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Monday, January 2, 2012

Today, Maybe, written by Dominique Demers and illustrated by Gabrielle Grimard. Translation by Sheila Fischman. Orca Book Publishers, 2010. $19.95 ages 5 and up

"For months, no one else came. Yet every morning, after she had said Good Morning to the sun, the trees and the wind, the little girl said to her bird: " Maybe today is the day when he'll come."

In this modern fairy tale we meet a lovely young girl who is independent, courageous and patient. This little girl made the decision at a young age to stop growing, to spend her life on her own at the edge of a forest. A bird keeps her company. She doesn't often welcome visitors, but the ones who drop by will be recognized by children who have some knowledge of folklore. She is full of confidence and serenity as she waits for 'someone' to come. She has no idea as to the identity of her much-anticipated visitor.

Those visitors who do knock at her door may not be familiar to young readers; but they do hearken us back to earlier fairy tales. The three thieves who arrive with demands for treasure find that her real treasures are her books, and she is not willing to part with them. Luckily, the thieves cannot read and are content to take a large jar of jam. The wolf is ferocious but her gift of story provides pleasant dreams and a lightness of heart. When the young prince arrives, he falls in love with her and offers a grand life. She knows he is not the one. Finally, a witch threatens but a frightening story quickly sends her on her way, as well.

Nothing keeps her from believing that all will be well. She faces each new threat with ingenuity and courage. She keeps to her feeling that someone is coming. One fine spring day, when her feelings are clear and strong, her wait is over. Readers will very much enjoy the surprise ending.

Gabrielle Grimard's beautiful artwork perfectly matches the story with  moody colors and detail-rich images. Perspectives change often to add interest and hold the listener's attention.    

There is danger and fear, wit and courage, beauty and grace....and oh yes, a happy ending! 

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