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Igraine the Braveby Cornelia Funke
Synopses & Reviews
In the spirit of DRAGON RIDER and THE THIEF LORD, an enchanting fairy tale told with Cornelia's trademark warmth and wit: Perfect Funke fare for readers in the middle grades--Cornelia's "sweet spot"!
Igraine dreams of becoming a famous knight just like her great grandfather, but the truth is, life at the family castle is rather boring. Until the nephew of the baroness-next-door shows up. He's got a dastardly plan to capture the castle and claim as his own the wonderful singing spell books that belong to Igraine's magician parents. To make matters worse, at the very moment of the siege, her mom and dad botch a spell, turning themselves into pigs! Aided by a Gentle Giant and a Sorrowful Knight, it's up to Igraine to be brave and save the day--and the books!
"Igraine's parents are magicians who own the coveted Singing Books of Magic. Brother Albert has joined the family business, but Igraine finds magic incredibly boring — she pines for the excitement of knighthood. Then, on her 12th birthday, the vast castle next door is taken over by Osmund the Greedy, who wants the books for himself. At the same moment, Igraine's parents inadvertently turn themselves into swine, and their daughter happily volunteers for a quest to retrieve the red-headed giant's hairs they need to become human again. Funke's inventive re-imagining of the knight-in-shining-armor story benefits from its playful details — rainbow-colored smoke wafting out of the spell room, gargoyles who breathe fire from the turrets, stone lions that roar at strangers. Equally enjoyable are the family dynamics: though brother and sister begin as typical antagonists, they work together when their home is imperiled. Igraine's parents don't understand her aversion to magic, but respect her desire to forge her own path. Along the Funke continuum, which travels from silly picture books to the dark, ambitious fantasy of Inkheart, this falls closest to Dragon Rider, aimed squarely at elementary school readers. The author, whose career began in illustration, provides her own line drawings, witty images of the singing books (they have faces, hands and feet), and atmospheric spreads with inset text. While children will want to see the pictures up close, an abundance of action and humor make this satisfying story work as a read-aloud too. Ages 8-12." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Hear ye, hear ye!and#160; Sir Balin tries to avoid the fate laid upon him as an infant in the fourth installment of the Knights' Tales. Duels to the death, jousts, and villains round out this hilarious illustrated chapter book.
Many years ago, the storytellers say, the great King Arthur brought justice to England with the help of his gallant knights of the roundtable. and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; While most of King Arthurand#8217;s knights freely chose a life of duty, for Sir Balin the Ill-Fated, destiny was foretold in a prophecy. And seriously, "ill-fated" is right there in his title, so Balinand#8217;s not surprised when things go sour. Still, no matter how dire the task, a loyal and gallant knight never refuses adventure! and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; Will Sir Balin finally discover his true destiny? And which ill-fated path will he have to choose? Join Balin on this, the noblest quest of all.
Igraine dreams of becoming a famous knight. When the nefarious nephew of the baroness shows up with plans to capture the castle, its up to Igraine to be brave and save the day. Illustrations.
About the Author
Cornelia Funke is the internationally acclaimed, bestselling author of The Thief Lord, Dragon Rider, and the Inkheart trilogy, along with many other chapter and picture books for younger readers. She lives in Los Angeles, California, in a house filled with books.
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