Thursday, February 25, 2010

Currently Reading

Sunburst received this as a birthday gift from the neighbors, and they recommended it as a great read aloud. Boy were they right! I have never seen my kids get ready for bed faster than when they know that Mom is going to read some more of the Ronia story.

If you're not familiar with it, Ronia is the daughter of robber Matt. They live out in the woods in an old castle and rob people that pass through. There's another band of robbers in the woods, their arch enemies-- the Borkas. When the Borka robbers end up moving into the other half of the castle things get interesting, especially when Ronia befriends Birk Borka, a kid her same age. What happens next? I don't know... we're still reading.

All three of them are thoroughly mesmerized by the story, including 4-year-old Kitty Bill. Admittedly, it's not appropriate for him in its entirety-- I'm not even sure it's appropriate for me!!-- so I'm skipping over some of the scariest parts involving the the wild harpies and the gray dwarfs.

The wild harpies live in the woods and feed on fear. That's fine-- so there's something scary in the woods. Point made. But as far as the dialogue goes, do they really need to go on about how they will "scratch and bite you until the blood runs" or whatever nonsense they keep carrying on about? No. I think that's taking it too far in a book for kids. The gray dwarfs aren't much better. They threaten to "bite and strike." So whenever I get to the bloody scary parts, I'm picking and choosing the words I want to read pretty carefully.

Otherwise-- great book!

Speaking of great books, Moonshine has finally found some reading material that interests her.

The Cobble Stone Cousins series is about three nine-year-old girls who do stuff, like make a newspaper for their street, go to a wedding, and help their aunt at her flower shop. They are very sweet beginning chapter books-- just the thing for Moonshine who has been trying very hard to love The Magic Treehouse books or the Secrets of Droon.

Moonshine is reading up a storm these days. Thanks to the Cobblestone Cousins, she is finally enjoying reading on her own. Yay!


  1. Oh I just love book reviews! We have Ronia, but my girls aren't yet old enough for it - though I can't wait to read it to them. Lindgren has so many fantastic books out there! I hadn't heard of the Cobble Stone Cousins series, but I will have to check one out! I wish the kids in the Magic Treehouse didn't say some of the mean things that do in the book. I hesitate a bit with it just because of the negative's unfortunatley in too many children's books - but a fun series, nonetheless. Anyway, thanks for such a great post!

  2. Oh my goodness! I remember loving both Ronia and the Cobble Street Cousins books...ages ago when my big girls (now college bound!) were younger. We've been talking about what incredible reading adventures lie ahead for the youngest sister (only 4yrs old right now), and have pledged to try and remember every great book we've ever read so that she doesn't miss any! Thanks for reminding me of these. (We had somebody in a Ronia costume for Halloween one year!)

  3. I recognized the name. My dad read us 'The Brothers Lionheart' when we were little. It was really quite interesting. Certainly made me think, though I do agree with Wikipedia that it was particularly dark for a Children's story. I mean, the main characters die... TWICE! Nangiyala.

    Oh, and Wikipedia just reminded me of the joint suicide at the end of the book... Loads of fun!

    "In 2007 the book was adapted into a musical."

    I didn't know she wrote Pippi Longstocking too.

  4. Cypress, do you have a booklist you want to share? :-)

    Yaffe, hey, you found me! Your warning about her other book made me look to the end of Ronia to see if there were any suicides. Whew! Thankfully, there are none.

    But of course now I'm interested to hear how Lindgren pulled off killing the same characters twice. Sounds like an act of writer genius, but as a read for kids? Yikes! Thanks for the warning. I wonder if the musical is any good-- sounds like it would make a great opera. :-)


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