Welcome back to my feature in which Lucy & I review one of her board books!
by Sandray Boynton
Workman Publishing Company
The cadence of this book when being read is so perfect! There are parts of it that you do sing, but pretty much the entire book lends itself well to a silly tune. Lucy is a pretty big fan of that.
Because we have other Boynton books, the pictures are familiar to her. The illustrations are clear (when I ask for a dog, she can point to the dog) but whimsical and sweet at the same time.
The front of this book is a cutout heart, which she loves to thread her arm through.
It is SO FUN to have a book we can sing to her! Babies love music. We love reading to her. This is a perfect blend of the two! I'm pretty sure all Boynton books are that way (confirmation on that, internet?) and we are big fans.
The message of the book is highlighting how special your child is and that you love everything about them. It's also gender neutral (no mom + baby or daddy + son) which I've found I appreciate a whole lot with children's books. That definitely wasn't something I could have predicted before having a kid of my own, but the gender neutrality, or at least a variety of relationships being highlighted, is important to me as we build her library.
Boyton is a household name in the baby books community for a very good reason. She writes sweet books that have depth while still being whimsical and fun. DEFINITELY buy this one!
Author: Eleanor Glewwe
Series/Stand Alone: Stand Alone
Pub Deets: 2014, Viking
Source: Amazon Vine
A mysterious illness is turning people's eyes black. Marah, a lower class musician, and Azariah, a wealthy magician, partner up to try and pursue a cure that leads to many revelations regarding their society and way of life they did not expect.
I should note that I know Eleanor. Like, personally. Which is SUPER COOL and I am crazy proud of her and this book and so of course that clouded my judgment. However, I'm still able to know what is good and what isn't, and SPARKERS is very good.
SPARKERS has a social heiarchy of which our main character Marah is at the bottom. She's intelligent, gifted, and kind - but she lacks magic. Azariah is part of a magician family that's a bit more open and bucks the caste system a bit. They balance each other out.
You can see the author's intelligence shine through this Middle Grade fantasy. Marah's heart is in the studying of languages and music. She's brainy, but not introverted. She's clever, but not snarky. Marah is truly a beautifully balanced character and I fell in love with her immediately.
I recommend this to those looking for a Middle Grade fantasy that's slower with it's world building and heavier with the social commentary and academic elements. It was a total win for me!
Marah is a violinist, so classical music really set the mood!