Monday, August 8, 2022

Enter The Sandman!

The Sandman Comics

In honor of the new Netflix show that came out this weekend, which turned out brilliant in my opinion, I am posting about my all time, absolutely favorite graphic novel collection, The Sandman by Neil Gaiman. A friend back in high school introduced me to these graphic novels, and I was hooked right away. They were not as well known in those days, but now the stories and characters have found their way into the hearts and minds of many people. As a huge fan I'm delighted that they are loved by readers everywhere. 

Orpheus's Song: Fables and Reflections

About the graphic novels (just a bit, because you should read them if you're into fantasy comic books): The Endless are anthropomorphic beings known as Dream, Death, Destiny, Desire, Despair, Delirium, and Destruction. They are siblings. The Endless are not gods; but they are immortal, and, in a sense, more powerful than gods, having an intimate connection to humanity. Dream (Lord Morpheus) is the ruler of the dream realm, and the story begins with his capture by a wicked sorcerer, who holds him prisoner and steals his tools; helm, ruby, and bag of sand. The stories and characters evolve, and hoo boy do they take the reader on a fantastical journey into the depths of imagination and myth. My favorite volume is Fables and Reflections; Orpheus's Song

Neil Gaiman is a master storyteller. He is a great influence on my creative writing, and his stories help me find truth betwixt the lines. The Sandman lives top shelf in my library. I started collecting these graphic novels at sixteen, and I believe I bought the last volume in my late twenties. The thrill of finding a new one in a book shop or comic store was exhilarating. I couldn't wait to get home and disappear into the pages. All of the illustrators who worked on The Sandman are amazing; they brought the stories to life in my imagination. 

Every volume I own came from special book nook. Cave Comics in Newtown, CT is a favorite place to seek out new graphic novels, and one day, I was lucky enough to find this gorgeous resin statue of Dream.

Dream of the Endless, key to Hell

The Endless

From the left: Death, Delirium, Destiny, Desire, Despair, Destruction (cut off)

These books are not for very young readers, but if you like comics and love to sail off into fantastical stories, The Sandman graphic novels may be for you. As I mentioned, I think the show on Netflix is excellent- but of course, nothing is as good as the original work. I wrote another post over at about my collection of graphic novels if you're interested in more stories that will whisk you away on a wondrous journey.

Things change, but some things stay the same. Listening to great music on headphones and reading excellent comics will forever be a source of joy for me, and it brings me great pleasure to share these stories with you.  ~ Jess Haight

Monday, July 18, 2022

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday # MMGM Book Review: Rescue by Jennifer A. Nielsen


Meg Kenyon has been counting the days since her father left their farm in France to go fight in World War II. She is worried about him, especially since there has been a rumor that he has been captured by the Nazis. She tries to stay close to him by practicing her code breaking, something she and her dad had worked on together. But the jar full of codes for her to break has dwindled, reminding her how much time has passed since she saw her dad. One night she discovers an injured spy named Captain Stewart in her grandmother's barn. She isn't sure if she should trust him or not, but after he hands her a coded letter from her father she decides to help him. He wouldn't have the letter if he was not trustworthy, right? Captain Stewart tells Meg that he was supposed to guide a family of German refugees across France and into Spain. There he was to meet Meg's father at a location he can't tell her. Since the Captain is too injured to lead the rescue he asks Meg to take over for him. The Nazis are searching the local farms looking for a spy and a radio operator. Meg's mother and grandmother are worried for everyone's safety so they agree that Meg can lead the rescue mission and leave immediately. But can she trust the German refugees? Right away it seems to her that there is something each of them is hiding. Although Meg knows the French countryside and mountains, will she be able to lead them all to safety? Can she crack the code and decipher her father's letter? And how will she know where to meet her father once she gets to Spain? You will be on the edge of your seat with Meg as she tries to piece together the clues and works on making her way along a dangerous journey. 

I read the Ascendance series by Jennifer A. Nielsen and really enjoyed it, but Rescue was the first historical fiction book of hers that I have read. I really liked Meg and how she gave everything a lot of thought. She was very good at cracking codes and trying to figure out who to trust. As she helped the British pilot and worked on the code in her father's letter I was rooting for her. It was so hard to know who Meg could trust and there was danger everywhere. The introduction of the German refugees made the story even more interesting. Like Meg, I worried if she could trust them. I like that Meg was brave and smart. She definitely took some risks! Her code cracking skills were impressive and it was easy to see what an important skill that is for a variety of reasons. The description of the mountains and paths in France made me feel like I was there. This is a story that will appeal to anyone who enjoys reading historical fiction, especially books set during World War II. I enjoyed this book and look forward to reading more of this author's HF books! 

Has anyone else read Rescue? Or have you read another book by Jennifer A. Nielsen? We'd love to hear your thoughts!

Happy Reading!

For other MMGM posts, please visit Greg Pattridge's blog.

Sunday, July 17, 2022

Answer to Fairday's Riddle: Oui, France!

Excellent guessing, Riddlers! We're off to France. Tune in Monday to find out how the answer ties into the story. See you all around the book block. ~ F

Langage du coeur. 

Oui, oui, une fleur. 

Locks on bridges, lost the keys. 

S'il vous plait, pass the cheese. 

Where am I referring to? Answer: France! (Paris counts) 

Friday, July 15, 2022

Fairday's Riddle: Locks and Love...

Hello, Riddlers! Can you guess the riddle answer? There were so many interesting and beautiful sights to see on my visit here! ~ F

Langage du coeur. 

Oui, oui, une fleur. 

Locks on bridges, lost the keys. 

S'il vous plait, pass the cheese. 

Where am I referring to? Stop by Sunday for the answer. 

I gave you two clues!

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Margo's Musings: Why Did the Snail Cross the Road?

Sometimes we spy snails in my dad's garden. My little sister, Margo, loves them and always stops to talk to them. So, I wasn't surprised when we made our weekly trip to the library and Margo ran over to Snail Crossing by Corey R. Tabor and snatched it up. She hugged it right to her chest with a wide smile. 

In the story, Snail see delicious looking cabbage across the road. It looks far, but Snail isn't about to let that stop him. He scoots off. It's hard work crossing the road, and Snail needs to rest. There's a loud rumbling and the road shakes, but he's okay. Some antsy ants want Snail to move out of their way, and then it starts to rain. Of course, Snail offers them shelter in his shell, and they all have a nice chat about things that make them antsy, like cabbage. Once the weather clears Snail is back on his way- but there are even more obstacles in his way. Will Snail make it to the cabbage? 

This was such a wonderful story. The illustrations are just perfect for the storyline! Margo was rooting for Snail the whole time. I love that Snail moved at his own pace and didn't let his goal of delicious cabbage prevent him from showing kindness to other creatures who needed his help. The story was short and sweet, but showed us about friendship, determination, and perseverance. I would love to have tea inside Snail's shell! It looks so cozy. We have already read this book a couple times and added our own Snail Crossing sign out in the garden. I am sure after reading this Margo will be bringing gifts to the snails out in the garden to help them.

Has anyone else read Snail Crossing? Or have you read another book by Corey R. Tabor? We’d love to hear your thoughts!

Happy Reading!
~ F

Sunday, June 26, 2022

Answer to Fairday's Riddle: Slow, Steady, and Slimy...

Excellent guessing, Riddlers! Tune in next week to find out how the answer ties into the story. See you all around the book block. ~ F

My front door is my back; my foot's below my belly sack. I keep a slow, steady pace; I'm not going to win the race. I like it moist, soft, and warm. I goop around bugs and thorns. Garden greens are a treat. I may be slimy, but I'm surely neat! 

What am I? Answer: Snail!

Friday, June 24, 2022

Fairday's Riddle: Something's Afoot...

Hello, Riddlers! Can you guess the answer? Margo loves spotting them. ~F

My front door is my back; my foot's below my belly sack. I keep a slow, steady pace; I'm not going to win the race. I like it moist, soft, and warm. I goop around bugs and thorns. Garden greens are a treat. I may be slimy, but I'm surely neat! 

What am I? Stop by Sunday for the answer

I gave you a clue!