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Lunch » Tags » Books » Reviews » The Book of Bright Ideas by Sandra Kring » User review

Bright AND Beautiful

  • Nov 17, 2008
  • by
I realize it's an overused phrase, "I couldn't put it down," however, if any book deserves to be described in this manner, it's this charming and beautifully-written story called The Book of Bright Ideas. I picked it up because of the cover art, a little blond girl with a tutu and a tiara, and I liked the idea of reading about friendship. And that's exactly what this story is about. It's about a friendship not only between the nine-year-old narrator, "Button," and a little girl named Winnalee, but also between the women in their lives, the exotic and wild Freeda, the conservative and self-loathing Jewel, and the lovable and joyful Aunt Verdella. I found the voice of the narrator captivating and consistent, so pure in spirit--dripping with innocence--that I was completely engrossed in her story of the summer Freeda and Winnalee showed up in their small Wisconsin town.

The characters and the relationships are complicated and intriguing. Winnalee, a gypsy of a girl obsessed with fairies, dress-up clothes, and the urn holding the ashes of her "Ma," carries around a display book of blank pages with the title "Great Expectations," in which she records bright ideas as they come to her. She numbers them and has a goal to reach 100 bright ideas, believing this magical number will allow her to know all the secrets of life. When she moves into Button's dead grandmother's house, Winnalee becomes Button's best friend and allows Button to add ideas to the book as they come to her. The ideas are never random, but always based on a personal experience and refreshingly down to earth and amusing. For example, "Bright Idea #90: After you play beauty shop, your husband might say you look like a beauty queen, or he might just ask you where the Phillips screwdriver is. Either way, it doesn't matter, as long as your new hair makes you think nice things about yourself." I found myself devouring each chapter and particularly looking forward to the next bright idea.

I loved this book.
The Book of Bright Ideas

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More The Book of Bright Ideas by Sa... reviews
review by . May 21, 2010
I picked up The Book of Bright Ideas because I'm drawn to novels where serious storylines are filtered through the innocent observations of child narrator. This one did not disappoint. Eight-year-old Evelyn is fascinated when young  Winnalee and her 25-year-old sister Freeda show up in town. The sisters are unlike anyone she has met; spirited and carefree, they challenge the proper and refined ways of the rest of the town - in particular, that of Evelyn's tightly wound mother and emotionless …
About the reviewer
Michele VanOrt Cozzens ()
Ranked #260
I am the mother of two daughters--a tween and a teen. Need I say more about my current state of mind?
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