Friday, February 8, 2013

Splendors and Grooms

Schlitz, Laura Amy. 2012. SPLENDORS AND GLOOMS. New York: Candlewick Press. ISBN 9780763653804 [Suggested Grade Levels 5-8]

“People can’t change into puppets,” argued Lizzie Rose.

“Grisini can change’em.”

For some a puppet show is a fun and enjoyable event, with funny characters and intriguing stories. For others a puppet show provides feelings of terror behind the eyes of the wooden marionettes. In Gaspare Grisini’s puppet shows the audience experiences both.

When Clara, a wealthy but sad girl, becomes mesmerized by the puppet show put on by Grisini she does not realize her life is about to drastically change. After Clara’s disappearance two young orphans, Lizzie Rose and Parsefall, Grisini’s assistants, find themselves trapped in a haunting adventure filled with crime, kidnappings, and even witchcraft. 

Set in Victorian London the book paints a dark and beautiful picture in the reader’s mind of the splendors and glooms of the time period. By taking the reader on a journey into this time period, one encounters magic and wonder alongside the seedy underbelly that has become well known of that part of history. From Grisini’s unsavory lifestyle to Clara’s sheltered home life the reader is introduced to every faction of London living and through this a masterpiece of literature springs to life before your very eyes…much like Grisini’s puppets…

Marionettes are a special type of puppet. Research different types of puppets.

Create your own puppet and put on a puppet show.

Practice moving as if you are a marionette, have your friends take turns being the puppeteer and the puppet.

Other chapter books containing puppetry :
Bone, Ian. THE PUPPET’S EYE. ISBN 9781434207937
Grant, Vicki. THE PUPPET WRANGLER. ISBN 9780329612788
Paterson, Katherine. THE MASTER PUPPETEER. ISBN 9781424208418

By Jane Jergensen


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