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  Bookends: Dan Davidson

The Girl Who Sang Flowers

Reviewed: October 11, 2006
By: D. R. Feltis / illustrations by Chris Caldwell
Publisher: www.lulu.com
32 pages, $25.00

Chris Caldwell and her brother, Doug, have come up with what Chris calls a retro-fairy tale, which they have self-published just to get the work out there for people to look at. Like a good many children’s stories this one started out in oral form as tales that young Doug used to tell younger Chris many, many, many (okay, I’ll stop now) years ago.

In “a country no one remembers very well” a little girl was born with the strange ability to sing flowers. Yes, when Tulinn sang, flowers sprang up everywhere - in the yard, under windows, and even on the tops of her new shoes.

That’s when the trouble started. The nasty, proud Queen was processing through the streets that day and when she saw the flower tipped shoes, she demanded that they be given to her as a present. When Tulinn refused, the Queen threw a temper tantrum, which made Tulinn laugh, musically of course, and what happened to the Queen just has to be seen.

Her Majesty took her revenge, sending her Imp to do his dirty work at Tulinn’s house. Imp was an elfish sort of fellow whose specialty was grossing people out, creating terrible messes, and making life miserable for whoever the Queen ordered him to punish. The list of dreadful things that he did at Tulinn’s home is pretty extensive.

The solution to the situation depends on Tulinn’s clever use of her abilities to alter Imp’s basic nature and use him to turn the tables on the Queen. In the end Her Majesty gets the comeuppance she deserves and everybody else gets to live happily ever after.

We’re used to seeing Chris Caldwell’s work in colour on large posters, so the black and white line drawings she’s produced to help tell her brother’s story are a real change of pace. They are rendered in a classic fairy tale style and do have that retro touch to them. They work well, though, and have a bit of that Caldwell humour while not upstaging the words.

Apparently there are more tales from the “country no one remembers very well” where this one came from and the Feltis siblings plan to try hard to get them out to the public. At the moment, however, you can only buy this book online from the www.lulu.com website.

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