Friday, August 23, 2013

Daughter's Review: Two Princesses of Bamarre, by Gail Carson Levine

The front of her "book report"
we did for homeschool.

I recently read this book with my two daughters (ages 5 and 2) over the course of a few weeks. I had read it before myself, and I loved the story, but I was curious to see how they would take it. Daughter #2 was, as predicted, not particularly interested—but it turned out good for getting her to fall asleep during several nights of bedtime reading. Daughter #1, however, was inspired by this novel. Shortly after finishing it, she rediscovered a pair of boots we had (that are too small for her at this point) and started calling them her seven-league boots. She would put them on, then prepare to step carefully—because once she stepped, she would zip away quickly in that direction. Shopping trips were very interesting for a few days there.

Next she determined that she needed to carry around her adventure supplies. First she was carrying them all in a little purse she had, but I finally took pity on her (because not everything would fit in her purse) and gave her one of my old purses to use. The contents of the purse are as follows: a spare pair of shoes (for wearing when she’s not traveling seven leagues per step), a change of clothes (you need spare clothing for adventures, of course), some moily herb (a healing herb from the book, representing by a couple silk flowers we had), a few odds and ends, and my personal favorite—Bloodbiter (the sword from the book, represented by a small stuffed Ewok). Now she was ready for adventure.
Answers to questions dictated by my daughter.

She carried the purse around with her just about everywhere for a week or two, calling it her “adventure sack.” She still has it hanging in her room, and it comes out once in a while. This is my daughter who is ready for everything. I love the way this book became included in her rich imaginary world. (Believe me, she is full of imagination. She is currently determined to invent both magic and a flying car that doesn’t require a driver or seat belts. These are merely her latest ideas.)

What I love most about the book, though, is the idea of this timid little Princess Addie discovering that other things—big things—were more important than her fears. What a fantastic message for my daughter (who probably doesn’t need it much, as she is not inclined toward ridiculous worries) and for me (who totally needs that message on an almost daily basis).

Wielding Bloodbiter.
Being strong and awesome, like Addie.
The book is fun, wholly grounded in items and creatures and ideas of myth and fairy tale—while playing with them in its own ways—and in my opinion, inspiring. It is a book that I would call “wise” (I hope to get to that idea in another blog post sometime soon, but we’ll see).

P.S. As per usual, Blogger’s formatting has defeated me, and I give up. 

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