Beautiful Creatures – The Movie

Beautiful Creatures comes out in book form today.  I have been reading all of the praise for this novel and look forward to starting it.

/Film covers the announcement that Warner Brothers has acquired the film rights to the book which is the first in a five-book series.  Richard LaGravenese will be writing the script and directing the film.

Breaking Dawn – Take Two

Summit Entertainment is talking about creating two films from Breaking Dawn, the fourth (and perhaps final?) book in the Twilight series.  Unfortunately, the stars were only secured for four films so it’s going to cost to get them to do five. 

Via Cinematical

Who Would Like a Christmas Tree?

Who Would Like a Christmas Tree? by Ellen Bryan Obed, illustrated by Anne Hunter

Take a look at a Christmas tree standing in the forest.  One wonders who needs a Christmas tree in months other than December, and the answer is surprising!  Chickadees, deer, robins, butterflies, turkeys and more need the tree for all sorts of different reasons.  Some need it for food, others for shelter, and others for a place to raise their young.  This gentle picture book is about far more than the Christmas holiday.  It leads children through an understanding of the role of all trees in the natural world. 

Obed’s prose has a sweetness to it that suits the natural themes.  She writes with a quietness and simple frankness that works well with the more scientific content.  Each animal is given several paragraphs, allowing readers to really understand why they need these trees.  Hunter’s illustrations are large, simple and friendly as well. 

This book will work well for holiday story times, but should also be considered for Arbor Day or tree-themed units.  Appropriate for ages 4-7.

Reviewed from library copy.

Also reviewed by A Year of Reading.


Dragonfly by Julia Golding

Princess Taoshira comes from a court of rules, order and gentility, though she used to be a goatherd.  Prince Ramil comes from a life filled with horses and action.  The two of them could not be more different or have more different beliefs about life and religion.  Yet the two of them are betrothed to unite their two countries which are both on the brink of war with Fergox who believes in a god of war and blood.  Their first meeting is fraught with misunderstanding and miscommunication.  When they try to go out for a ride in the forest together, they are both kidnapped and taken to Fergox.  Now the question is whether they trust one another enough to escape together, because their odds of survival are better if they act as one.

Excellent fantasy, this book creates a world that is complex, fascinating and tangible.  Both protagonists are complicated people who learn much about themselves as they interact with one another.  There is growth in both of them throughout the book.  Part of that growth is their slow-building romance that also reads as so real that it almost aches.  Golding’s writing is strong and easily carries a book of this length without bogging.  In fact, the action is swift and often great fun as are many of the supporting characters the two come across in their journey. 

The most vital part of this book is the message of acceptance across cultural boundaries.  Though the two main characters are so different, they still have much in common as rulers of lands.  Yet it is the differences that are immediately apparent, it takes time and effort to find the common ground. 

A beautifully rendered, complex novel, this book will be enjoyed by fans of Kristin Cashore and Suzanne Collins.  Appropriate for ages 12-15.

Reviewed from copy received from publisher.

Also reviewed by Library Lounge Lizard.

School Library Journal Best Books

School Library Journal has just posted its Best Books 2009 list on their website. 

It is an incredible list filled with many of my favorites of the year.  As always there are ones that I haven’t managed to read yet, but they are obviously worth adding to my to-be-read pile since they are in such good company.

Bravo SLJ for a great list!

So what do you think?  Any that are your favorites that either made the list or didn’t?