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English Titles About Magic
Available in French under the title: La Ceinture magique: conte populaire (Montgiscard, France: Les 400 coups, 2001)
As for the Princess? is about a princess, beautiful and greedy; and it's about a young man, naïve, impressionable and … a quick learner.
Simon and his two brothers are left unusual legacies by their father. The oldest son receives a sack with 100 000 gold pieces, the second is given a horn that can summon 100 000 soldiers, and the youngest, Simon, is left an old leather belt.
The belt isn't as worthless as you might think. You see, the belt, when worn on Simon's waist, can grant wishes. Simon wants to meet a beautiful princess and … poof! He's immediately transported to her castle. The princess is indeed comely, but she's also conniving and cunning. She's quick to trick Simon into giving up his belt; and he's then thrown out of the castle. Simon next loses both the gold and the magic horn to the ruthless princess.
In folktales, however, even orchard fruits can be of invaluable service to a clever young protagonist. Will the plum legacies, the apple of the princess's eye, be returned to Simon?
Stéphane Jorisch has added lively illustrations to this charming story.
Twelve-year-old Moon believes in magic. Her mother recently left, and she hopes that magic will bring her back. Moon and her friend Duncan travel through time to 1250, where they find Nora, a woman who has placed a curse on her descendents. The curse causes the afflicted to abandon their families when their children reach the age of 12.
An ancient key and a mind-reading school librarian named Ms. Tanglemoth figure largely in the tale.
The story flows seamlessly between the magical medieval world of 1250 and Moon's unhappy present-day reality. In the end, will hope prevail?
Dennis Lee's latest poetic tale recounts the story of a wizard in search of a home and cat in need of someone to partake of her hospitality. They meet one another at a Laundromat, and the cat invites the wizard to come to her home, Casa Loma, for dinner. After the meal, the wizard, feeling very much at home, begins to charm his hostess with his magic.
What follows is a fantastical evening of juggling, conjuring and tuna fish. The cat is overjoyed at finding such a wonderful guest, and the party continues until dawn, when the two finally retire upstairs to bed.
The wizard and his magic stay on at Casa Loma; he has found his home, and the cat has found her companion.
Gillian Johnson's illustrations are muted yet colourful.
Catmagic is a rhyming tale about the arrival of Arabelle Witch and her cat, Izzy, at the Witches Retirement Home. The resident witches soon discover that Izzy is not the standard-issue black cat. To begin with, he has multicoloured fur, which makes him almost invisible among the witches' varied belongings. When the witches find themselves tripping over and even sitting on Izzy, they finally give Arabelle an ultimatum -- the cat must go.
Arabelle, who understands their concern that someone might get hurt, begins packing their things. Izzy enjoys being at the home and devises a plan that will enable them to stay. He persuades each of the witches to give him a bit of their old magic, knowing that if he can combine their power, there should be enough for a spell. Sure enough, Izzy gathers enough magic to turn himself into an upside-down cat. Izzy can now spend his time on the ceiling, still close to his friends, but not underfoot; and the witches can use their magic to visit him on the ceiling any time they want.
Dominique Elnedo doesn't fit in. For the Estorians, the telling of stories is the reason for living; but Dominique can't seem to tell a story, no matter how hard he tries. He wishes his father -- a great storyteller who has travelled for most of his life -- would come home.
To mark his passing from boy to man, Dominique was expected to tell a story at the Coming of Stories ceremony. Unable to fulfill this rite of passage, Dominique has been banished from the clan for a period of one year in order to find his "voice" and become a teller of stories.
The boy and his pet bird, Navina, set out to find the Cave of Departure. Having heard about the Cave in stories, Dominique knows he must go there. Along the exciting and dangerous journey, various people and mystical creatures come to the aid of Dominique and Navina.
Where will his journey take him, and what will he find there?
This is the first book in the Estorian Chronicles.
SETTING: Stratford Festival, Stratford, Ontario
Kinny has a summer job working as an assistant to the director of a revival of Macbeth. A series of mishaps, some fatal, leave everyone convinced that the curse of the Scottish play has struck the production. (ENTER: The Witches) However, at the root of it all is a millennium-old incantation, interrupted by none other than Macbeth himself, with tragic consequences. Kinny and Lucas, one of the actors, are drawn inexorably into the vortex. The two are followed by unseen eyes and become pawns of sinister forces revolving around a soul-destroying mirror.
The action moves to the Edinburgh Festival in Scotland and culminates in a showdown on the very site of King Macbeth's last stand in the Grampians.
There is a major sub-plot that addresses the English-French conflict. Indeed, identity -- personal, cultural and historical -- is a theme that runs throughout the book.
In the land of Marmawell, each child born into the world must have a tapestry. It is their most treasured possession and into it are woven symbols that foretell their destiny. Without a tapestry, there can be no soul, and those spirits whose tapestries are unfulfilled at the time of their death are condemned to suffer in the valley of the dragon.
Sixteen-year-old Marwen, an orphan, has no tapestry. The Taker spared her life when she was born and saved her from the land of the dead. Gondil, the village Oldwife, raised her from an infant, teaching her to perform domestic services for others and to use her magic to heal people.
Marwen knows she has a great gift of magic, yet she has no proof to validate her calling. She dreams of slaying dragons and of doing great things. Exiled from her village because of her gift, she returns to discover that the dragon Perdoneg has destroyed her village. The dragon is on a deadly mission to find the wizard's heir, as the heir holds the key to the dragon's tapestry.
Could Marwen be the wizard's heir? Could this be her destiny?
The witch, wending her way home each night, knows something or someone is near. But she doesn't know what or who it is. But every which way she turns…
It followed her
"Past the Marble Frog and the Granite Swan…
Past the graveyard, past the church
'Neath the skeleton arms of the Hangman's Birch."
The Follower is a picture-book poem for children who enjoy being spooked. Young readers can easily follow the Follower. On the pages, among chilling shadows, along the leaf-blown lane, amid fierce and twisted lightning bolts, the Follower's identity is revealed.
A goldstone "is made from aventurine glass, spangled close and fine with particles of sparkling material like copper shavings or gold flakes." In days gone by, in the mountains of British Columbia, Jonathan and his grandfather made and sold beautiful goldstone marbles.
One day, a lightning bolt cripples Grandfather and somehow transforms the two goldstones that he had been holding. It isn't until after one of these goldstones is sold that Jonathan realizes how special it is. He vows that one day he will get it back.
The goldstone finds its way into the Gillespie family and is passed on, through the generations, to 11-year-old Ashley. Ashley has no idea that the goldstone necklace given to her on her birthday from Aunt Jo has mystical properties. When Ashley wears the goldstone to bed, she has recurring dreams, curious ones about a strange boy. This same boy suddenly appears out of nowhere on the train tracks and later in her bedroom, where he tries to take the goldstone from her neck. Ashley is not sure what is a dream and what is real.
In this gripping story, the lives of Jonathan and Ashley become entangled, ending with Ashley fighting for her life.
The last of the Goldstone trilogy.