"The Steadfast Tin Soldier"

Newsbee’s December Picks were all about make believe characters—a petite blonde from the north, a tin soldier, and a boy who only wants to be real. Sure you’ll enjoy area students’ opinions expressed here on good reads chosen for my ““Gift of a Good Book” theme.

Until next month, “Page On!”

“The Christmas Wish,” by Lori Evert.

Reviewed by Andrew Busch and Hayden Lay, second grade, St. John the Baptist School.

“We thought the book would be about a reindeer and a girl. It actually was about a girl who wanted to be an elf and wants to see Santa. The girl’s name is Anja.

She meets a bird, a horse, a bear and a reindeer.

“I am like Anja because I am nice,” Hayden wrote. “I think the book is cool.”

“I am like the girl because I would probably think what happened in the book was all a dream,” Andrew added.

“The Steadfast Tin Soldier,” retold by Cynthia Rylant.

Reviewed by Madison Raymond, third grade, Immaculate Conception School.

“This is a story of love which is torn about by a mean goblin. I think that this book is based on one of the films in ‘Fantasia.’ I really like the illustrations by Jen Corace. I also like the way Cynthia Rylant retold the story.

“The problem in the book is that a goblin pushed a tin soldier out a window. He is in love with a ballerina. Will he ever get back to his love? Find out by reading ‘The Tin Soldier.’

“I recommend this book to anyone who has a broken leg like the tin soldier in the book because it tells them even though they are hurt it doesn’t mean they can’t do anything that they want to do.”

Reviewed by Kaylee Benhardt, second grade, St. John the Baptist School.

“I thought this book would be about a soldier with a broken leg. It was about a soldier who went on an adventure. I was not like anyone in the story, but I did like the story because it was adventurous.”

Reviewed by Gisele Bolzenius, third grade, Immaculate Conception School.

“The soldier was in a box of 25. He was missing a leg and so was the ballerina. The illustrations were really good. The soldier got pushed out the window and in the sewer.

“I will recommend this to my cousin because he likes to play with toys. But I do not know if he likes to play with soldiers. But my sister likes to play with ballerinas. But the little soldier had a lot of adventures in the sewer and a fish ate him. The goblin is the meanest one in the book.

“There is a movie “Fantasia.’ It is a good movie. I hope you like it.”

Reviewed by Olivia Espowe, third grade, Immaculate Conception School.

“The solider was in ‘Fantasia.’ I would recommend this book to me because once I broke my leg. The book got interesting when the soldier and the little dancer fell in love. He was missing one leg. This story is based on true love which is torn apart.”

Reviewed by Charles Niehaus, Third Grade, Immaculate Conception School.

“There was a soldier that was in a box. He looked handsome to me, but he was missing one leg. The goblin pushed him out the window. Then he went to the sewer and rats stopped him and asked for his passport.

“After that a whole bunch of water came. And the soldier went out to sea. I know this story because I saw it on ‘Fantasia.’”

Reviewed by Isabelle Zagarri, third grade, Beaufort Elementary School.

“This is a good book because a steadfast tin soldier lives in a box of 25 soldiers; he is the 25th. One day, a little dancer appears.The two looked at each other every day, and they knew they were meant for each other.

“There is a goblin, and he did not like this. One day, the goblin pushed the steadfast tin soldier out the window! Then some boys found him and made a paper boat; then set him out in a nearby gutter. The soldier went on many adventures.

“You’ll have to read the book to find out the ending and see if the steadfast tin soldier finds the little dancer again! I loved this book, and you will too!

“The Real Boy,” by Anne Ursu.

Reviewed by Newsbee.

“The Real Boy,” has more plot twists than a black cat’s tail. Caleb is “the only true magician” in the kingdom of Aletheia. Oscar, an orphan boy is his helper, a rung lower on the ladder than Wolf, a cruel child and Caleb’s apprentice.

Wolf belittles Oscar, who’s a bit slow but is brilliant at concocting potions. There’s a great demand for these mixtures—the “shining people, who live in Asteri, seek the tinctures.

Once magic flourished in Aletheia, back when wizards walked, but they’ve since died and been transformed into wizard trees. Now the “shining people” depend on Caleb, until the day the earth under Oscar’s feet is shaken, when greed prevails and magic is threatened.

This marvelous book is chock full of excitement and lessons learned.