Bound To Stay Bound

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Booklist - 12/01/2015 When the glass castle starts shattering to pieces, the king knows just who to ask—Bloom, a helpful but messy fairy he once banished for leaving too many muddy tracks behind. When he finds Bloom in the woods, he asks for her magic, but all she shows him is a bucket of mud. Aghast, he decides to send an ordinary servant, Genevieve, to deal with her instead. At first, delicate Genevieve, too, is dismayed by Bloom’s love of mud. But soon, Bloom shows her its magic—it’s perfect for making bricks—and before long, they’re up to their elbows in it. Covered in dirt and grime, Genevieve returns to the glass castle with a solution that, though not dainty or tidy, is exactly what the king needs. Small’s swirly ink-and-watercolor illustrations in soft pastel colors are full of comic details, and whenever Bloom is around, appropriately muddy splatters cover the page. In a charmingly old-fashioned tone that’s ideal for reading aloud, this ode to messiness reminds little ones that sometimes ordinary things are perfectly magical. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Both Cronin and Small are award winners, and their team-up for this title should double its appeal. - Copyright 2015 Booklist.

School Library Journal - 01/01/2016 K-Gr 3—Though her outward appearance is chock-full of dirt, the fairy Bloom is delightfully talented. Underappreciated and misunderstood, she retreats into the wilderness. Without Bloom's magical touch, her kingdom falls into disarray, "held together by duct tape, glue, and peasants." Though the king and then the queen search for answers to fix their kingdom ("I am looking for a magical creature, gone so many years ago"), they are too haughty to understand the sprite's message when she places mud at their feet. A seemingly ordinary girl named Genevieve, whose only job in the kingdom is to carry the queen's delicate, unbreakable spoon, is next sent in their stead. Though initially puzzled by Bloom's mannerisms, Genevieve learns from the fairy and develops the skills she needs to rebuild her kingdom Bloom's inspiring outlook ("Tell them there is no such thing as an ordinary girl") paves the way for Genevieve to return home. Humor is laced throughout the charming narrative, highlighted through Genevieve's dramatic growth and the expressive ink and watercolor illustrations. Wavy, thin lines accentuate the ebb and flow of Bloom's magical world. Changing typography emphasizes key ideas and natural pauses within the story line. VERDICT This engaging, empowering tale proves the future of happily ever after is in one own's hands, regardless of how much dirt they may have on them.—Meg Smith, Cumberland County Public Library, Fayetteville, NC - Copyright 2016 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

Bulletin for the Center... - 04/01/2016 The glass fairy kingdom where Bloom lives is beautiful, but its residents are dismissive of her messy, muddy approach to magic, so Bloom takes her untidy ways (and her magic) elsewhere. After Bloom leaves, though, things fall apart—quite literally—until the kingdom is “held together by duct tape, glue, and peasants.” The king and queen seek out Bloom for help, only to be perplexed and insulted when she presents them with a bucket of mud. They then send meek Genevieve, a maid and “ordinary girl,” to do the job. The girl soon catches on to Bloom’s proposed solution—using the mud to make bricks with which to rebuild the kingdom—and, after some instruction, practice, and reassurance by Bloom, the not-so-ordinary Genevieve returns to fix the kingdom: “She knocked on the palace door and shattered it to pieces ‘I am here!’ she shouted.” This is an enjoyable original fairy tale, and young listeners will relish the young heroine’s triumph over her royal elders. Genevieve’s literal shattering of the glass ceiling (okay, a door) tips slightly toward didacticism, but it’s a metaphor worth discussing, and while the ending is abrupt, it is also joyful. Small’s detailed ink and watercolor art balances the tidy restraint of the kingdom with the casual sprawl of the sprightly Bloom and the natural world. The evolving appearance of the auburn-haired Genevieve (she grows muddier and less demure in proportion to her increasing skill and confidence) also effectively reflects her growing empowerment. Enjoy this as it stands or use it as a complement to Munsch’s The Paper Bag Princess. JH - Copyright 2016 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.

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