Skip to main content

The Kingdom of Wrenly, Book 1 - The Lost Stone, by Jordan Quinn, illustrated by Robert McPhillips, 128 pp, RL 2



The Kingdom of Wrenly by Jordan Quinn, illustrated by Robert Mc Phillips, is a new series that is a great addition to the new field of  Bridge Chapter Book and especially exciting because it is a fantasy of the kind that I rarely see in chapter books - something that falls between the traditional definitions of High Fantasy and Fairy Tale Fantasy. The Kingdom of Wrenly series has a familiar medieval setting with a kingdom, a king and queen, castle and subjects along with dragons, faeries, trolls, witches, sea monsters, enchanted forests, secret underground worlds and curses that make it rain for six days on end.

Robert McPhillips's illustrations, which can be found on almost every page. This quality, along with a larger font, are the the two main characteristics of a Bridge Chapter Book, a book that is an ideal step up for readers ready to move on from leveled chapter books but not quite ready for traditional chapter books like Magic Tree House and Junie B Jones. One of the things I love most about The Kingdom of Wrenly series is the world that Quinn created for her characters to explore. Happily, McPhillip's has drawn a wonderful map that is included at the front of the book. When we first meet the main character, Prince Lucas (okay, the names of the human characters, like Lucas, Clara, Tasha, Caleb, aren't exactly from the high fantasy canon, but emerging readers don't need to be tackling names like Tyrion and Daenerys or Boromir and Gimli) he has hatched a plan. Dressed in clothes he bought for a handful of coins from a boy in the village, he rides off the castle grounds and into the village where he changes clothes, and pretends to be a new boy named Flynn at the village school. His adventure ends quickly when the palace guards track him down, but not before he is recognized by Clara Gill, daughter of Queen Tasha's beloved dressmaker and former playmate of Lucas's. King Caleb, believing that Lucas should not longer consort with villagers has doomed him to a life of loneliness.

Lucas's adventure leads to changes in the castle and Clara is invited back, where she and Prince Lucas quickly find themselves in the middle of a mystery when the Queen's royal emerald pendant goes missing and the King offers a grand reward. Lucas and Clara decide to retrace the Queen's path and visit all the places she had visited over the last few days. With the map in hand, they head off to Primlox, Bruth and Hobsgrove in search of the missing gem.


At every stop, whether it's the Maze of Hedges in Primlox, the home of Hambone the troll in Bruth or the sandy shores of Mermaid's Cove, the two find clues to follow and, happily, they also find the Queen's emerald! Along the way, Clara gets to show just how clever she is and Lucas gets the friend that he longed for. The pace of the writing and the plot of The Kingdom of Wrenly books is gentle and the suspense is minimal. The stories are completely engaging and the geography of the kingdom is sure to lead to many, many more exciting adventures for Prince Lucas and Clara and all the friends they meet along the way.



Coming June 2014 and August 2014, books 3 and 4!



And coming in October and December of 2014, Books 5 & 6!


Source: Review Copy



Comments

Jessica said…
Thank you so much for this suggestion! My daughter is the perfect age and reading level for these books and she loves them. She can read them herself or we can do them as read-alouds and they are fun either way. They are complex enough to be quite interesting, but simple enough to wrap up in 10 large print, illustrated chapters reliably. My only wish is that the cast of characters had a bit of diversity....

Popular posts from this blog

Made by Dad: 67 Blueprints for Making Cool Stuff - Projects You Can Build For (and With) Kids! by Scott Bedford

On his personal website, Scott Bedforddescribes himself as an "Award Winning Online Creative Professional" working within the advertising and design industry. What is more interesting (and applicable here) is how hisWhat I Made website came to be. While sitting in a Starbucks with his restless young sons, trying to enjoy his latte, Bedford created something out of coffee stir sticks that ended up keeping his boys entertained, finishing his coffee in peace and sparking (re-sparking, really) his creative drive and reminding him of the "enormous joy gained from making things, even simple things, and that this joy is not the complexity or quality of the finished project but in the process of making itself. On Bedford'sWhat I Made website, he even shares Six Cool Coffee Shop Crafts for Kidsthat you can try out next time you want to enjoy your coffee and your kids are making that difficult. I've shared two below - be sure to check out the website and see the rest!

Be…

POP-UP: Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book, paper engineering by Ruth Wickings, illustrations by Frances Castle RL: All ages

POP-UP:  Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book with paper engineering by Ruth Wickings and illustrations by Frances Castle is THE COOLEST BOOK EVER!!!  I know that I haven't dedicated much time to pop-up books here, but they have always held a special place in my heart, and the phrase "paper engineering" is a favorite of mine. Although I didn't know what it was at the time, I did go through a paper engineering phase when I was ten or so. I would sneak off to the back of the classroom during independent work periods and go to town on the construction paper and glue and make these little free-standing dioramas. A huge fan of The Muppet Show (the original), I reconstructed the all-baby orchestra from an episode, drawing and coloring each baby and his/her instrument then gluing them onto a 3D orchestra section I had crafted out of brown construction paper.  I also made a 3D version of Snidely Whiplash throwing Nell off a cliff with Dudley Do-Right wa…

How to Choose Age Appropriate Books for Advanced Readers

How to Choose Age Appropriate Books for Advanced Readers remains the most read post on my blog since I wrote it in 2012. Because of this, I have cleaned up this post, tightened the writing and added in any pertinent information that has come about since it originally ran. When I first started books4yourkids.com in August of 2008, I was scrambling for content, finding my purpose and my voice and not always doing my best writing. How to Choose Age Appropriate Books for Advanced Readers was one of the first articles I wrote and, as a bookseller and a book reviewer, and now as an elementary school librarian where I have gone from working with kids reading well beyond their grade level to kids reading well below, this philosophy remains my organizing principle and central focus when reading and recommending books to parents and children. 

In the interest of my mission and the attention this article continues to receive, I have updated and expanded this article and included a guide to using …