planet who doesn’t know the story, Pinkalicious is a girl whose obsession with anything pink – especially cupcakes – drives her parents batty and creates havoc as she transforms into a great mass of pinkness.
The wildly popular book has become a franchise with as many possibilities as there are colors in an artist’s palette, I suppose. I’m not a huge fan of picture book franchises – as I find they often become stilted to fit the marketing department’s expectations, and I haven’t read all the Pinkalicious sequels, but the idea of turning the picture book into a musical was fascinating to me.
As is the case when moving from one medium to another, the story morphed a bit. I’m not really going to comment on that. But watching all these little kids in the theater, excited about theater, and excited about their book characters come to life, was quite impressive. It was a nice way to introduce the next generation to community theater.
If Pinkalicious hasn’t made it to your little theater community yet, look for it. It is an interesting experience, to say the least. Next spring our troupe is performing an adaptation of David Shannon’s How I Became a Pirate. I think I’ll take my nephew back – he should feel more at home among the swashbucklers.
For your consideration today is The Search for Wondla by Tony DiTerilizzi (Simon & Schuster, 2010). This post apocalyptic science fiction fantasy held my interest through the entire 468 pages. It is definitely a sophisticated step up for DiTerilizzi’s SpiderWick Chronicles fans. Random tidbit: I could not get the Wizard of Oz out of my head as I read this story.
The story centers around Eva Nine, who is raised by her robot “muthr” in her own safe underground cocoon. Eva’s idyllic, if lonely and artificial, childhood comes to an end as she matures and begins to question the authority of her robot guardian. As it must be in a story like this, her world comes crashing down and she is thrust out into the harsh realities of life to fend for herself. She is driven to search for another human by an old picture showing another girl, adult, robot, and the magical word “Wondla”. Her struggle for survival and search for identity make for a good story. Wild imagination gives birth to some memorable creatures in this story – which has been marketed with an interactive component online at wondla.com. The artwork goes a long way in helping to visualize the story.
I’ll be giving my copy away to one lucky person. Leave a comment on this post by October 3rd and you’ll be included in my random drawing. If this is your first comment to my blog, the comment will not post until I approve it. Share the contest with anyone who might be interested.
Genres & Subjects: Science Fiction, Adventure Stories, Fantasy, Aliens, Outer space
Things to like about this book: The story of survival is compelling, even in this alien setting, but the writing puts you there. I’m thinking DiTerilizzi can turn this into a fairly long series. Although the space sci-fi motif sometimes suffers from a smaller audience, I hope kids will give this a try.
Audience: Upper elementary through young YA. I’m liking this for sci-fi fans and, because of the female heroine, I think girls who ordinarily might not gravitate toward this space adventure will like it – if you can get them to pick it up.
Reviewed from: ARC provided by publisher.
Shivaun Davis – your comment was the lucky number to pop out of the random number generator. I will contact you for your snail mail address. After you respond your copy of Hero will be on its way.
Thanks for playing everyone. Come by Friday for my next review and giveaway.
Brit T– your comment was the lucky number to pop out of the random number generator. I will contact you for your snail mail address. After you respond your copy of Smells Like Treasure will be on its way.
Thanks for playing everyone. Check out the review of Hero by Mike Lupica in the blog below. Leave a comment by Monday, September 19th for a chance to win it.
Mike Lupica is a favorite author of the middle school set, especially boys. He’s gained a big following with a number of sports related books that always seemed to stay checked out in my library. Sports books aren’t my favorite but his baseball novel Heat impressed me a great deal. It was so much more than a “sports” book.
His action fantasy Hero was released in November 2010 by Philomel Books. I am guilty of keeping the ARC I picked up for a looong time, but I’m tossing it up today because it is a quick, fun read that will please Lupica fans, in my humble opinion. I liked it anyway!
I’m cheating today with a blurb from Lupica’s website instead of my own:
“Fourteen-year-old Zach Harriman can feel the changes. The sharpening of his senses. The incredible strength. The speed, as though he can textmessage himself across miles. The confidence and the strange need to patrol Central Park at night. His dad had been a hero, a savior to America and a confidante of the president. Then he died, and the changes began in Zach. What Zach never knew was that his father was no ordinary man, he was a superhero, battling the world’s evil. This is a battle that has been waged for generations and that knows no boundaries.
And now it’s Zach’s turn to take on the fight. It’s Zach’s turn to become a hero.”
I’ll be giving my copy away to one lucky person. Leave a comment on this post by September 19th and you’ll be included in my random drawing. If this is your first comment to my blog, the comment will not post until I approve it. Share the contest with anyone who might be interested.
Genres & Subjects: Adventure Stories, Fantasy, Superheroes
Things to like about this book: It’s tightly written and the tension keeps flowing throughout. As an offering for reluctant readers I think it will be a big hit. I wouldn’t be surprised to see it become a series – and that is a good thing for those kids who love to read the next one.
Audience: Upper elementary through YA. I’m liking this for boys asking for a new book.
Reviewed from: ARC provided by publisher.
Belinda Rusnock – your post was the lucky number spit out of the Random Number Generator. Please email me with your mailing address and your copy of The House that Witchy Built by Dianne de las Casas will be in the mail shortly. My email can be found on the right hand column under “Welcome to my Virtual Writing Reality”.
Thanks for playing everyone – and check out last week’s review of Smells Like Treasure below. Add a comment to that post for a chance to win the ARC.