Books, Family, Memes, Reviews

Magic Monday – The Magic of the Written Word

The magic of words is something that never fails to cast its spell – on me, on my kids, on just about anybody – be it a poem, a short story, a news article, or an epic novel. I celebrate and cherish the written word every day.

Today’s post is a phoenix of sorts, brought back from the archives (April 2013 to be exact). I have learned a bit about sharing my blog over the years and decided this one needs some sharing now! I have made some updates to the original post (formatting/rewording it a bit/ and added one book that I read recently as well).

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The Magic of the Written Word: Books

The first five books below are from the post of ages ago (with a slight makeover!). The last book is one of my recent reads.

17 Women Who Shook the World

17 Women Who Shook the World by Preethi Burkholder (Teen and YA/Women’s Biographies)

Read about accomplished women such as Shirley Chisholm, Esther Morris, Wilman Rudolph, Aung San Suu Kyi, Valentina Tereshkova, Harriet Tubman, Madam C.J. Walker, Meryl Streep, and Victoria Woodhull. Like the 17 women showcased here, build your own Global Positioning System (GPS) for success.

The women included in the book are all worthy of notice. The book is a little drab to read and I wonder if the writing could have been a little livelier. Since this book was included in the children’s non-fiction section in NetGalley, I expected it to speak to children more but am not sure if my kids will be able to enjoy reading this book though I was. However, the facts included were great, I loved the quotes sprinkled throughout the book, and I loved that the women included spanned time and place.

The Big Book of Things to Make

The Big Book of Things to Make by James Mitchem (Juvenile Nonfiction / Crafts & Hobbies | 7 – 10 years, and up)

A compendium of cool projects, exciting games, and fun quizzes kids can do inside or outside, The Big Book of Things to Make is the perfect activity book to cure boredom and inspire creativity.

This book has good ideas. Some of them, I really loved – like making a secret compartment in a book and a board game all you, while others I did not love too much, especially ones involving messes, and a few others did not interest me too much.  But I am sure that kids will love the messy ones, like making your own goo!

The book has step by step instructions with photos/diagrams to show you how to proceed with the ‘thing to make’ well at the same time being easy to follow for kids. Some of the projects require assistance from adults and they mention that in the project page.

Overall, a fun book to have to while away rainy days and some summer days when you have nothing planned (the messy ones are not for rainy indoor days!) and for getting the kids and yourselves away from gadgets!

The 13-Storey Treehouse

The 13-Storey Treehouse by Andy Griffiths and illustrated by Terry Denton (Children’s Fiction | 7 – 9 years, and up)

Andy and Terry live in a treehouse. But it’s not just any old treehouse, it’s the most amazing treehouse in the world! This treehouse has thirteen stories, a bowling alley, a see-through swimming pool, a secret underground laboratory, and a marshmallow machine that follows you around and automatically shoots marshmallows into your mouth whenever you are hungry.

I love treehouses and always wanted one of my own – I still do as an adult and a 13-storey treehouse is definitely stuff of dreams. This one is whacky, fun, and right out of the fantasies of every little boy. My then ten-year-old  devoured this book and now has his own plans for a ‘multi-storied’ treehouse.

Every storey contains stories of its own. While I found some parts a little silly and thought some not too age-appropriate, I do know that kids will enjoy the book and enjoy reading it. The equally whacky illustrations make this book a fun and easy read. 

A rollicking fun read by Andy and Terry sure to be enjoyed by all who love treehouses, and marshmallow shooting machines, and lemonade fountains, and more!

Gone Fishing

Gone Fishing: A Novel in Verse by Tamera Will Wissinger (Children’s Fiction/Verse Novels | 7 – 9 years, and up)

Nine-year-old Sam loves fishing with his dad. So when his pesky little sister, Lucy, horns in on their fishing trip, he’s none too pleased: “Where’s my stringer? / Something’s wrong! / The princess doll does not belong!” All ends well in this winsome book of poems—each labeled with its proper poetic form, from quatrain to tercet.

This was my second novel in verse and a delight to tackle. Not that it means it is a hard read, just wanted to use a fishing term to describe what a great catch this book is! The characters are delightful and little Lucy was my favorite. This book features myriad verses, each charming the reader in its own unique way.

I love that the author informs readers of the verse style of each poem. Additionally, the end of the book includes brief descriptions of the various styles. This informs and enables young readers to attempt to write their own poems (and maybe a book!)

World on a String

World on a String by Larry Phifer and illustrated by Danny Popovici (Children’s Books on Emotions | 5 years and up)

When his best friend, a big red balloon, comes untied in a thunderstorm, Charlie is overcome with sadness. However, inspired by the happy memories of his best friend, Charlie is able to shift his perspective and, ultimately, he imagines his balloon on an amazing journey into the starry night.

This book tugged at my heartstrings – this one…touched my whole world. The story is so sweet and so poignant. It is for anyone who has lost a friend, or who has moved to a new place, or finding themselves. This is a story of hope, of new beginnings, of silver linings in clouds, or in this case, of shining, shimmering, glittering balloons. 

The words flow and tumble into the next set seamlessly to inspire the poet in you and me. While the illustrations are bright and whimsical and stunning. The artwork is sure to inspire the artist in every kid (and adult too).

My then 7-year old girl (now almost 18!) loved this book on the first read and we read it many times over after that first reading.

Disclaimer:Thank you to NetGalley for sending me a digital review copy of the books above (except ‘The Big Book of Things to Make’). And Thank you to Edelweiss for sending me a digital review copy of the book – ‘The Big Book of Things to Make’ – above. I was not compensated for my review. My thoughts on this book were in no way influenced by the author or publicist. They are my personal opinions formed when I read the book.

Who Will Make the Snow?

Who Will Make the Snow? by Taras Prokhasko and Marjana Prokhasko (Children’s Nature Books | 7 – 11 years, and up)

Twin moles, Purr and Craw, are born on the first day of spring. The newest members of their woodland world, they’re curious about everything. Beautifully illustrated, this book reminds us that the world is always larger and more wonderful than we can see from our own corner of the woods.

This one is adorable, beautiful, comforting, delightful, heartwarming, and so very whimsical! It tells the story of a family of moles, whose newest members are Purr and Crawly, twin moles born on the first day of spring.

As we follow the twins and the rest of the family, we learn and discover a lot. From how things grow to how to be bold. The stories delight and inform while the artwork inspires coziness and nostalgic warmth, making it a great winter read. Well, an all-round the year anytime read for anyone actually!

A treasure indeed. I look forward to more from this Ukranian duo – Taras Prokhasko and Marjana Prokhasko.

Thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for the digital copy of this book

About The Magic of the Written Word & More

Words are magic. This needs repeating which is why I say it many times over and across so many posts.

Words, or letters strung together, are powerful. They are not just for trading information. Words can take us to ‘infinity and beyond,’ to otherworldly realms, and more. They can inspire powerful emotions and inform us of the world around us.

No matter how much I read or write (and I do a lot of both of these things!), words continue to amaze me! I just saw a post yesterday about how physics brings us closest to magic, and while I agree with the magic there, for me, writing is magic! Just imagine, someone thought up the very words you are reading now. The same with books that transport you elsewhere or arm you with knowledge.

Words allow us to travel in time and space. When you read an ancient classic or maybe one not that ancient, like Little Women, can you picture yourself reading it alongside those first readers of the book?

Like I say of many books, how else would we know about or indulge in the joys of whatever, if someone did not write those words down for us? If someone did not delve into their own imagination and knowledge and pulled out letters and words and sentences into books and articles and such for us?

When someone reads the written word, it transforms into a revolution, an emotional journey, a warehouse of power and imagination and creativity, and so much more. It can help you with resolutions and connections, with fun and laughter, with food and friendships, and the many etcs…

While I am not always churning out awe-inspiring writing, I also know that writing down these words brings a deep sense of satisfaction within. And here is to hoping that I can continue writing more, writing what I aspire to, and of course reading words that are magic, always!

How does the written word bring magic to you? Do let me know.

From the earlier post of ages ago (apr 2013)

For my Monday kid’s books reviews, linked to What are You Reading? From Picture Books to YA

For What are you reading? @ Book Journey

Completed reading:

  • All the The first five books reviewed here today
  • The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau – a wonderful read – Hunger Games fans will devour this like I did – review is here
  • CookbooksChloe’s Vegan Chocolate Classics and Chloe’s Quick and Easy Party Favors
  • Children’s Books
    • Isabella: Star of the Story
    • In Lucia’s Neighborhood
    • Willow Finds a Way

Was currently reading (at the time)

  • The Wig in the Window  by Kristen Kittscher. Review here.
  • The Show must go on by Kate Klise. Review is here.
  • ‘Til the Streetlights Came On: Lessons Learned from Neighborhood Games by Daniel J. Porter (arc)
    and a few more…
Describe one of your reading habits.

(This was for Musing Mondays at Should Be Reading – no longer active)

I think I have described a couple of them in earlier Musing Monday posts already. So today, I have a different take on this musing. At a recent get-together with old friends, with whom I have normally discussed work and family and life in general more than I discussed books, I discovered to my joy that books are a common love.

But, uh-uh, audio books was where I, at this time at least, did not agree with them. I have to yet get hooked on audio books. My friend asked me if I was read to a lot as a kid; I had to say ‘no’ to that. She mentioned that could be one of the reasons I am unable to enjoy them. This does not mean I had no one to tell me stories. My grandparents were excellent story tellers. My maternal grandmom was a literal fountain of stories. She read a lot. And she would tell us those stories in her own words. She would also relate stories she had heard as a kid. All of this made our world magical under starry nights.

Well, I went off on a tangent here..or rather many tangents.. 

As for audio books – not yet for me..

(January 15th update: I am still not an audio book person and prefer reading them. Though I do read ebooks more than in 2013 because of the convenience they offer. Plus, of course, there are more ways and options to do so now)

What about you? Are audio books something you enjoy?

Related Reads and More

And Now, the End of This Post

Dear reader, so there you have it. I brought back a post that was lying somewhere in the backend – dusty, forgotten, but with books that deserve to be shared. Which of these books have you read? Or would pick up first? Any similar books to recommend? Do let me know.

11 thoughts on “Magic Monday – The Magic of the Written Word

  1. I am a big fan of audiobooks. They let me keep up with the reading without getting distracted and going back to reread parts I thought I might have read. Depending on the reader’s speed, I often play them at 1.25 or 1.5 times the recorded speed. There have been a couple of books I have had to slow down to understand.
    If you are a speed reader, I can imagine being able to take in the contents of a book quicker visually than having to speak each word.
    It is great to be able to keep my hands and eyes busy on one task while hearing the story being told to me.

  2. You have a nice list of books here I do enjoy reading especially when I can find a good book that gets me deep into the magic world of reading. I have a few books I just got over the Holidays to read

  3. Amazing list of books you shared. Bookmarking this and will check if there’s any available hardcopy when MV Logos Hope docks this year in Subic Port.

  4. It is so magical to read the words of an author that I haven’t read, I get lost in the story. Reading is one of my favorite things to do. The selection of books you have here sounds so good. thanks for sharing them with us.

  5. . The book recommendations are a delightful mix, and I’m particularly intrigued by “17 Women Who Shook the World.” Your honest assessment of its readability for children is helpful!

  6. I thoroughly enjoyed your post on the enchanting power of words, celebrating the written magic that captivates readers of all ages. Your book reviews, both revisiting past favorites and exploring new reads, are insightful and engaging. The detailed descriptions and personal touches make your recommendations even more appealing. Your passion for literature shines through, reminding us of the joy and wonder found in the world of books.
    And for your last question, yes I enjoy audiobooks too!

  7. These sound like great books for kids to read. They are a bit too easy for my son’s reading level at this point. He is 12 and is reading books like Harry Potter. But the big book for things to make still sounds fun. I’m not into messes though so I’d skip those ideas.

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