Sunday, January 17, 2010

See You Later, Miss Home Invader! The Trouble with Goldie by Meg Elias

Dear Isabelle,

You may not remember me, but I remember you very well. I need your help, Jelly.

Every day I make the beds, clean the house, and make a big pot of oatmeal for my family. We always go on a short walk before lunch. Lately when we return home, our house is a disaster! Broken chairs, dirty dishes, sometimes we even find a little girl asleep in my son's bed! This has to stop!

Please come quickly!
Your old friend M.B.

A mysterious, unstamped letter, addressed to Isabelle, nicknamed "Jelly Belle," somehow has a familiar ring to it. Then Jelly remembers where she's heard this tale before. Digging out her favorite old story book that night, she settles herself under the covers with her trusty flashlight for some investigation, but when she opens the story of The Three Bears, suddenly everything around her changes:

My flashlight blinked out and I shook it to jar the batteries. When it lit up again, I couldn't believe what I was seeing! I was on a forest trail, and there was a pretty cottage just ahead of me.

Jelly Belle is amazed to learn that whenever she had opened her old copy of the bear family's tale, the Bears were watching and listening to her as she read about them, and now Mama Bear has sent for her to intercede, "human to human," with their pretty but messy daily intruder. Back at the Bears' house with its owners, Jelly sees for herself the disorder inside--a hopelessly broken chair, apple cinnamon oatmeal splashed all over, and a pretty blonde girl about Jelly's age napping under Baby Bear's beloved "bank-et" upstairs.

But with Jelly on the job, communications go better, and she is able to draw out Goldie's reasons for these unexpected visits. It's all a matter of the wrong address, and Goldie is soon on her way to her intended destination at her Aunt Lily's cottage just down the road.

Meg Elias' proposed three-book series of beginning chapter books, Letters to Jelly Belle, promises more fairy tale-related adventures, all beginning with an intriguing letter from a storied character for Isabelle. Her first, The Trouble With Goldie: Letters to Jelly Belle (Volume 1), offers cozy adventures in the land of literature with easily accessible vocabulary for early chapter book fans.

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