Monday, June 18, 2018

Summer Writing Break!

Hello, Readers! We'll be taking time out this summer to write. The DMS has the key to the Master's Emporium, and there are plenty of secrets to uncover. We'll be back in July with more riddles and book reviews. Until then, happy reading and writing! 

~ Jess & Stephanie 

Friday, June 15, 2018

Margo's Musings: Music Changes Everything!

“The world sends us garbage. We send back music.” ~ Susan Hood, Ada’s Violin: The Story of the Recycled Orchestra of Paraguay 

This is the true story of how a village turned garbage into music. Ada Rio’s family lives in Cateura, Paraguay. Her town is filled with trash and is actually built on a landfill. Many of the people in the village go through the garbage collecting items, like plastic, which they can trade in for money. Then Favio Chavez arrives and starts teaching about ecological safety, and before long he brings music to the children. When there aren’t enough instruments for everyone who wants to play, he works with them to make unique ones out of the garbage all around. Playing music is hard work, but the children that stick with it learn and get better. Soon the Recycled Orchestra of Paraguay is on tour, seeing new places, and even being asked to play with famous rock bands, like Metallica. Music truly changes lives.

The bright colors and textured illustrations really draw in the reader. My sister, Margo, was intrigued by the images. The recycled instruments and scenes were enhanced by the collage style used to create the pages. My heart goes out to the people who live in Carteura, and I know how upset I get when I see litter, so I can only imagine how hard it would be to see so much garbage everywhere. I loved learning how music and the creation of instruments from the materials they salvaged changed their lives. The kids worked hard and learned how to make music, and even though it was not easy, they didn't give up. Their perseverance ended up being able to change their village and the lives of many people in it. Together they made our planet prettier and filled it with good tunes. So often we want something brand new from the store, but if we reuse and recycle, there is less waste and we can help make our planet a more beautiful place.

When Margo and I finished reading she wanted to make music. We looked through our recycling bin and found jars, cardboard tubes, and a coffee can. We made a few instruments, and Margo has loved playing with the “rainmaker” she decorated.  Who knows- maybe one of us will come up with a new instrument or we’ll be inspired to play other instruments. We’re definitely having fun!

Ada’s Violin: The True Story of the Recycled Orchestra of Paraguay is an excellent picture book for anyone who likes to learn about people who are making the world a better place. It's a great story to introduce to children that will inspire creativity and to show them what life is like in different places. I especially loved that the Recycled Orchestra of Paraguay toured with bands like Metallica and earned money to help build houses in their village. Such an inspiration!

Check out the 60 Minutes Spotlight to see the village and musicians. 

Listen to the band play with Metallica? 

Has anyone else read Ada’s Violin: The True Story of the Recycled Orchestra of Paraguay? Or have you read another book by Susan Hood? We’d love to hear your thoughts!

Happy reading! ~ F

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Answer to Fairday's Riddle: Sound of Strings...

Excellent Guessing, Riddlers! This week we'll be listening to strings. Tune in Friday for Margo's children's picture book review and find out how the answer ties into the story. ๐Ÿ˜‰ ~ F

With fingers wrapped around my neck, pitch is high when I'm on deck. I'm not too big, rather small, first in line for the hall. Don't hang with bands, but my kind swings. I roll with peeps who play with strings.

What am I referring to? Answer: Violin!

Make time to riddle and rhyme!
62 original riddles and illustrations
Available in all e-book formats

Monday, June 11, 2018

Fairday's Riddle: Pulling Strings...

Hello, Riddlers! Can you guess our theme this week? The notes sound melancholy sweet to me. ๐Ÿ˜‰ ~ F

With fingers wrapped around my neck, pitch is high when I'm on deck. I'm not too big, rather small, first in line for the hall. Don't hang with bands, but my kind swings. I roll with peeps who play with strings.

What am I referring to? Stop by Wednesday for the answer.
(Bonus points if your answer is specific.)

I gave you a clue!

Tuesday, June 5, 2018


Books, like people, want to make their way in the world, but it's up to human hands to pass along their stories. We're excited to be a part of The Great American Read tour, and we invite you to visit our BOOK EMPORIUM on Fairday's Blog. A few of our friends may stop by to keep you in line. ๐Ÿ˜€

Enjoy perusing the books, and don't forget to enter the awesome giveaway before you leave. Anything's possible when it comes to story magic!

Written by Lewis Carroll
Publisher’s Synopsis: One adventure follows another in this delightful tale as Alice changes size unexpectedly, attends a tea party given by the March Hare, visits a garden of talking flowers, and acts as witness at the trial of a thief who has stolen some tarts. Along the way, she meets such unforgettable characters as the Mad Hatter, the grinning Cheshire Cat, the tearful Mock Turtle, the hookah-smoking Caterpillar, the autocratic Red Queen, and other fanciful folk.

Alice in Wonderland is one of the world’s most-beloved works of fiction, charming children and adults alike with Alice’s adventures and Carroll’s audacious puns and wordplay — but at the same time it is a clever satire, lampooning Victorian education, literature, and politics. Now this enchanting fantasy, enhanced with all 42 original illustrations by John Tenniel, is ready to charm readers of all ages in this unabridged Evergreen Classics edition.

Written by L. M. Montgomery
Publisher’s Synopsis: Life is forever changed at Green Gables, a tranquil farm on Canada’s Prince Edward Island, with the arrival of a redheaded chatterbox named Anne. The spirited, precocious 11-year-old orphan finds “scope for imagination” everywhere she looks, transforming the lives of Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert, her elderly guardians, with her merry doings and misadventures. Anne — spelled with an “e,” as she gravely informs new acquaintances — builds a world of enchantment around Green Gables and its surrounding woodlands, lakes, and valleys. Thanks to the freckle-faced girl’s imaginative musings, the rustic region’s natural wonders blossom into a fairyland of endless romance. Anne’s inspired prattle, goodwill, and joie de vivre win her a warm circle of friends, just as they have won the hearts of readers around the world.
Since its first appearance in 1908, the novel has led generations of children to laugh and cry — but mostly laugh — along with this beloved story’s vivacious heroine. Now this inexpensive edition, complete and unabridged, introduces new readers to the ageless charm of a fanciful world made real by love and friendship. The inspiration for 2016 PBS movie and the 2017 CBC/Netflix Anne mini-series.
Reprint of a standard edition.
Written by Louisa May Alcott
Publisher’s Synopsis: This American classic is as fresh and meaningful today as it was when it was first written in the 19th century. Largely based on the author’s own childhood, Little Women is a timeless tale of the four young March sisters — Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy — who grow to maturity in their mother’s tender but strong care. As different in their personalities as they are alike in their devotion to each other, the girls vow to support their beloved mother, Marmee, by behaving their best while Father is away, serving as an army chaplain in the Civil War.
Literary-minded tomboy Jo develops a fast friendship with the boy next door, and pretty Meg, the eldest, finds romance; frail and affectionate Beth fills the house with music, and little Amy, the youngest, seeks beauty with all the longing of an artist’s soul. Although poor in material wealth, the family possesses an abundance of love, friendship, and imaginative gifts that captivate readers time and again.
This inexpensive, complete and unabridged edition of this beloved novel is sure to delight a generation of new readers, as well as those reacquainting themselves with its warmth and charm.
Reprint of a standard edition. This classic was the inspiration for the May 2018 PBS three-part adaptation.
Written by Mark Twain
Publisher’s Synopsis: Like most boys, Tom Sawyer would rather play hooky than go to school. But Tom’s lively imagination and thirst for adventure lead him into the most extraordinary situations, from a search for buried treasure to the accidental witness of a murder in a graveyard. All of his exploits — tricking his pals into whitewashing a fence, sharing his medicine with the family cat, disrupting a church service with a pinching insect — are flavored with the humor for which his creator, Mark Twain, is justly famed.
In writing this great American classic, Twain drew upon his own memories of life in a small Missouri town before the Civil War. Since the book’s 1876 publication, generations of readers of all ages have laughed at Tom’s hijinks and taken him into their hearts, along with Huckleberry Finn, Becky Thatcher, Aunt Polly, and other memorable characters. This new Dover Evergreen Classics edition offers a fresh introduction to the lovable scamp and the enduring joys of his escapades.

Reprint of a standard edition.
Written by Jack London
Publisher’s Synopsis: This triumphant tale of survival, the greatest of Jack London’s works, relates the adventures of Buck, half-St. Bernard and half-Scottish sheepdog, who is forced into the brutal life of a sled-dog during the heady days of the Alaska gold rush.
Set in the harsh and unforgiving environment of the Far North, the story follows Buck as he grows daily in strength, savagery, and cunning, adapting to his hostile circumstances by responding to the stirring of his primitive ancestral traits. This unabridged edition offers young readers a fine introduction to the excitement of the classic adventure novel.
Reprint of the Macmillan Company, New York, 1903 edition.
Written by Mary Shelley
Publisher’s Synopsis: With his debut nearly two centuries ago, Dr. Frankenstein’s monster captured the popular imagination and never let go, haunting even those who have never read this classic of horror fiction. This specially adapted children’s edition retains all of the excitement of the original version yet makes the enduring Gothic fable accessible to youngsters.
The brilliant scientist Dr. Victor Frankenstein indulges his curiosity about the hidden laws of nature when he happens upon the secret to the animation of lifeless matter. Piecing together the detritus of butcher shops and dissecting rooms, the doctor fashions an eight-foot-tall creature whose loathsome appearance fills even his creator with repulsion. Abandoned by his maker, rejected with fear and disgust by everyone he encounters, the enraged and embittered monster goes on a murderous rampage, determined to destroy Frankenstein by striking at those closest to him.
Since its 1817 publication, this incredible and imaginative fantasy has held generations of readers spellbound. This new, specially abridged edition, enhanced with illustrations by Thea Kliros, will satisfy young readers’ appetites for gripping suspense and ghoulish thrills.
Original abridgment of standard edition.
Written by Argentina Palacio
Publisher’s Synopsis: “Once, there was a man who went crazy from too much reading. He only read books about knighthood; that was the problem.” So begins this charming retelling of Don Quixote de la Mancha, one of the most entertaining books ever written. Young people will delight in the hilarious adventures of the idealistic would-be knight and his “squire,” Sancho Panza, as they set out to right the wrongs of the world. Ms. Palacios, a talented storyteller, captures all the flavor and irony of the original as the two heroes ride forth to conquer evil. Along the way the well-meaning but addled knight-errand mistakes a miserable inn and its keeper for a castle and its lord; imagines an ordinary peasant girl to be the noble lady Dulcinea, perceives windmills as giants to be overcome, and gets enmeshed in other cases of mistaken identity. These, and many more incidents and adventures are retold here in a beguiling, easy-to-read version, enhanced by six new black-and-white illustrations by Thea Kliros. This edition is sure to delight today’s youngsters, just as the original has enchanted countless readers since its publication nearly 400 years ago.
Reprint of The Knight and Squire, Doubleday & Company, inc., Garden City, New York 1979

This post is brought to you by the creators of Fairday's Blog in partnership with The Children’s Book Review and Dover Books. Happy reading!

Enter for a chance to win a set of 7 titles from the Great American Read list, as well as the Five Great English Novels Boxed Set!
Two (2) grand prize winners receive:
A set of 7 titles from The Great American Read list:
Alice in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll
Anne of Green Gables, by L. M. Montgomery
Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, by Mark Twain
The Call of the Wild, by Jack London
The Story of Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley
Adventures of Don Quixote, by Argentina Palacio
A Five Great English Novels Boxed Set
Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen
Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens
Wuthering Heights, by Emily Brontรซ
Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley
The Heart of Darkness, by Joseph Conrad
Value: $51+
Three (3) runner-up winners receive:
A set of 7 titles from The Great American Read list (as above)
Value: $33+
Giveaway begins May 23, 2017, at 12:01 A.M. PST and ends June 22, 2017, at 11:59 P.M. PST.
Giveaway open to residents of Canada and the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older.
Prizes provided by Dover Books
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