Friday, February 28, 2014

Ingrid at Godfrey's!

Ingrid Bohn will tell stories at Godfrey Daniels on March 2nd at 2 pm.  Prepare to be amused! Amazed! and Awed!

Here's snippet of Ingrid's storytelling from StoryFUSION 2013.

See you there.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy

So, with my afternoon plans shot to heck, I picked up Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy by Karen Foxlee.  The opening reads like a fairy tale about a boy who is imprisoned by a cruel and beautiful queen from the North. 

Then we meet Ophelia, her father and her older sister, Alice.  They have moved from London to a place where it always snows.  Wait!  Haven't I read this somewhere before?  Does Ophelia find a magic door?  Was this written by a Danish folklorist?

Foxlee takes the story of Andersen's Snow Queen and twists it just enough to make a enjoyable read.  Ophelia and her family are grieving the loss of Ophelia's mother.  It is days before Christmas and Ophelia's father, Mr. Whittard, has taken a temporary assignment in a huge museum in a frozen city.  He must catalog and arrange an impressive collection of swords.  His daughters, teenaged Alice, and 11 year-old Ophelia, are to keep each other amused.  Alice can't seem to rise above her grief to watch Ophelia.  Alice's misery makes her a victim later on.

Ophelia is a practical child and knows magic doesn't exist.  So when she finds the door and looks through the keyhole, she can't believe the boy she sees trapped inside.  She doesn't believe the story he tells her.  And yet, she feels compelled to help him.  This sudden display of bravery frightens Ophelia more than the adventure itself.  And it is quite an adventure.  Releasing that boy may save the entire world!

The book is written for middle grade readers - 4th through 6th grade.  Fairy tale lovers of all ages will enjoy it.  The "lost in a museum"  setting is always fun.  Who knows what we might find in this gallery, or down this hallway?

Crochet mustache

I put crochet directions for this mustache on the Let's Make Stuff page.  It's not hard at all.  I must apologize to all seasoned crocheters out there.  I have never written crochet directions before so I hope you can decipher these directions.   If you don't know how to make the varying stitches, has a directory of stitches here. offers video lessons here.



I cancelled my performance.    The venue has been closed all weekend.  Parking is not good on that side of town.  Folks are still digging their cars out.  These are my reasons for cancelling. 

But, the sun is shining for the first time in days.

Everyone I discussed this decision with thought it was a good decision.  As a matter of fact, I hardly had to convince them at all.

Still, I feel awful about cancelling.  Whatever happened to the "show must go on"? 

Well, there.   A little bit of venting on a sunny icy day.

Thursday, February 13, 2014


Mustaches!  And more in the works.  If I ever figure out how I crochet them I will post the directions on the Let's Make Stuff page.

Anyway, can you guess why I am producing these fake facial hair products???  Because I will be telling stories at Godfrey Daniels on Sunday at 2 pm - and my stories will have mustaches in them!!!  So I need some samples, see?

So pray for sun and warmth.  Right now, it feels like we will be housebound til April (3 to 6 more inches on the way, they say, bringing our total for the day to what? 14 inches? 18 inches?).  

Time to make some more mustaches!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Guest Teller - ME!!

I'd like to introduce the featured teller at Sunday's Children's Series Show at Godfrey Daniels.

ME!  Karen Maurer :
 Come out and hear me fumble around on the accordion; tell stories about mustachioed people; offer a prize for the best mustache so please bring one along; get people up on stage to march and mug and sing.

The date: Feb. 16th, 2014
The time: 2 pm
The Place: Godfrey Daniels
Admission: $4.50 for people 5 years old and older.  And Cops'n'Kids will be there to hand out free books.
See you there.
It was a long time ago.
I've always been fond of mustaches!  
My first accordion.  I will play the new one on Sunday.
I'm giving last minute instructions to the Reader Theater troupe at Nazareth Library here.

This photo speaks for itself!
I told stories when I was just a youngster - on long car trips after we sang every round my mother could teach us.  Dad ruled the car radio and classical music made us kids itchy.  So I was radio Karen, making stories up, telling stories from memory.

It just followed that I would tell stories as a "profession".  Books and stories; stories and books...we know that stories came first but books were sure to follow.  And I love both of them.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

A Corner of White by Jaclyn Moriarty

Saturday Review:
A Corner of White by Jaclyn Moriarty

Madeleine lives in Cambridge, UK, with her mother after running away from their former jet set lifestyle and their respective father/husband.

Elliot lives in the Kingdom of Cello where his father has been carried away - Elliot believes - by a high level Purple attack.  Colors are dangerous in Cello.

When Madeleine finds a note shoved into a broken parking meter slot, she replies.  Why not?  Could be fun!  And her new hand-to-mouth existence needs a little pizzazz.

Elliot finds Madeleine's reply.

Set against the backdrops of Madeleine's first romance with one of her homeschooling partners, and Elliot's plans for returning to the Magical North to find his father, this correspondence opens both teens' eyes to empathy and self-awareness. 

I had trouble getting into the book.  There seemed to be a slew of details added for whimsy.  As the book continued whimsy gained purpose and the ending left me wanting more.  I will have more!!!

This book is a contender in SLJ's Battle of the Kids' Books.