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The Puppets of Spelhorst (The Norendy Tales)…
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The Puppets of Spelhorst (The Norendy Tales) (edition 2023)

by Kate DiCamillo (Author), Julie Morstad (Illustrator)

Series: The Norendy Tales (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1168232,100 (4.45)9
From master storyteller Kate DiCamillo comes an original fairy tale--with enchanting illustrations by Julie Morstad--in which five puppets confront circumstances beyond their control with patience, cunning, and high spirits. Shut up in a trunk by a taciturn old sea captain with a secret, five friends--a king, a wolf, a girl, a boy, and an owl--bicker, boast, and comfort one another in the dark. Individually, they dream of song and light, freedom and flight, purpose and glory, but they all agree they are part of a larger story, bound each to each by chance, bonded by the heart's mysteries. When at last their shared fate arrives, landing them on a mantel in a blue room in the home of two little girls, the truth is more astonishing than any of them could have imagined. A beloved author of modern classics draws on her most moving themes with humor, heart, and wisdom in the first of the Norendy Tales, a projected trio of novellas linked by place and mood, each illustrated in black and white by a different virtuoso illustrator. A magical and beautifully packaged gift volume designed to be read aloud and shared, The Puppets of Spelhorst is a tale that soothes and strengthens us on our journey, leading us through whatever dark forest we find ourselves in.… (more)
Member:bookappeal
Title:The Puppets of Spelhorst (The Norendy Tales)
Authors:Kate DiCamillo (Author)
Other authors:Julie Morstad (Illustrator)
Info:Candlewick (2023), 160 pages
Collections:2024 all, Your library
Rating:****
Tags:childrens fiction, fables

Work Information

The Puppets of Spelhorst by Kate DiCamillo

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» See also 9 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
DiCamillo gently builds several life lessons into a short tale of five puppets. Using repetition, sly humor, and stark pencil illustrations, this fable has a lovely old-world feel. The ending should inspire conversation between children and adults who read this story together. ( )
  bookappeal | Feb 12, 2024 |
This feels like a classic - with language in the vein of A Little Princess or The Velveteen Rabbit. Meaning that it will endure and feels sort of reminiscent of an older time/era, despite being recently published. It's enchanting with sort of a wondrous, hazy fairy tale vibe about it and is beautifully presented and told. It assumes the readers's intellligence if not their age.

It gently presents big themes - camaraderie, and purpose, longing for adventure, love lost and found, finding your place and people, and being a small part in a bigger story.

Rumor has it this is the first installment of what's intended to be a series involving the same characters, but this one stands alone and well even if you don't read further.
May equally appeal to child-at-heart adults or old-soul-type children.

Highly, highly recommended. ( )
  angiestahl | Feb 6, 2024 |
This is a wonderfully written book by Kate DiCamillo that is wonderfully illustrated. Both children and adults can appreciate the story and message. ( )
  walterqchocobo | Jan 20, 2024 |
A girl, a boy, a king, an owl, and a wolf hang together in a toy shop window: intricately made puppets. One day, the clear violet eyes of the girl puppet catch the attention of an old sea captain, who buys the whole set because the toy seller won’t separate them. They are all, he insists, in a story together. The puppets are passed from one person to another upon the sea captain’s death, until they come to the home of two little girls, where they will have more adventures, both together and separately.

This is very much a Kate DiCamillo book, with lovely writing and deep themes running through the fabric of the story. I liked it better than some of her books but not as much as others. It felt ever so slightly unfinished to me, but that may be because it indicates that it’s the first part of a series. Fans of this author should certainly take note. ( )
  foggidawn | Dec 28, 2023 |
I recently moved to another part of the country, a long-planned, much-desired relocation. When I saw the announcements of Kate DiCamillo's newest book, I immediately checked my new local library system for a copy. ONE copy, in a library that would not lend it outside their own town limits. Not even on order anywhere else. Well, it WAS available as an e-book. I don't like e-books. They tire my eyes, the lighting is uncomfortable. But if I wanted to read it, that was my only choice. So I downloaded it.

I still dislike e-books. But only a few pages (screens?) in, the tears were seeping over the quiet, lonely death of an old sea captain. A little wolf was obsessing persistently and pathetically about the sharpness of her teeth. An owl "intoned" portentous phrases. (One of the many things I love about DiCamillo: she is not afraid to write words like "intoned" and "winsome.") A boy sharply chides the wolf; a king pronounces on his kingly demands; and a sensible, clear-sighted girl abides with them all. Each one of them has dreams and fears but lacks the ability to act on them. Things happen TO them that they did not expect and cannot control, even when they think they can, and peril abounds. But other things they did not expect happen to them; succor comes from surprising places, and may give them some of what they have dreamed of, or teach them lessons that will serve them. And when I think of it, isn't this what children know about? Being filled with curiosity and wonder, and yet powerless to do much to shape their own lives? And learning hard lessons - and good ones - and finding out that what seemed terrifying may in fact bring great value and reward? That sometimes we choose wrongly and pain will follow? And the surpassing joy of a completely unexpected blessing?

Every single chapter wrought that seep of tears, and a lump-in-the-throat smile. I thought Edward Tulane was my favorite DiCamillo. But this one wins. Thank you, Kate.

And I have ordered a hard copy through bookshop.org, because it's worth it. And then some. ( )
  JulieStielstra | Nov 5, 2023 |
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From master storyteller Kate DiCamillo comes an original fairy tale--with enchanting illustrations by Julie Morstad--in which five puppets confront circumstances beyond their control with patience, cunning, and high spirits. Shut up in a trunk by a taciturn old sea captain with a secret, five friends--a king, a wolf, a girl, a boy, and an owl--bicker, boast, and comfort one another in the dark. Individually, they dream of song and light, freedom and flight, purpose and glory, but they all agree they are part of a larger story, bound each to each by chance, bonded by the heart's mysteries. When at last their shared fate arrives, landing them on a mantel in a blue room in the home of two little girls, the truth is more astonishing than any of them could have imagined. A beloved author of modern classics draws on her most moving themes with humor, heart, and wisdom in the first of the Norendy Tales, a projected trio of novellas linked by place and mood, each illustrated in black and white by a different virtuoso illustrator. A magical and beautifully packaged gift volume designed to be read aloud and shared, The Puppets of Spelhorst is a tale that soothes and strengthens us on our journey, leading us through whatever dark forest we find ourselves in.

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