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Fairy Tale Moments: Who Is Your Giant? (e-book, script, lyrics, and mp3) Review by Donna Campos

By Marcia Trimble and Sonnet Phelps; illustrated by Kim Sponaugle
Stretch-A-Book Club

The Fairy Tale Moments: Who Is Your Giant? e-book is a downloadable example of what is offered through membership in the Stretch-A-Book Club. In addition, membership would include an actual hardcover book delivered monthly as well as electronic components of the club delivered via email. For the purpose of this review, the Fairy Tale Moments e-book, a pdf play script of the story, a pdf of lyrics to a song, and the mp3 recording of the song were all downloaded. The e-book is 34 pages long and includes edge-to-edge color on the pages. The mp3 is 2:57 minutes long and features a friendly tenor voice, a bit of story line in song, and playful rhythm and rhyme. The components are intended to help interest children in reading as they sing, play act, and read their way through the story.

The story itself is playful and fun and includes many common childhood fairytale characters, including Snow White, Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, Rapunzel, Cinderella, and Peter Pan. The included script is helpful as children learn play-acting skills, although the story would be easy enough to act out without the script. The script is black text on white background and very economical to print, enabling parents to print multiple copies and then highlight various parts for different children. This will help children completely memorize the story as they prepare to act it out. The story takes four children and invites them to a meeting of the Fairy Tale Club. The members, and the children, share their experiences of "fairy tale moments" as defined as times in life when they were afraid of something and overcame the situation by use of their imaginations. The fun illustrations reveal expressions very well. The meeting leads to a discussion of shadows, which includes a reference to a shadow being a copycat, which is the topic of the included song on mp3. The book closes with the realization that a shadow is a friend that will never leave you, and the child has a fairy tale moment by using imagination to overcome his fear. The end of the book includes a page where the authors and illustrator share their personal fairy tale moments as well as space for the reader to fill in a personal fairy tale moment.

Our family was impressed with the incredible illustrations and use of color, but that great positive becomes a negative when you desire to print the e-book. A great deal of ink will be necessary to print all 34 pages. Even pages with no text have a cream colored background and decorative markings, although you could choose to not print them. Be aware that this particular story does include reference to a sorceress as well as fairy dust and magic, so the story may be deemed inappropriate for some families. But our family found these elements to be acceptable with the story line, as they increased the imaginative value of the story. Unfortunately, there are no references to trusting in God to overcome fears or any reference whatsoever to God or the Bible in the story line. We wish there had been some reference to God's care for His children.

The various components included in the Stretch-A-Book Club are a fun way to help children become more excited about reading. The club membership may seem pricey, but at $19.95 per month it includes a single hardcover book in addition to the various components we received for this review. The entire package is enjoyable, and we enjoyed the song in particular. For children desiring to play act, this club may be a perfect outlet for drama as different stories arrive month after month. Any family with budding drama club members should consider the Stretch-A-Book Club.

Product review by Donna Campos, Senior Product Reviewer, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, June 2010