Children's Book Reviews

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


   I'm writing this the day before Thanksgiving, so I'm thinking how grateful I am to be a book reviewer. It's a real gift to receive so many great books that I might have even not seen if I'd been browsing in a book shop where, as much as I truly love bookshops, books can be overlooked in the overwhelm of choice.
   In the Hall of the Mountain King by Allison Flannery is such a book. And it is a real treasure for me and my little group of toddlers that I teach. Ever since it arrived we have been acting out, reading and re-reading, and doing art inspired by the book. Not only that, but it is such a delight to have a quality children's version of a classic so that the toddlers can grow up knowing the tale of Peer Gynt and the music by Grieg.

Allison Flannery has adapted Henrik Ibsen 's Peer Gynt  in a brilliant way that instantly becomes a favorite book for young children with Peer as a new hero for budding imaginations. Peer loves to go on adventures to look for special little treasures in nature. One day he wanders too far from home and finds a castle in a mountain. It is the hall of the scary Mountain King, but Peer goes in uninvited. Will he get home safely?

The illustrations by Vesper Stamper are both lively and delightful and are in complete synthesis with the text. The book includes a CD with excerpts from The Peer Gynt Suite by Edvard Grieg. Children will not only enjoy reading the book, but they can also use it as an inspiration to act out the story or include it in art and music fun. Teachers will find the book wonderful to use as a lesson or unit, finding additional resource materials on Allison's website: This book is a must for a child's or a classroom library.


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