Tag: short stories (page 1 of 1)

Wingfeather Tales

There’s a spot on our porch I check every time I come home—to the left of the door, on the girls’ stripey chair. If I’m going to get a package, that’s where it will be, and if there is a package there, then it is probably full of books. There have been a lot of packages there lately, because, as I write, it’s nearly Christmas and I loathe going to stores (I drank the online shopping Kool-Aid early and never looked back).

But a few weeks ago, I found a package on the stripey chair that said not “Amazon Fulfillment Center” on the return address but “The Rabbit Room,” and I knew that something very, very good was about to happen to me.

I was right. Stickers and posters and patches happened, as well as a signed paperback copy of The Warden and the Wolf King. Happy little girls with their hands full of stickers and posters and patches happened. But I dug into the package looking for one thing and one thing only: Wingfeather Tales.

Wingfeather Tales, ed. Andrew Peterson | Little Book, Big Story

When Andrew Peterson ran his most recent Kickstarter campaign, one of the stretch goals was this collection of short stories set in Anniera, but written by a handful of my favorite authors and illustrators (if you’ve read anything by them, then they’re probably your favorites, too): N. D. Wilson, Jennifer Trafton, John Hendrix, Justin Gerard, Jonathan Rogers, to name a few.

That, I thought, looking at the line-up, is going to be awesome. But even with “awesome” as my starting point, I still completely underestimated Wingfeather Tales.

The Wingfeather Saga & Wingfeather Tales | Little Book, Big Story

The stories the authors turned out differ wildly in tone and style: some are comic, some epic, one is a narrative poem, one is a novella so devastating that I still can’t think about it without feeling an uncomfortable tightness in my throat. At least two of the stories cleverly link Anniera up with the worlds of other beloved books; one tells a story we’ve all been wanting to hear. The authors clearly enjoyed being set loose in the world of the Wingfeather Saga.

The Wingfeather Saga & Wingfeather Tales | Little Book, Big Story

I think I expected this book to be a fun sort of honorary member of the series, maybe a collection of extra material that would be pleasant to read, if not as good as the saga itself—sort of what Chronicles of Avonlea is to the Anne of Green Gables series. But Wingfeather Tales is its own beautiful contribution to the Wingfeather canon, so vivid and enjoyable that I can’t imagine rereading the full saga without re-reading the Tales, too. And that is beyond awesome.

Wingfeather Tales
Ed. Andrew Peterson (2016)


As a new parent, I thought I hated Winnie-the-Pooh. I was thinking of Disney, of course, and all I saw was the pudgy dumpling of a bear that turned up on everything from bouncy seats to diapers. I lumped Pooh in with the bland children’s programming that I couldn’t stand—Barney, Blue’s Clues and Dora, to name a few—and I had not forgotten the Heffalumps of my own childhood. (They were frightening.)

But then, I picked up a copy of Winnie-the-Pooh at my mom’s house and within sentences realized that I had badly misjudged that silly old bear. I borrowed that book and began reading it to Lydia, then two-and-a-half and recently a big sister. Winnie-the-Pooh was her first chapter book, and reading it together became a sweet point in our day: during the baby’s morning nap, every day, we snuggled up on the couch and read about Pooh and Piglet and Eyeore and all of them, really. I was never sure how much she understood, but she never got restless and always wanted more.

Now it’s Sarah’s turn. She’s two-and-a-half and already smitten with the whole cast of characters, so we curl up before her nap and read a little every day. She’s taken to telling me stories about Pooh (which, sadly, I can’t always understand). But I love them.

The amply illustrated, short story format has seemed to fit my girls nicely, but having recommended Winnie-the-Pooh  to other families whose kids have had no interest in it until the seventh or tenth try, I have concluded that there is no “right” age for Pooh. Your kids may not take to Milne right away, but try it again in a few months: everyone, it seems, warms up to Pooh eventually. Especially grown-ups.

The Complete Tales of Winnie-the-Pooh
A. A. Milne, Ernest Shepherd (1926)