Midsummer Madness


Midsummer Bonfire by Nikolai Astrup, 1909

It is the end of June and school is finally out. Kids and parents pack their picnic baskets and head for the nearest meadow or beach, or as the last resort; a gravel football court, where a huge bonfire has been standing tall, composed of old branches and throw-away furniture, since the first day of summer. For some, this is the day they pack their cars or boats, and head for their summer getaways. But the bonfire is certainly not to be missed. Will the witch adorning the top of the driftwood tower fall over before she is licked clean by the building flames this year, or will she collapse at the first touch of smoke like last year?

The witch is the main character of this suspiciously pagan Nordic holiday. She, and her sisters, will be on the prowl on midsummer night, looking for eligible bachelors to kidnap, and god help the girl who tries to stand up for her lover! So the inhabitants of each village try to scare her away by burning replicas of her on a huge bonfire. Since the witches normally fly quite high in the sky, this tend to work fine. At least it has for centuries now, with a few exceptions, so do NOT forget the witch on top of the bonfire tonight!

Since this is a night steeped in magic, more than just witches may be heard from or even seen. The fairies will be out and about too. And it is said that, because of this, if a young girl picks seven different types of flowers from a meadow at midnight and puts them under her pillow when she sleeps, she will dream about the man she is going to marry!

When I was little, midsummers were spent at sea with my family. There would be a huge bonfire on a rock in the sea close to land, and it would burn far into the night. We would grill sausages on a smaller fire and tell each other stories about ghosts and witches. With me always being the main narrator. Sometimes I would scare my two younger siblings half to death!

If you want to learn more about our Nordic Midsummer Madness, you can read the beautiful book which is the inspiration for this post: ” Moominsummer Madness” by the Finnish author Tove Jansson. In this delightful children’s book you will encounter a floating theatre, electric ghosts, private property protests, and wild orphans who dream of seeing a real play.

Midsummer is a time for fairy magic, for fun and for family and friends. It is one of those delicious festivals that dates back to ancient times when it was the turning of the sun that marked the passing of the year, and gave cause for celebration. So no matter where you are, please have a magical Midsummer, and be sure to sprinkle a bit of Midsummer Madness in there.

Happy Midsummer!

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Her Majesty

Her Majesty is a New Zealand family/children’s film from 2001. The story is set in the 1950s and is about a young girl who loves Queen Elisabeth and dreams about meeting her, and an elderly Maori woman who is passionate about keeping her Maori legacy alive. When the two meet a magical friendship starts to blossom.

This film, which is inspired by true events, is a beautiful story about identity, belongingness, loyalty and friendship. It is about learning to appreciate our earth and the people who came before us.

I absolutely loved this sweet movie! I loved learning a bit about the Maori traditions, and I loved the way the story and the characters evolved. I could easily identify with the 12 year old Elisabeth and her courage and big heart when she stands up for her Maori friend Hira. I could also relate to the curiosity Elisabeth has for the deeply spiritual ways of the Maori people and how she learns to appreciate and even adopt some of these traditions. love the friendship between the two, and how genuine and respectful it is, despite the age difference.

I absolutely recommend this magical film to children, teenagers and adults alike! It is rare to come upon such a gem of a movie in these highly commercial times.

Of course, five out of five stars! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Pirates Past Noon

Pirates Past Noon is a children’s chapter book written by Mary Pope Osborne, and it is book number 4 in the “Magic Treehouse” series. The book is aimed at children between 5 and 9 years old, and is perfect for kids who have just learned to read. It also has beautiful pictures to help the reading along.

Annie and Jack have a magic treehouse filled with books! What makes the treehouse magic is that it can transport them into any picture in any book found in the treehouse library. In this book Annie and Jack go to a treasure island filled with gold thirsty pirates! The scary pirate captain, Cap’n Bones, wants Annie and Jack to find Kidd’s long lost treasure for him, and unless they do so he will keep them locked up in his pirate ship forever! How will Jack and Annie get out of this scrape?

This book is an easy read with short and precise sentences, no difficult words or long descriptions, and is perfect for young readers. It has mystery and adventure and all the traditional pirate ingredients needed to cook up a perfect story for little children; a parrot named Polly (who isn’t quite what she seems), a disheveled pirate crew, a treasure map, a Jolly Roger waving in the wind, a mean captain, a tropical treasure island and magic gold coins. I kept wishing, while reading this book, that I had a time machine so that I could give this book to my five year old self. She would have adored this book!
And definitely made her father build her a treehouse so that she could fill it with books and pretend that the treehouse could take her into to those books! 😄😄😄

This story is too simple to be one of those books you will enjoy reading as an adult. Having said that, you will still have a wonderful time reading this book out loud to a little child. It also gives you a perfect opportunity to make fierce pirate voices! 😂😂😂.

I absolutely recommend this wonderful book to children who are just starting out on their reading adventure, whether that is at 4 or 8 years old. All small children will delight in this book!

Keeper of the Lost Cities

Keeper of the Lost Cities is a children’s fantasy book written by Shannon Messenger. The book is aimed at children from 10 years and up, but the children in the book are around 12-14 years old. Keeper of the Lost Cities is the first book in a fantasy series about Sophie Foster.

Sophie Foster is a 12 year old girl who has been a telepath since she was five. She also has a photographic memory, something which has made her excel in school. But these special abilities have always made Sophie feel alone and out of place. She doesn’t really have any friends and she is so different from her sister and parents that she sometimes wonders if she was adopted. So one day, when a boy, a little older than herself, shows up claiming he is an elf, and that so is she, Sophie is surprised, but perhaps not as shocked as she should be. The elvin boy takes her with him home to see his elvin family in a magic country where having special abilities is a very common thing. Sophie feels at home at right away, but when the elves ask her to leave her human family forever and come live with them instead, Sophie is torn. Can she really leave the only family she has ever known? But if she doesn’t, how will she ever go back to being a normal human girl again?

I loved this book to pieces! The characters are wonderful and very endearing, the language flows like a dream, and the writer takes time to describe details and scenarios that spark our imagination and make the story very atmospheric. The plot reminded me again of J.K Rowling; the elvin kids go to a magical academy and much of the story takes place there. Having said that, this was not a new storyline when J.K Rowling wrote it either, so I am definitely not saying this book copies from the Harry Potter books. Rather I would say that this book is perfect for lovers of the Harry Potter series (like me). Sophie’s world is filled with magic, but also with difficult decisions, dilemmas and trials. What is different in this story is that it is more realistic in a way, I mean, the writer talks about some of the issues that we face today, of course in a symbolic way, and how those who often feel like misfits, are the ones who will have to step up and be the heroes.

I will heartily recommend this book to all lovers of the fantasy genre, children and adults alike, but perhaps especially to those who feel different, like many of the children we call “Star children” do.

Of course five beautiful golden stars to this magical book! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Room on the Broom

Room on the Broom is a picture book written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler. The book’s target group is children from 3-7 years old.

This little enchanted story, told in rhyme, is about a kind witch who goes out on a flight on her broom. Along the way she meets different animals who all wants to tag along. The kind witch grants them their wish, and this turns out to be a very lucky decision, for soon she meets a dragon who wants to eat her!

I absolutely fell in love with this adorable book! It is one of those picture books that will become a magic totem pole for a a child’s entire childhood. You know, one of those treasures that will transport you right back to that wonderful world, when you have long since left it behind.

I can just imagine a little child begging his or her guardian to read this book over and over again, and I think this is one of those books you wouldn’t even mind re-reading a hundred times over. When I first read it I was just dying to make all those adorable voices ( well, I kind of did after some time, I just couldn’t resist….!😳😳) and I laughed out loud at some of the funny parts!😂😂

I absolutely highly recommend this enchanting book! If you are one of those who have little ones in your life (or just someone like me who collects children’s books) , I would say it would make a wonderful addition to your children’s book library!

Of course, five beautiful twinkling stars! 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

A Wrinkle in Time

A Wrinkle in Time is a children’s fantasy book written by Madeleine L’Engle. It is aimed at children from 10 years and up, but I would say it rather suits children from 12 years and up. In fact, this book is quite an alternative book that I think will be be enjoyed by everyone, regardless of age, who is interested in science, philosophy and spirituality.

Meg, our heroine, is the oldest child in a family of six. She doesn’t feel like she is anything special, except perhaps good in maths. She is not beautiful like her mother or smart like her little brother. Nevertheless, when Meg, her baby brother and their friend, Calvin, set out on a mission to find Meg’s long lost scientist father, it is Meg who has to step up and be the real hero. But can she really defeat the darkness known as IT all by herself? And how in the world is she going to do that when her prodigy brother and brilliant father have already failed?

This book is different, very different. It is full of symbolism, philosophical and scientific references, and quotes from different cultures and respected cultural personalities. The scientific principles explained in the book is not easy to understand, not even for me and I am an adult! The book has been labeled a science fantasy novel, but to me, it feels more like a fable. It is definitely a book with a strong message, and the whole story is built up specifically to convey this message.

In my opinion, this book is perfect for those whom we call Star children (Indigo-, Crystal -, and rainbow children). People who feel they have been born with an insight that nobody else seems to have, or perhaps a very rare and powerful talent that often urges them to be light workers; someone who dedicates their life to show mankind the way onwards.

I would absolutely recommend this book to all star children, light workers, and children and adults alike who have a special interest in science, philosophy and spirituality.
It is a short book, and most definitely worth the read!

P.S I just learnt that this book is being made into a movie, starring Oprah Winfrey and Reese Witherspoon, that will be released next year. I will say, it is a much needed story to be told.

Magic Marks the Spot

“Magic marks the spot” is a children’s book written by Caroline Carlson. This is the first book in a series called ” The very nearly honorable league of pirates”. It is aimed at children from 9 years and up, but I think smaller children will also love this book.

Hilary is a young girl who dreams of being a pirate, but with a father who is an admiral in the navy, it is not a career choice her parents particularly support. Instead she is sent to an academy of high society girls where she is supposed to learn how to swoon and waltz and crochet. Naturally Hilary cooks up a plan to escape, and when she sees an advert for “crew wanted” on a pirate ship she seizes her chance.

I absolutely adored this book! It is funny, sweet, clever and creative. I love how it is not gold and diamonds the pirates are after but magic! I love the heroine, Hilary, she is kind, determined, confident, sensitive and fiercely courageous. She is a breath of fresh air in the current literary climate, where female heroines are often rude, defensive, hostile and selfish, all in the pretense of being independent and strong. But being rude is NOT the same as being confident. There is a scene in the book that sums up what I mean: while hunting for treasure Hilary and her crew mate Charlie face a big wall they have to get over. First, Charlie tries to lift Hilary over the wall, when that doesn’t work, Hilary tries lifting Charlie, but she is also unsuccessful, so they start looking for secret passageways through the wall instead.

The language in this book flows so easily, and there is something to entertain you and make you laugh out loud on every page, so you don’t have to race-read to the end to get to the action part, or to find out how it eventually ends. The dialogue is super witty and clever and highly entertaining. I especially love the gargoyle, an enchanted stone figure with the most fabulous personality.

I will very very strongly recommend this book, to girls, boys, and to adults. I think it is a perfect book to read out loud together with a child. Even to very small children. This book is just a wonderful treat, especially to pirate lovers! To me, Hilary represents exactly the kind of pirate I dreamt of being when I was little.

Of course five fat shiny stars to this magical book! 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟