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Strange Happenings: Five Tales of Transformation

Review

Strange Happenings: Five Tales of Transformation

by Avi

Be afraid. Be very afraid. Because many strange things happen in the five stories in this book.

Tom is so bored he wishes he could sleep all day like his cat Charlie. Suddenly, this unusual feline starts talking to Tom and asks if he really would like to be a cat. Tom thinks he would, so Charlie takes him to a deserted building filled with cats. They are granted an audience with the wizard cat, who transforms Tom into Charlie and vice versa. For Tom, however, the experience isn't quite what he expected it to be; after a few weeks he's even more bored as a cat and wishes he could return to being a human. There's a small problem though: Charlie likes being a boy and doesn't want to change back. He explains to Tom the difficulty of transforming back into a human and that many of the cats in the deserted building are boys and girls who thought they were bored as well. Does Tom return to being a boy? It's a very strange happening.

And then there's a queen who desperately wants a little girl --- the most flawlessly beautiful girl in the world, to be exact. So she secretly consults a withered, ugly old hag named Esmeralda and proceeds to insult her. Still, Esmeralda grants her wish and soon the queen gives birth to a flawlessly beautiful daughter named Babette the Beautiful. The trouble is, the princess is so flawless that she's invisible! The queen banishes all mirrors from the kingdom and describes to artists how to draw portraits of her daughter. When the queen dies, Babette does not know she's invisible since there are no mirrors. When the princess encounters Esmeralda by chance, Esmeralda tells her the truth. Understandably Babette is astounded and furious, and demands to have a mirror brought to her. She seeks out Esmeralda again and discovers how to become visible. Unfortunately, things don't turn out exactly right, and Babette the Beautiful isn't so beautiful any more.

STRANGE HAPPENINGS is not for the faint-hearted. But for anyone who believes there are more things in heaven and earth that no one can explain, this just may be the book for you. You've been warned!

Reviewed by Robert M. Oksner on September 1, 2008

Strange Happenings: Five Tales of Transformation
by Avi

  • Publication Date: September 1, 2008
  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Sandpiper
  • ISBN-10: 0152064613
  • ISBN-13: 9780152064617