Monday, October 15, 2007

Napoli Overdose

So it's not really an overdose. But it should be. I mean, how much can you read by one author at one time? Should you read all of their works in a week's time? Probably not. But I did read a lot of Donna Jo Napoli over the last two weeks, and I'm not sick of her at all. Quite the opposite. I started with...


...a retelling of the Ugly Duckling. Set in Australia. Well, why not?

Her stuff is imaginative, researched, and thoughtful. What indeed would it take for a lone chick to survive in the wild? What would that bird think after being rejected by the only family he knew? How in the world would he discover who he really was?

Light reading, but so nice. The mother duck really was quite wonderful, and the little swan brave. And Napoli doesn't play down the harsh reality of life and survival in the wild, and the Australian critters were so interesting to read about.

Writing about it makes it seem kinda lame, but it really wasn't at all. Really. I especially loved the friends that he manages to make along the way. (Okay, now that really makes it seem lame, but it ISN'T, I promise!)

Since I'm just slaughtering this, let's move on to the next:

The Prince of the Pond series:

1. The Prince of the Pond
2. Jimmy, the Pickpocket of the Palace
3. Gracie, the Pixie of the Puddle

All three stories are short and sweet, but they have such life in them! What indeed happened to the frog prince while he was a frog? How difficult would it be for him to figure out how to be a frog? And would he do what all froggies do—swim, eat bugs, have a family? And would he try to do it like a frog, or like a man?

And then, after he becomes a prince again by the princess kissing him—then what? Would he miss his life in the pond? Or would the life in the pond miss him?

It was a good series, and surprisingly touching. The ending of the first two books were very bittersweet—and the ending of the third quite a bit happier, though a little bittersweet still.

I love how she researched everything in and out (lots of strange factoids about frogs in here) and literally had to think like a frog to be able to write about so many frogs. Thoughtful and honest. Yeah, I like Napoli.

No comments: