BOOK REVIEWS

Bloom Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2017-06-26 
Review Score: 5 out of 5 star From 15 user ratings
ISBN:1442406208
LANGUAGE:English

"Who says fairies have to be tiny and delicate? We've all seen "Maleficent," after all. But Bloom isn't that kind of fairy either; no horns, no darkly sinister appearance. Bloom is a powerful fairy that can make wonderful transformations, but she also leaves cracks and mud in her footsteps. And like most wonderful creatures, she eventually is taken for granted by the people who have profited from her magic. When Bloom decides to live in the forest, they are glad to see her go. Well...they are glad until the kingdom begins to fall apart and even the wonders of duct tape can't hold it together much longer. After the king and the queen both fail to find the magical creature and bring her back to save the kingdom, they decide to send someone ordinary instead. Genevieve, the smallest and quietest person in the kingdom is sent into the forest. And Bloom does what she does best, transforms her. The message that is carried back to the castle is perfect, "There is no such thing as an ordinary girl." Perfect book for celebrating girl power!

There is so much about this book to love. Doreen Cronin has a knack for writing stories that readers will return to again and again. David Small's illustrations are enchanting; I especially like the way the watercolors capture the translucent glass castle. The text adds to the fun by changing font and size to emphasize words like mud, beetles, and dirt. When the king addresses Bloom, his words begin with a very gothic letter "I." And the queen's speech begins with an "I" done in lots of flourishes and curlicues. Genevieve's words are in a tiny font to match her tiny voice. (Tiny at first, anyway - but that changes after her return from the forest.)

Besides its message of girl power, there are many other things that readers can learn from this story. There is the idea that everyone, no matter their age or size, can do something important. There is the persistence that Genevieve displays when it takes her 17 attempts to make a perfect brick. And there is the wonderful tie-in to making, with Bloom turning sand to spun glass and mud into bricks. It may be a book that centers on female characters, but everyone will be delighted by it.
" said.

" I liked the story and the moral, how veer it's a little long to hold the attention of a kid or at least the ones I'm around. " said.

"I really like this story!
It's about a little nature fairy who kept the castle in order until the day she grew tired of people's complaints about her mud and mess. She left and contentedly lived in the forest. Meanwhile the castle fell into disrepair and the decision was made to invite her back. Not even the king or queen could convince her to return because when they saw her they didn't believe she was the one who could make a difference. Eventually a little girl set out to find her.

This is a wonderful story with amazing and sweet illustrations.
" said.

" Pride goes before a fall. If you are too grand to get a bit dirty, you may lose everything, even the magic! " said.

" Serviceable but maybe forgettable tale about finding the extraordinary in the ordinary. On the Amelia Bloomer list for 2017; so it has a feminist bent, but it's a pretty white lady one. " said.

" Oh my god, we absolutely adored this book. Perfect for anyone who wants their little girl to know that there is nothing they can't accomplish. Fantastic illustrations, a great story, and it provided my daughter's new mantra. Highly recommended. " said.

"Love the illustrations. Love the humor in both the words and illustrations (look closely at the backgrounds and details). At first read though, something is bothering me. May be that I need to take off my analytical hat and put on my "just enjoy the storytelling" hat. On the one hand, I love the overt message here--an ordinary girl can save the kingdom. On the other hand, I find myself wishing that the focus hadn't been so much on the GIRL as on the ORDINARY kid. Yes, as a woman I know that there are many reasons why we need stories about strong females, but as a mom and a teacher, I want the message to be conveyed to ANYONE who feels too ordinary (small, young, poor, fill in the blank), that they too can make a difference--that perhaps whatever perceived fault/weakness/issue might, instead be a strength, that willingness to learn and think outside the box can save the kingdom.

At any rate, I am curious to try this story with my 4th and 5th graders specifically, to see what the story says to them.
" said.

"LOVE this book! And perhaps I just read the book differently from many of the other reviewers.

Let me explain. I too was a bit skeptical of the book at first. After all, I regularly tell my children (son and daughters) that first impressions *do* matter (whether we like it or not). I encourage them to look nice--not only for others, but MOSTLY because they will feel better about themselves.

So when I first started the book, I thought the book was simply anti-princess (which I am firmly in the camp of, mind you)--and that it taking the easy way out by teaching that the opposite of being a (helpless) princess is being a sloppy girl. (And then I was just confused because the problems with the kingdom were so normal--Um, they weren't taking care of it! They weren't repairing what needed to be repaired.)

But when I finished the book, its actual message of this book blew me away.

SPOILER ALERT (but it's a short enough book that I honestly don't think it will matter.)

But my take on the book is entirely different. Bloom, the fairy was kicked out, yes, because she was a mess. When the Genevieve, the servant girl, came to ask for her "magic", what did Bloom teach her to do? Genevieve was taught to get dirty (and that getting dirty wasn't awful)--remember, she had been ordered to not do anything that would get her hands "too rough or too dirty to properly care for the [queen's crystal sugar] spoon.

And then she was taught the skills needed to repair the kingdom. She was taught that when she learns how to do something new (like making bricks), she's going to make mistakes--and that's a perfectly normal part of the process. But she was taught to *not* be satisfied with the mistakes. She was taught to keep trying (and failing) until she did it right. (In other words, a sloppy product ISN'T acceptable.) She was taught that even after she learned how to then make a good product, she could still make it better (and stronger).

In essence, she was taught to WORK--and to take pride in what she's doing! And that is the "magic" she brought back to the kingdom. Like I said, the kingdom didn't fall apart because the fairy was gone; the kingdom fell apart because people were afraid to get their hands dirty and WORK.

If you look at the final picture after Genevieve has saved the kingdom, she alone didn't save the kingdom. There are tons of people with trowels in their hands. Not everybody--there are still musicians and stuff. But she saved the kingdom by teaching everybody to get their hands dirty and WORK!

Now, is it a bummer that the kingdom isn't made out glass anymore? Maybe. But the fairy didn't teach Genevieve how to make glass--maybe that's coming later.

And this is the message I want for both my son and daughters--I don't want them to wait to be rescued by *anybody* (a boyfriend/girlfriend, a spouse, a friend, a teacher, the government). I want them to be willing to get their hands dirty, work hard, and make their own magic. I want to teach them to not be afraid of failure or mistakes--but to also NEVER be satisfied with failure and mistakes.
" said.

June 2017 New Book:

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