Tuesday, March 2, 2010


-- An Appalachian version of


written by

Becky Mushko
( www.beckymushko.com ,
http://peevishpen.blogspot.com )


illustrated by
Bruce Rae


Published by
Cedar Creek Publishing

February 2010

Copyrights 2009
by author and illustrator,

ISBN: 978-0-9842449-1-1

Unknown at time of review.
Please look for updates later on.


While I almost never, even as a child, read children's books, I found myself talking to a very nice lady on Facebook one day, someone who shares my somewhat specialized interest in Appalachian literature (and art), who told me that she had a new book being released soon. Would I please review it? Certainly, I said, though I had my doubts about a children's book. After all, talk is where the market is, and books sell more from word of mouth than anything else. I'd at least give it a whirl.

I was in no way prepared for what I got. A few days after I talked to her, Ms. Mushko's book arrived in my mail box. I opened it, almost grimacing with low expectations... and got a delightful surprise.

Simply said, FERRADIDDLEDUMDAY is a wonderful work of art.

Ms. Mushko doesn't talk down to her audience, she just tells the story. It has to be a gift, because I've seen so  many children's books that came out in a pedantic, boring way, too simple and too unloved by the author to give it life in anyone's  eyes, let alone a child's. (Honestly, you can't fool most children. They'll lay the book down in a dusty corner and go turn on the  television instead.) Ms. Mushko's FERRADIDDLEDUMDAY is in no way such a boring thing ... it bounces! It rolls. It travels around the hills and in the mind of the reader with a magic seldom seen these days.

FERRADIDDLEDUMDAY is a brilliant retelling of the classic RUMPLESTILTSKIN, with a highly flavorful and rich Appalachian twist. The mountain plants and skills visited in the story are real and vivid, fresh from the pen of someone who knows their art well, and who knows genuinely the mind of an inquistive, interested child.

The illustrations, done by master Appalachian artist Bruce Rae, are absolutely not to be missed, either. By no means! They are charming, delightful, and done with absolutely sure hands, the kind of illustrations that are timeless and beloved by all ages.

There is a "Q & A" section in the back, a teaching aid. I was delighted to read that as well, as it offers a great deal of insight into the world of growing young minds. Ms. Mushko's skill with teaching is every bit as great as her skill with storytelling. Aided by Mr. Rae, the result is a highly enjoyable book.

This book is very highly recommended -- read it with your children. You'll love it too. I did, and I am one picky-eyed, tough cookie, especially when it comes to children's books.

Special thanks to the author, Becky Mushko, who provided this book for review free of charge to the independent reader.

For more book reviews, please visit The Fireside Reader at http://thefiresidereader.blogspot.com .

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