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The Books of Elsewhere, The Shadows


Review by: Ann M. Mills, M.S.Ed.

Everyone has studied a photo, a picture in a book or a painting on a wall and dreamed of what it would be like to be able to be in it. We can’t, of course, but 11-year old Olive, who has just moved into a creepy, old mansion with her parents, finds that she can climb into the paintings on the walls of the house by using some “magic” spectacles she finds in an old dresser drawer. However, intriguing as that sounds, Olive finds that travel in the paintings is spooky, and full of danger and mystery. Olive’s parents are conveniently oblivious to her daily adventures and are traveling to a convention at the end of the story when she unwraps and solves the scary secrets of the old mansion. I think this book was published with “series” in mind, so if your kids like it you might look for more to come.

***Extra Activities***
1. Get out the old easel and paints and engage your kids in painting again… maybe work on a painting of their own secret mansion or a rain forest scene with lots of animals and trees and flowers…imagination is a wonderful thing.
2. Next, dream what it would be like to be able to go into your painting and write a short story or mystery.