Back on Track

New reviews coming soon! I'll be importing my work from the past two years, but in the meantime,
I'm reclaiming my small place on the web.

Monday, June 19, 2000

Children's Book Review

Spread Your Wings and Fly: An Origami Fold-And-Tell
by Mary Chloe Schoolcraft Saunders, and Carla McGregor Mihelich (Illustrator)
ISBN-10: 0966289218
Review by Heather Froeschl

"A piece of paper has a special purpose as you will see. You are like this piece of paper, for you, too, have a special purpose." "Spread Your Wings and Fly" is a wonderful tool of exploration into an ancient art and into the self. An origami fold and tell, this book guides in simple steps and through story, to creating a flapping crane. But it does more than that.

This book touches on life's lessons and builds self esteem. How? By demonstration - the first fold makes a triangle from a square, by bringing the opposite points together. The author encourages "think of two of your good points and bring them together." In this gentle affirming way the reader/participant is learning not just a relaxing, satisfying art, but is learning about herself as well.

Mary Chloe Schoolcraft Saunders served for eleven years as an elementary school speech-language pathologist where she used origami to foster the development of speech. Fold and tell is a proven training method of this art but it also serves as a means of helping children to open up and communicate. My young daughter loves the book, the art and the process, as I am sure you will. The illustrations are beautiful and rich, while the diagrams are precise and clear. A wonderful addition to any educators, troop leaders or your own personal library.

Monday, June 12, 2000

Non-Fiction/memoir Review

On Writing
by Stephen King
ISBN-10: 0340820462
Review by Heather Froeschl

How does one become a writer? You might do better to ask, How does a writer not become? Stephen King tells the tale of his life journey as a writer to date. "On Writing" starts with his childhood and the bits and pieces of it that made him into the writer that he is. It is a personal, up front story of reality. How to become a writer? Mr. King doesn't tell us that. Rather he tells us how he developed as a writer, what he has done to improve his craft and that you can do these things for the good of your own work. Above all, he lets us know that it can be done.

Aside from the personal side of what created the man, the writer, Mr. King does give lessons on the basic tools of the art. Editing, rewriting, research and references to Strunk and Whites' Elements of Style, comprise of a great guide for the writer. I would venture to say that Stephen Kings "On Writing" should be right next to Strunk and White, on the shelf of every prospective writer.

You don't have to be a Stephen King fan to enjoy, embrace or simply take into consideration this memoir on writing. Be prepared though, to learn about the man, the business, and the art of writing, along with a thing or two about yourself, if you take the lessons Mr. King learned and reflect.

What I liked best about this writing guide was the eye opening, slap-upside-the-head realization that yes, Mr. King is not just a mere legend in the publishing world but very much a human being (who most likely will never again mistake poison ivy as a harmless leaf) and if he can do it, so can I, so can you. If he cannot not write, I can be free to not not write as well. Thanks for the permission to follow my dreams Mr. King!

For those who are Stephen King fans, witness for the first time in print, the tragic accident that almost took his life, how he got through it and what writing has to do with his ongoing recovery. I think that in itself is the greatest reward this book will bring, but as an added benefit to the rest of us it will inspire you to break out the pen or laptop and get down to it.