Tuesday, December 23

Emma and the Blue Genie

Emma and the Blue Genie
Cornelia Funke
Translated by Oliver Latsch, illustrated by Kerstin Meyer

My rating: ★★★

ISBN: 978-0385375405
Publisher: Random House
Date of publication: October 14, 2014
Age: Grades 2 - 5
Genre: Fantasy

Themes: power, magic, genies, Middle Eastern folklore, courage

One dark night, Emma found a bottle floating in the ocean, unstopping it to reveal a rather diminutive and weak blue genie named Karim. He can't even grant her three wishes in such a state! Karim's nemesis, an evil yellow genie has taken his power away by stealing his magic nose ring and trapping him in a bottle. Emma and her dog have to help him get his powers back!

Funke originally wrote the story back in 2002 in her native German. The story itself is pretty adorable, with little spots of good humor and imagination. It's rather fairy-tale-esque with a clear villain, hero, and clear consequences. The translation, however, is not my favorite. Just released this year in English, Latsch seemed to have forgotten the story is targeted towards kids. I mean, couldn't you have put in "camel" instead of "dromedary"? Basically, the language (vocabulary and structure) is pretty complex. So it's up to you. Give your kids a challenge, or read a cute story for them that you're prepared to re-translate.

Find it at your library or on Amazon

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