November 22, 2016

Anything but Ordinary Addie: The True Story of Adelaide Herrmann, Queen of Magic by Mara Rockliff and Iacopo Bruno

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , at 5:28 pm by suebe2

anything-but-ordinary-addieAnything but Ordinary Addie:
The True Story of Adelaide Herrmann,
Queen of Magic
written by Mara Rockliff
illustrated by Iacopo Bruno
Candlewick Press

Even as a girl, Addie dreamed big.  She didn’t want to be ordinary. She wanted to do something with flash.

When she saw an ad looking for girls to learn dance, she made a costume and jumped at the opportunity. Her family was shocked.  A good girl on stage?  In tights?  But then they saw her dance with amazing grace.

Eventually the luster wore off this and it felt to ordinary for Addie.  Lots of girls danced but very few were willing or able to ride a “boneshaker,” an early bicycle.  The costumes Addie wore while doing her tricks were outrageous (translation: brief for the times) but Addie didn’t care.  She was having fun and she was dazzling crowds.

Sailing to American, Addie met a handsome young magician.  Addie was amazed by him and told him she wanted to get married.  Addie never did do things the ordinary way.  Soon Addie was working in her husband’s magic show.  They performed around the world with a juggler, tumblers and more.

But then on night her husband’s heart simply quit.  How would the show go on?  No woman was a magician on her own.  Yes, I’m cutting it off here.  Why?  Because I want you to read this great book.

I have to admit that I had never heard of Adelaide Herrmann but I read about the book and how it handled the death of a main character.  If you are the parent of a very young reader, do not panic.  The sad event has to be covered in the book because it is how Addie eventually performed on her own.  Hint:  She became The Queen of Magic.  But the book doesn’t go into great detail or dwell on the event.

Bruno first drew his illustrations in pencil and then colored them digitally. I have to say that it was the illustrations that pulled me in – I am a very visual person so this is no slight to the text.  The illustrations are detailed enough to be interesting but not so detailed that they feel like a scientific illustration.  The colors are rich as are the expressions displayed by the various people depicted.

Do you have a young reader who is interested in magic?  Or history?  Or simply doing things that no one has ever done?  Pick up this book and share it with the young reader in your life this holiday season.

–SueBE

 

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