Book Reviews: Stories for all ages

Story of ArbuxThe Story of Arbux

by K. Fritz                 Saga Press www.sagapress.ca 

Available on Amazon.

The Story of Arbux is a delightful tale of a 16-year-old’s friendship and adventure with a giant. The book relates the tale through the memories of the protagonist’s grandson as he recounts the adventure as told by his grandfather.

Stories from Opa (Grandpa)
I really enjoyed this book. Reading this brought back many memories of being a young boy doing things with my grandfather in his workshop or in his yard.

He was always telling me stories and teaching me many things that I use throughout my life. It is appropriate for any age and (because of the way the author breaks up the story into different sections) it makes a wonderful book to read to children and to let them read on their own. The illustrations by Caroline K. Jensen are few, but they add a nice touch to the story as we move along.

Friendship, Loyalty, Duty
The format sets up a great dynamic between the four main characters of the book: the grandson, Grand-dad, Grand-dad as a teen, and the giant – Arbux. In between the memories of the grandkids hearing the tale of this great adventure, we are exposed to wonderful lessons that have a greater meaning when coming from a beloved grandparent.

Grandson movingly intersperses memories of Grand-dad taking care of himself and his siblings which adds to the flow of the story rather than interrupt it. Fritz masterfully weaves the memory of hearing the story with the retelling of it in way that we grow up with the children while experiencing Grand-dad and Arubx’ journey to Norway.

We learn valuable lessons of growing up in a loving way that doesn’t feel like preaching at all. Grand-dad treats the children with respect and carefully explains what he means in language they can process and comprehend. Many of the lessons come from “Oddy Quotes”- quotations from the Havamal and Eddas.

Among the lessons were how to treat others, the length of friendships, and being a good host and a good guest. These lessons are such a part of Grand-dad’s character, that we accept the words as if they are from the High One Himself.

Grand-dad’s story progresses from his chance meeting with the giant to building trust and friendship. He realizes that Arbux is out of place, deduces where he might be from (based on his knowledge and belief from the Eddas and the Old Ones) and determines to see Arbux get home.

We are treated to many fun, tense, and touching situations as the two grow closer in their own ways. By the conclusion of the story, readers genuinely feel a connection to Grand-dad’s commitment, love, and sense of honor to his friend. And we find a love for them both too.

Fritz creates a sense of sitting in the presence of Grand-dad with the children waiting for the next installment of the fascinating tale. With the memories of Grand-son, we come to love and to aspire to Grand-dad’s approach to life.

The Story of Arbux would make a wonderful animated film or short series. I really hope someone would take a look and make it happen. It earns a treasured place on the shelf with other favorites and will be very nice to revisit now and then as well as sharing with children. It is definitely one to have as a physical book to more easily go back and forth between the story.


At Friggas FeetAt Frigga’s Feet: Sasha, the Rabbit & The Tale of the Sun and Moon       

by Larisa Hunter:        Illustrated by Laura Bell

Saga Press     Available on Amazon.

At Frigga’s Feet is a great book of two tales that are really nice for little children. The two tales have great lessons that are told by Larisa Hunter in ways that they can understand and enjoy. And are fun to read.

The first story is about Sasha the Rabbit who gets a little greedy and then lies to Frigga to avoid the consequences. But lies get out of control and they harm others, as Sasha found out. The story is told in such a way that parents can interact with their children while reading it to get their feedback and see how they would respond to such a situation. This is a really nice way to impart the value of honesty and doing the right thing.

The second tale is the story of Mani and Sunna and how they came to be the bearers of the Moon and the Sun.

The illustrations by Laura Bell are so colorful and easy to identify with, that I wish there were more throughout the story of Sasha, the Rabbit. The illustrations in The Tale of the Sun and Moon enhance the story and will help little ones visualize the characters as we progress through it.

I look forward to sharing this with the children of friends and family and to sitting down and reading it with them. Each of the two stories can be easily read before bedtime – if the kids are not too tired from a long day of play.

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