Stories to warm the heart


  • Education
  • Sunday, 09 Nov 2003

REVIEWS BY JAMIE KHOO

School holidays are here again and what better way to travel to other worlds than through books. Local bookstore chain MPH is offering discounts to readers on selected books throughout this month. So, watch this space!  

TALES FROM THE ARABIAN NIGHTS 

Price: RM8.90 

 

THOSE of you who have been swept away by the recent Harry Potter phenomenon will delight at the magic and enchantment from these classic Arabian tales.  

Tales from the Arabian Nights is a collection of stories and folklore, all interwoven with each other as intricately and brightly as the most splendid of Oriental tapestries. 

It begins with the rule of a ruthless king, who has decided that he will marry a woman every day and kill her the next morning. 

Scheherazade, the daughter of the king’s vizir offers herself up for marriage, but on the night before her execution, she diverts the king’s attention with a story. Every night she leaves her stories unfinished so that he would spare her life to hear the continuation of each tale the following night.  

And so unravels the many tales, each leading onto a new story, and each with new fantastic adventures of princes, princesses, evil vizirs, fairies and genies. 

Follow Sinbad the sailor on his seven marvellous sea voyages, meet Aladdin and his magic lamp, read about how princesses and evil vizirs shape-shift into lions and monkeys, and learn of the bizarre but fascinating curses of ancient Middle-Eastern folklore.  

The stories unfold in a way that each one is intricately connected to the one before of after it. Tales from the Arabian Nights follows an ancient tradition of oral storytelling where stories are told and shared with an audience.  

The characters within each story have a tale of their own to tell, each of which are somehow linked into the larger framework of the book. It is a book in which the reader will get lost in a never-ending script full of gilded riches and fabulous tales that will feed the most vivid of imaginations.  

Tales from the Arabian Nights, like the countless fairy tales and magical stories that have thrilled generations of children, brings the enchantment and magic of olden times into our present day lives.  

In a time where the Middle East has turned into a frightful, fearful region of war, these Baghdad tales, shared across a grand kaleidoscope of characters, are a strong reminder of the what it means to draw all walks of humanity together in the simple, magical pleasures of storytelling.  

 

MARY-KATE AND ASHLEY IN ACTION, Episode One: Make up Shake up 

By Eliza Willard 

Price: RM15.90  

 

BASED on the hit TV series about the two famous Olsen twins, this is the first of a series of books featuring the two feisty girls in action. In this episode, we join the girls in New York city, where they are out to investigate what’s shaking up the fashion world. When they discover that a new brand of cosmetics is causing models to behave strangely, the twins set out to tackle the real face behind the make-up fiasco and save the world from her destructive plans. A colourful, lively book featuring plenty of cool gadgets (including a talking robot dog!), bright illustrations and a fun storyline.  

 

PENDRAGON: THE REALITY BUG 

By D. J MacHale 

Price: RM17.90  

THE Reality Bug is the fourth title of D. J. Hale’s Pendragon series, which follows the many fantastic adventures of Bobby Pendragon. In this latest book, Bobby travels to the territory of Veelox to defeat Saint Dane, an evil force which he has fought before in other worlds. 

However, he soon finds out that the inhabitants of Veelox have all been sucked into a virtual reality formed entirely out of their own peaceful dreams. Threatening dangers bubble under the seemingly peaceful façade of the territory which Bobby will have to discover. 

He is convinced that he will be able challenge the evil forces on Veelox, but will Bobby really be able to escape the dream realm that has trapped everyone else? Pendragon fans will love the latest instalment of this action-packed, exciting series, and can look forward to the forthcoming fifth title.  

 

THE SECRET GARDEN 

By Frances Hodgson Burnett 

Price: RM8.90 

 

THIS classic novel follows the story of Mary Lennox, a spoilt, young girl living in India who is sent to live with her uncle Craven in England.  

She hates it there initially but soon finds a way into a secret garden where she meets Dickon, her servant Martha’s son, and her sickly cousin, Colin.  

Although the garden is neglected and in ruins, it is in here that the three children find a way of working great magic between themselves that will eventually bring them onto a path of physical and spiritual healing.  

The Secret Garden is a touching book about friendship, and how the three children help each other to rediscover health and happiness for themselves.  

 

THE CHANGEOVER 

By Margaret Mahy 

Price: RM13.90 

 

THE Changeover is a spooky tale about Laura Chant, an ordinary girl from New Zealand who gets “warnings” and premonitions she can’t understand. When she receives a message that her younger brother Jacko’s life is under the power of a spirit called Carmody Braque she seeks the help of Sorenson (Sorry) Carlisle, a boy who comes from a long line of witches in his family.  

Laura is advised to “changeover” and become a witch herself. Throughout the book, we follow the supernatural journey she takes to save Jacko, as well as the developing relationship between her and Sorry. Mahy peoples her book with fascinating characters and tells this truly engaging story with a vivid imagination and humour that will be appeal to both children and adults. 

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 1
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
   

Did you find this article insightful?

Yes
No

Across the site