Character Development 3
Happy Halloween All!! In honour of the day, I am reviewing 'The House in Windward Leaves' by Katherine L. Holmes.
Every child I know spends months deciding on the perfect Halloween costume. It's the one day they get to pretend to be who (or what) they imagine they would really like to be. Wouldn't it be fun, though, if instead of just dressing up, each child could actually become who (or what) they are dressed as? Well, that's exactly what happens in this little book.
I'd say 'The House in Windward Leaves' would be appropriate for children in grade two and older. The perfect age to enjoy a story about kids who go to a magical costume party - on a star, no less. Once at this party the children become who they are dressed as, and they forget who they really are. Is the fantasy better than reality? Or should the children remember and go home?
I thought the author kind of shortchanged the pre- and post-party action and development. The focus is totally on the party. This makes sense for a children's book, I suppose, but I would have liked more build up before the party. OK, maybe not more so much as better. The set up seemed 'glossed over' to me. Just something to get through in order to start the party.
The party itself was fun. The interaction between the characters was well done as was the 'magic' that permeated the star. The fortuneteller was my favorite character - I dressed up as one more than once when I was younger - I loved her crystal ball and the things she 'saw'. The climax of the party comes in the guise of a scavenger hunt which brings adventure and suspense to the story.
If you have kids who enjoy fun and fantasy in their books, this may be just the story for them.