Book Review: The Ravenous Gown

The Ravenous Gown by Steffani Raff
The Ravenous Gown: And 14 More Tales about Real Beauty
by Steffani Raff (Goodreads Author)

5 out of 5 stars


These fairy tales focus on daring young men and women who want to be appreciated for their personality, virtues, and inner qualities rather than outward beauty. They battle dragons, fight wars, defeat evil sorcerers, and unravel magic in order to find their true identity and inspire their kingdom.

I loved that these fairy tales use all the old tropes about dragons and knights and fair maidens, and then turn everything upside down and surprise you with the plot twists when the maiden saves herself.
Each fairy tale is short but powerful with meaningful messages of hope and acceptance. Continue reading

Book Review: The Everything Princess Book

The Everything Princess Book by Barbara Beery
The Everything Princess Book: 101 Crafts, Recipes, Stories, Hairstyles, and More!
by Barbara Beery, David Miles, Brooke Jorden, Michele Robbins, Rebecca Sorge 

5 out of 5 stars

This book begins with several fairy tales about princesses, including Thumbelina, Princess Savitri, and Princess Kaguya. The next chapter has royal recipes and instructions for organizing a tea party, a royal ball, or a cottage picnic. There is also a chapter with princess games and activities, and another with crafts for making your own tiara, princess sandals, necklaces, and fancy invitations.

The chapter on “Princess Practices” goes over courtesy and manners including the proper way to set a table, how to curtsy and have proper posture, as well as lessons in horsemanship, music, penmanship, art, fencing, and how to deal with enchantments and poison apples. You will also learn how to say hello in different languages, how to do the princess wave, and be sincerely friendly when meeting foreign dignitaries.

My favorite chapter was the one about “Being a True Princess” with lessons and examples for Kindness, Courage, Gratitude, Honesty, Intelligence, Sensitivity, Forgiving, and Inner Beauty. This chapter asks thoughtful questions and encourages the reader to take action in their own lives and share kindness with others.
Continue reading

Book Review: A Bag of Moonshine

A Bag Of Moonshine by Alan Garner
A Bag Of Moonshine
by Alan Garner

4 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


I loved this collection of fairy tales, rewritten from the folklore of England and Wales. The author has an uncanny ability to mimic the story-telling style of old folk tales, with whimsy and ingenuity.

The black and white illustrations add to the ghoulish atmosphere of the tales, and they are true to the art style I see in so many old fairy tale books from the late 1800s.

The enchantment of these stories lies in the excellent word-craft, and the weird and eccentric characters who populate the world of magic and mayhem. Full of changlings, witches, ogres who spin gold, and the clever youngest brother named Jack, these stories captivate the reader with the magnetic words and witty narrative style.

Book Review: The Revenge of the Shadow King

The Revenge of the Shadow King
The Revenge of the Shadow King by Derek Benz
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Max Sumner and his three best friends, Harley, Ernie, and Natalia–who form the secret club The Grey Griffins–seem to be the only people in their very normal Minnesota town to notice that strange things have started to happen. When creatures like goblins and fairies and unicorns, all characters from a card game the Grey Griffins play, begin to make appearances in Max’s backyard, Max and his friends know something is terribly wrong. And it’s up to them to stop the wicked creatures of the cards from destroying their town-indeed, their world. – GoodReads

I liked this book pretty well, but it wasn’t amazing or anything. Most of the characters, plot, and writing were very trite and redundant. But there were a few really good scenes that kept me interested enough to finish reading the book.

The writing keeps stating the obvious over and over again, and has a problem with “telling” instead of “showing”. The writing is mostly good and interesting, but I never really got lost in the story. I never forgot that I was reading a book. Continue reading