Saturday, April 20, 2013

A tangle of knots by Lisa Graff

A Tangle of knots is quite simply a perfect book. It epitomizes all the reasons why I adore reading and I why I especially love children's books.

In the world of this book people fall into two categories - those with a talent and others who are called Fair.  There are nine characters in this book and we meet each in his or her own chapter after reading the vital prologue set fifty-three years earlier.  There are also, not by chance, nine delicious cake recipes in this book and if you have been reading my blog then you will know, that like the character Will in this book, I am a cake eater.  "Will and Sally (his ferret) searched for adventure together nearly every day.  They knew exactly what adventure look like because of the storybooks Will read.  Giants. Monsters. Cake.  That was what the knights in the story books always found on their adventures."

As with all books written with this structure the lives of these nine adults and children are intriguingly  and inextricably linked but of course each of them has no idea about the depth and life changing nature of these connections.

Cady or Candence as she has been named at Miss Mallorys' home for lost girls has a talent for baking the right cake to match each person she meets. This talent means she regularly wins cake baking competitions because she is able to make a cake the judge will love.  Miss Mallory has a talent for matching orphans with their perfect family but so far she has not found the right family for Cady.

Meanwhile we read about  a shady character known only as The Owner.  He runs a lost luggage emporium in a building "that had once been an architectural beauty, as famous for its two tall, round turrets as for the goods that were produced inside."

I think this book would make a great read-a-loud for a middle or upper Primary class.  If you read and enjoy A Tangle of Knots then you should look for all the books by Blue Baillett.  Her books have the same tone of mystery and intrigue moving the reader through the type of plot that you just don't want to end and that you anticipate will have a joyous ending for all.  This book also reminded me of Savvy by Ingrid Law which is a book I also loved.

You might like to read a longer review with more plot details here.  Here is the author web site which has some good ideas of other books to read and a video showing how to bake Miss Mallory's Peach cake.  My next plan is to make one or two of these myself!

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