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REVIEW: Pull Out All the Stops by Geraldine McCaughrean

Wednesday, November 18, 2015



Pull Out All the Stops
 
by Geraldine McCaughrean


The Blurb:


There isn't much drama in Olive Town. The highlight of Cissy Sissney's days are the letters from her old schoolteacher, Miss Loucien, describing her adventures on board an old showboat with the Bright Lights Theatre Company. If only life were full of such adventure for Cissy too. 

But then diphtheria breaks out in Olive town, a silo crushes Cissy's home and Miss May March agrees to take Cissy and classmates, Kookie and Tibbie, to stay with Miss Loucien until Olive town is safe again. The ramshackle crew on board the Sunshine Queen sail along the 'shoals and shimmer of the Numchuck River,' performing plays for the towns scattered along the shore. Cissy and her friends have a whole host of adventures beating hustlers at their own game, catching criminals, and embarking on a daring rescue mission. They must use all their wits to survive. 

As their journey along the river comes to an end, Cissy must put in one last performance and this time the stakes are higher than mere applause. The award-winning author, Geraldine McCaughrean, captures the spirit of adventure and the power of imagination in this rip-roaring read.


What I Thought:


Geraldine McCaughrean is one of Great Britain’s most celebrated children’s authors. She is probably best-known for Peter Pan in Scarlet, the brilliant “official” sequel to J.M. Barrie’s famous story of the Boy Who Won’t Grow Up. I love her work, and am trying to slowly read my way through all 150 of her books. This one is a rambunctious adventure story set in a steamboat on the Missouri River. It features a cast of lovable, oddball characters, a lot of slapstick humour, a dash of poignancy, and a whole lot of heart. 


PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT - I LOVE TO KNOW WHAT YOU THINK

BOOK LIST: The most gorgeous fairy tale books in the world

Friday, May 02, 2014

I was asked by a fan to post a blog about my favourite fairy tale picture books absolute ages ago, but I’ve been so busy I simply haven’t had time. 

I thought I’d celebrate the launch of my own fairy tale picture book TWO SELKIE TALES FROM SCOTLAND by doing it now!




I'd love to add to my collection so if you know any other utterly gorgeous illustrated fairy tales, please tell me in the comments so I can add them to my collection. 

Here are my favourites (in no particular order):




This is the most beautiful version of 'The Singing, Springing Lark', the Grimm Brothers' variant of 'Beauty & the Beast'(here titled 'The Lady & the Lion')  - the illustrations are utterly exqusite!




Paul Zelinsky's gorgeous 'Rapunzel' which sets the story in the Italian Renaissance which is, of corue, what I did to in my historical novel BITTER GREENS




More by Paul Zelinsky, one of my favourite children's illustrators - this is a brilliant rendition of 'Rumpelstiltskin'




Paul Zelinsky's 'Hansel & Gretel' - doesn't the witch's cottage look delicious?




My absolute favourite fairy tale artists is K. Y. Craft - I'd give almost anything to have her illustrate one of my books. They are so gorgeous, intricate, mysterious and magical! This one is 'Twelve Dancing Princesses', which is also one of my favourite fairy tales 




A swoon-worthy 'Cinderella' from K.Y. Craft




'Sleeping Beauty'from K. Y. Craft



A lovely version of the 'Tam Lin' ballad, retold by Geraldine McCaughrean and illustrated by Jason Cockcroft - I also have versions of this story by Susan Cooper and Jane Yolen 





This exquisite retelling of 'Persephone' is retold by Sally Pomme Clayton and illustrated by Virginia Lee 






My favourite Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale, 'The Snow Queen' is illustrated here by Vladyslav Yerko in a mesmerisingly beautiful edition 




Oscar Wild's fairy tale 'The Happy Prince' is illustrated beautifully by Jane Ray





Finally, this utterly beautiful version of 'Wild Swans', retold by Naomi Lewis and illustrated by Anne Yvonne Gilbert 


PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT - I LOVE TO KNOW WHAT YOU THINK!


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