The Cobbler’s Cape
Each generation needs its fairy tales retold to keep them fresh and relevant. Paul Baribault’s "The Cobbler’s Cape " is a modern version of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Emperor’s New Clothes, transforming it from a brief tale into a hearty play for voices, complete with scenes, sound effects, and multiple characters. The honest cobbler and his daughter Lil are not the only subjects to notice that the Emperor is parading around in his undershorts—the whole town sees that. But only the cobbler, out of his gentle heart, takes action. Rather than embarrassing and exposing the foolish monarch, he sends Lil to the rescue, carrying the cobbler’s old cloak, so the Emperor can cover his body and recover his dignity. This will be a favorite bedtime story for children lucky enough to have it read to them, and it would also be suitable for acting out in the classroom.
David Weinstock, Poet, Middlebury, Vermont
Sleepyheads -- Telling Dreams
When their dreams become intermingled, Jami and Sammy travel to some of the most fantastical places and meet some of the most fascinating characters. In the story Sleepyheads - Telling of Dreams, author Paul Baribault cleverly strings together a fairy tale of REM-induced musings between two cousins, who co-dream similar dreams, but are taken on separate, interwoven journeys to the most magical places, all the while experiencing their dreams with one another.
The brilliant illustrations, by Rik Belanger, give the story depth and beauty.
Not only does the author engage young readers with his characters’ mindfulness and creative abstractions of time and space, he does so while introducing new vocabulary, encouraging young readers to dream their own dreams and write their own stories. Sleepyheads is sure to entertain young readers who will be riveted to the story and its exquisite illustrations, and who will find not one, but many plot twists and surprises that will make them want to read more -- through to the three (!) breathtaking story shifts at the book's finish.
Rachel Nadeau, Special Education Teacher, Lewiston, ME.
Writing about her nine-year old niece's reaction to Sleepyheads -- Telling Dreams, a Maine teacher wrote: "Grace loved the book!! She loved the pictures!! She gives it a nine out of ten. The only part she didn't quite follow was when Jami and Sammy went to England... she said it went really fast and was hard to follow there. BUT she said she wants to have that book on her bookshelf. She is an avid reader. She read the whole thing this morning... she raved about every picture... I had to look each time. She just loved it! The story grabbed her, one sitting and she needed to finish it!"
SR, Teacher, Actor/Director, Portland, ME.
The Nightingale's Song
"The Nightingale's Song is a delightful re-imagining of Hans Christian Andersen's classic fairy tale, enriched with new characters, plot twists and “Who's on first” verbal comedy. Baribault deftly embroiders on the poetry of Andersen's words and his themes of art, love, nature, life and death, directing fresh attention to perennial questions about the proper role of rulers in caring for the ruled. A lovely piece of readers' theater in clear, easy-to-speak language. Sure to be loads of fun to perform in the classroom and for parents to read to their children!”
George Simonson, Writer, Harpswell, ME
“A sweet retelling of the classic tale. Yudy, the Ugly Duckling will take youngsters on a wild ride from the barnyard, over forestland and “around the world.” Interesting, funny and scary characters -- from Yudy’s sibling flock to Mrs. Drumathump and her top cat to a philosopher turtle -- help Yudy to grow and learn. Through all these lessons, he has great adventures in the wide outdoors. As the seasons pass, Yudy discovers so much more about himself and, ultimately, where he truly belongs.”
Cynthia Carney, Sr. Web Editor, L.L.Bean