The Boy Who Loved Words

Apr 28, 2012

This was my absolute favorite picture book from the time my third-grade teacher read it to our class. It deals with a lonely boy named Selig whose hobby is to collect-- not baseball cards, nor tiny teaspoons, but words. As a boy, he never participated in social activities or sports, and classmates began mocking and teasing and bullying him.

One night, Selig has a dream that a genie visited him, and told him that he had a passion, and what he needed next was a "purpose, a mission". So young Selig packed a knapsack and "took to the road, determined to find his purpose."

But when he had been on the road for many days, his collection of words began to feel to heavy for him.

"In front of Selig stood a large and lovely tree. He removed his jacket, stuffed, like his mama's strudel, with words. Tenderly, he hung each word on its own separate branch, as if putting it to bed for the night."
That night, as Selig slept in the large and lovely tree, a poet was wandering about, trying to find the right words to describe the moon, when Selig's words floated down to him. He read every word, then exclaimed, "My stars! That's it!"

The poet thanked him heartily, and dedicated his new poem to Selig, who now called himself Wordsworth. He had figured out his purpose-- to share his words with others!

But in time, Wordsworth became a man. He was lonely, yet again. But he heard:

"A single, pulsing, marvelous note floated through the air and found its way straight into his heart. "Mellifluous!" he exclaimed."

He followed the note, which led him to a pretty girl of around his age. "What is your name?" he asked. She replied that her name is called Melody, and soon they were married. "Upon my stars!" you may exclaim. "How lucky they are!" And you will know that it's true.

Magic Kitten: Firelight Friends

I was really excited to start a Magic Kitten book and decided to start with the tenth book, Firelight Friends, because the title intrigued me.(The first one wasn't available at our library).

Flame is a majestic young white lion who can disguise himself as a kitty. He "often appears in a variety of fluffy kitten colours" but he has huge green emerald eyes. In the story, he must hide from his evil uncle called Ebony, because he has spies everywhere trying to track him down so that Ebony can kill him and become the heir to the Lion Throne, which is in the world that Flame is from.

Because he needs to hide, Flame travels to Earth, even though he knows his uncle has spies even there on Earth. He searches for a young human friend whom he can trust with his secret and rely on for protection. In the end, he ends up in England, at the camp 'TH Adventure Holidays', and reveals himself to Kara Parkes, a camper there for 2 weeks. He cast a spell on himself so that only Kara could see and hear him, because pets were not permitted on camp grounds.

With his magic, Flame frequently helps Kara and her bunkmates Felicity and Cherry because the boys at the camp are bullying her. For example, some throw biscuits at them, while others steal precious toys.

On the day of the group pony trek, Flame tells Kara that today would be the day his enemies would come, but he would find her if he could. When they get lost in a thick foggy mist, Flame reappears at Kara's side and direct them to a cosy house for the night. However, a large grey lion soon appears at the doorstep and Kara knows she must say goodbye to her dear friend.

When Kara gets back to camp, she learns from the counselor that her beloved pony, Amber, whose leg was badly strained, was almost well, like magic. Kara believes that this is Flame's final parting gift to her.

Overall, I enjoyed this book very much.

Magic Kitten: Firelight Friends, Sue Bentley Copyright 2007, Puffin Books