Posted in Middle School, mythology, Teen, Tween Reads, Young Adult/New Adult

Mythic Gifting: Across the Rainbow Bridge

Across the Rainbow Bridge: Stories of Norse Gods and Humans, by Kevin Crossley-Holland/Illustrated by Jeffrey Alan Love, (Dec. 2021, Candlewick Studio), $18.99, ISBN: 9781536217711

Ages 10+

Here’s another great gift idea / end of year budget purchase for your collections. Do you have Percy Jackson/Magnus Chase/mythology fans in your circle, whether in work or life? Know a teen who devoured Neil Gaiman’s Norse Mythology, or a tween who loves Gaiman’s Odd and the Frost Giants? This is the book to have on hand when they ask what to read next. Across the Rainbow Bridge is a companion to 2017’s Norse Myths: Tales of Odin, Thor, and Loki, and includes five more stories from a master storyteller and artist. Loki matches wits with a troll in “The Troll and the Trickster”;  a miserly ghost isn’t ready to let go of his money just yet in Skarp’s Ghost; a girl named Inga catches the goddess Frigg’s attention in “Blue of Blue”; Odin goes wandering yet again in “Your Life or My Life”, and “The Gift of Poetry” is bestowed on a young boy… but nothing comes without strings attached. Jeffrey Alan Love’s moody, stark two-color illustrations make brilliant use of shadows and contrast, adding to the mythic storytelling. A must for your mythology collections.

Kevin Crossley-Holland is a Carnegie Medal–winning author with a gift for myth and legend. Other retellings include Between Worlds: Folktales of Britain and Ireland, illustrated by Frances Castle, and Norse Myths: Tales of Odin, Thor, and Loki, illustrated by Jeffrey Alan Love, among many others. Jeffrey Alan Love is a Kate Greenway Award nominee (for Across the Rainbow Bridge) and received the 2019 Dutch Zilveren Penseel (Silver Brush) Award for Norse Myths: Tales of Odin, Thor, and Loki by Kevin Crossley-Holland, the 2017 World Fantasy Award for Best Artist, and the 2018 British Fantasy Award for Best Artist.

Across the Rainbow Bridge: Stories of Norse Gods and Humans has starred reviews from Booklist, School Library Connection, Kirkus, and The Horn Book.
Posted in Fantasy, Fiction, Middle Grade, Teen, Tween Reads

Folk and Fairy Tales from Across the Pond: Between Worlds

Between Worlds: Folktales of Britain and Ireland, by Kevin Crossley-Holland/Illustrated by Frances Castle, (Oct. 2019, Candlewick Press), $17.99, ISBN: 9781536209419

Ages 10+

Forty-eight folk and fairy tales from Britain and Ireland; some you’ve heard before, most will be new to you. The tales are organized by Magic and Wonder; Adventures and Legends; Power, Passion, and Love; Wits, Tricks, and Laughter; and Ghosts. This is a wonderful tome for your fantasy and fairy/folk tale collections; especially, if, like me, you love having a collection of tales from all over the world. Some are short enough to read aloud, others are longer and invite readers to sit down, have a nice cup of hot chocolate, and imagine a storyteller leading you back through time for  stories about fairy rings, boggarts, and changelings. Frances Castle’s stark black-and-white illustrations set a mood for each story and each section. An afterword on “Why Everyone Needs to Be Able to Tell a Story” is told as a final folktale, infusing the entire volume with a bit of magic. Comprehensive source notes identify each story’s source(s) and original titles, if any.

A definite add to your folk and fairy tale shelves, and a gorgeous gift for readers. Keep a copy at your Reference desk, too, if you have it in the budget.