Title: "Peter and the Starcatchers"
Author: Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson
First Edition Published: 2004
The story begins in London with five orphan boys being forced onto a ship bound for Rundoon where they will become servants of the king. On the voyage they meet a kindly sailor, a terrifying pirate and a girl who can fly. One of the orphans, Peter, is very interested in an old truck in the hold of the ship which is rumored to contain the greatest treasure on earth. When the ship is thrown onto a reef by a storm and the passengers marooned on an island inhabited by savages it becomes a race against the odds to see who can get to the trunk first.
I found the book to be poorly written, slightly repetitive and even mildly offensive. The story itself was quite interesting and with a little trimming this could have been a very good children's novel. As it is (in my opinion) it just doesn't make the cut. There were uses of d---, Peter and Molly obviously "like" each other, Peter notices that the mermaids don't wear clothes and after one of them administers CPR to him he says he enjoyed being "kissed" by her. The trunk, or rather it's contents, have magical powers and the pirates enjoy causing other people pain and fear. These last two things did not bother me but they could be an issue for others.
In conclusion, it was OK. I t was an interesting "light read" and I most likely will not be reading the rest of the series. Again, the story was good and very imaginative but over all it's not a book I am going to recommend to others.
Title: Under the Greenwood Tree or The Mellstock Quire: A Rural Painting of the Dutch School
Author: Thomas Hardy
First Edition Published: 1872
Divided into five parts (Winter, Spring, Summer, Autumn and Conclusion) Thomas Hardy's novel "Under the Greenwood Tree"revolves around the changing seasons, both in terms of weather and of gradual modernity, of a rural English seaside community. The first half of the book concerns itself with the principle men of the village of Mellstock who are proud members of the Mellstock quire. It is their job to provide vocal and instrumental accompaniment to the musical portion of Sunday services. However, the new vicar of Mellstock parish decides it is time for the hamlet to join the modern world and proposes to introduce into the church an organ, a fact which causes much consternation amongst the quire members.
The second half focuses it's attention on one of the quire's members young Dick Dewy, the tranter's son, and his sweetheart Miss Fancy Day, the schoolmistress. Their romantic road has many bumps the main one being Fancy's father who thinks Dick is not good enough for her. Mr. Day would rather see his daughter marry the wealthy farmer Mr. Shiner.
Overall, I must say I enjoyed the first half of the novel more than the second. I found the troubles of the village quire to be much more amusing than Dick and Fancy's rocky romance. Though I liked Dick, Fancy was not my idea of a model heroine. She was flirtatious, selfish and deceitful. I suppose she does, more or less, learn her lesson in the end but she still did not go on my list of literary favorites.
There were only a few points of possible concern in the story. An older woman remembers trying out a spell from a witch's book when she was younger (such instances were fairly common in the country at that time). Fancy consults a woman who is believed to be a witch (she has a pointy nose which is enough for the imaginative locals), but the woman's advice has nothing to do with magic. Both of these parts are short and can be easily skipped over. Dick and Fancy are secretly engaged for several months and they kiss several times. Overall though, their romance is pretty clean.
At times the book can be difficult to read as Hardy wrote the conversations in the accent of the county in which the story takes place but it is these conversations which give the novel it's charm.
We had an icy snow last week which made getting out of the house quite difficult and going to Hancock's to get the thread I needed quite impossible! I had planned to make another dress for the shop but with the ice and the lack of thread... so instead I dug through my scraps and made a new outfit for Paige. I really really wanted to use the floral material but there just wasn't enough for a whole dress. I found the check fabric and was inspired by one of my vintage patterns and I think you know the rest! Oh, and no, I did not make the pattern myself, I altered a basic doll dress pattern I had. The little petticoat is just three rectangles (one muslin, two tulle) gathered into a waistband. I made the socks and shoes using this book. The shoes were not as hard as I thought they would be but I still have glue on fingers!
1. I love the contrast of the white on the gray.
2. These are crepe paper ruffles, kinda neat. I however mostly saved it for the color combo.
3. I would like to recreate this headband, but maybe without as many flowers?
4. Isn't she cute!
"So, what are you reading now?" is a popular question amongst myself and my friends. You can tell a lot about a person from what they read... or don't read. I decided to post about what books I plan to read each month (and hopefully, though I make no promises, short reviews when I finish them). As you will see, I enjoy a variety of genres and try to mix light and heavy books. I am also doing some previewing for my little sister. So, here we go! January's list: