Life After Potter -- and More Great Summer Reading
"Shrek the Third" and its two predecessors skewed traditional fairy tales and opened the door for writers to have some fun with beloved characters -- and to create new fairy tale heroes of their own.
The Clemency Pogue series, by J.T. Petty; Simon & Schuster
Chapter Book Series, Ages 8-12 (Read aloud to child, 6 and up)
JT Petty's lighthearted Clemency Pogue books poke fun at more heavy-duty fantasy tales. But not in a bad way. It's clear that Petty's coming from a place of admiration, as he spins yarns about Clemency, an imaginative young girl, and her ever-present hobgoblin companion, Chaphe. In the third book of the series, "The Scrivener Bees," Clemency must try to wrest the Forgetting Book from Inky Mess, a changling goblin trying to take over the land of Make-Believe.
Fablehaven, by Brandon Mull; Aladdin Paperbacks
Chapter Book; Ages 9-13 (Read aloud to child, ages 8 and up)
Mystical beasts and creatures are facing extinction. Siblings Kendra and Seth certainly know nothing about this when they go to stay with their grandfather. So imagine learning that Grandpa's actually Fablehaven's caretaker? As they learn about the rules that govern trolls, imps, witches, and fairies, Seth grows too curious and disrupts the order of the society. Kendra must explore the mystical world to save Seth -- and Fablehaven itself.
The Sisters Grimm series, by Michael Buckley; Abrams Books
Chapter Book Series, Ages 9-12 (Read aloud to child, 6 and up)
After their parents disappear, sisters Daphne and Sabrina Grimm go to live with their mysterious grandmother in rural New York. In their new town, humans dwell side-by-side with fairy-tale characters and the girls are swept up in mysteries and magic. In the most recent installment, "Once Upon a Crime," the girls head back to their native Big Apple to find the family of their injured friend Puck. A storybook mystery follows them to Manhattan. Lovers of twisted, funny fairy tales will enjoy this series.
Wolf! Wolf!, by John Rocco; Hyperion Books
Picture Book, Ages 3-7
What happens when the Big, Bad Wolf becomes the Cranky, Grumpy Wolf? Too tired to chase after goats for his dinner, the Wolf tries getting a young prankster to trick a goat for him. But in a twist, the beast finds he's more hungry to make a friend instead.
Book Club Activity Ideas:
- The "Shrek" Movies Family Home Drive-In -- Bring the marsh into your living room with recipes and crafts inspired by the films.
- Princess Movies on DVD -- Our "Best Of" list of the finest princess movies available on DVD.
- Castle Cake -- Give wee readers the royal treatment with this tasty cake.
- Fairy Houses -- Making one of these backyard pixie palaces stirs the imagination.
- Felt Storytelling Board -- Have kids start their own "Once Upon a Time..." tales with this versatile story stage.
- Group Storytelling Game -- Kids can explore the way stories are made with this imagination game.
- Red Riding Hood Mini Marionettes -- Alter the way you decorate this puppet to make it resemble a character from the chosen book.