BOOK REVIEWS

Bloom Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2018-04-06 
Review Score: 5 out of 5 star From 15 user ratings
ISBN:1442406208
LANGUAGE:English

" 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.

" The images in this book extremely whimsical and fairytalish. I thought this was a very cute book, but I did not really enjoy it. The towns people don’t like that she is dirty so they ban her but them when they need her to help fix the castle they suddenly go looking for her because they want to be nice again for her to help. I just wasn’t a huge fan of it. " 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.

"1) This book is a story about a kingdom in a magical land. At the beginning, Bloom works for the kingdom using her magic to keep the buildings together. Bloom is messy and loud though, which makes the village people angry , so eventually she leaves because no one treats her right. Years later, the kingdom is falling apart and the King and Queen set off to find Bloom so she can use her magic to fix the kingdom. Neither of them succeed in bringing Bloom back, so they decide to send an "ordinary" girl to find Bloom. When Genevieve, the ordinary girl, found Bloom, she told Bloom that she had only had one job her entire life, and she didn't know if she could do anything else. Hearing this, Bloom decides to teach Genevieve her own sort of magic, how to build a house. Now that Genevieve can build a house, Bloom sends her back to the kingdom where she saves the day.

2) An activity that students could do for this book would be working together to construct a house out of objects they found around their house and brought to school. Groups of 2 could work together, and afterwards they could present their creation to the rest of the class, and tell the class some things that they helped one another out with, what made them useful to the group, what made them extraordinary.

3)Cronin, D., & Small, D. (2016). Bloom. New York: Atheneum Books for Young Readers.
" said.

"An... unconventional fairy finally decides to leave the kingdom of glass that she helped create as she's tired of upsetting people with her mud. Years later, the kingdom is about to fall apart (literally!), so the king and queen decide to find the magic being that helped them so many years ago. Their meetings do not go well, so afraid they have scared away the magic being, they decide to send the least imposing, quietest servant girl in the castle and see if she has better luck.

Bloom is a wonderful, fun fairy! She doesn't have Tinkerbell's sass (thank goodness!) and she isn't the wispy, fainthearted fairy the royals expect; she's practical. Then there's the servant girl, she's clever and she's a learner! Always a good thing! I do wish that Cronin didn't seem to hold up being dirty as a virtue, though; there's a time you need to get dirty, but there's also personal hygiene to help you stay healthy and it is possible to balance the two.

Another thing I liked, was that it was both the king and queen who misunderstand Bloom, keeping this from being a "women are the only ones who get anything" story and instead pointing out what qualities help anyone be understanding. Also, the artistry was amazing! It's a beautiful book just to look at!

No content issues; though the dirt in the teeth comments may gross some readers out.

" 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.

" Cybils nominee for fiction picture book. More later. " said.

" "There is no such thing as an ordinary girl." <3 " said.

April 2018 New Book:

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