Downloadable Literature Guides

You can purchase the 60-page literature guide PLUS 53-slide interactive Jeopardy-type game for Splendors and Glooms for immediate download! Only $19.95!
Click Here to purchase and download this Kids Wings Literature Guide through Teachers Pay Teachers.

Splendors and Glooms
Order the Hard Book, Kindle, Paperback, or awesome Audible Edition
by Laura Amy Schlitz
2013 Newbery Honor Book
2013 Kids Wings Award Book
Language Alert

A colorful cart rattles its way along a London street in Victorian England. Pushed by two dirty orphans and pulled by the amazing puppet master Gaspare Grisini, the awkward cart soon blossoms into a puppet theater that promises smiles, laughter, and wonder. Children gather in the park for a treat, but the marionette performance that is about to begin will change the life of young Clare Wintermute forever. Mesmerized, not only by the marionettes, Clare finds herself equally enchanted by Grisini's apprentice, Parsefall, a small, skinny young boy with only 9 fingers who works the puppets with the puppet master and Lizzie Rose, a girl with reddish hair and a narrow face who plays the instruments during the show.

Afterward, Clare wants nothing more than to schedule the puppet caravan and its fantoccini (marionettes) to perform at her birthday party, but she has no idea the danger she is inviting into her lavish home. You see, Grisini, is not only a puppet master. He is also an evil magician with plans of his own.

And then, there is Grisini's friend, Cassandra, who lives in a crumbling mansion on a beautiful countryside in a place named Strachan's Ghyll (pronounced Strawn's Gill). You will soon see that Cassandra is a witch. An old, evil witch around whose neck hangs a filigree locket containing a powerful fiery stone that not only lends her its power, but that also keeps her under its evil spell and promises a horrible death. She MUST break the curse! But Cassandra needs ... some children.

Splendors and Glooms weaves two stories into a unique dark Gothic tale complete with pure Good and pure Bad fairytale-like characters, magic, Bible verses, Christian faith vs. witchcraft, the struggle between good and evil, a journey, universal truths like forgiveness, generosity, and transformation.

Splendors and Glooms won the well-deserved 2013 Newbery Honor Award. It is filled with exciting adventure, high-level vocabulary, deep enchanting characterization, and beautiful literary quality that brings the fairy-tale motif to a new level of enjoyment for children, ages 11-100! The Kids Wings 60-page literature guide and 100-slide Jeopardy-type game will provide problem-solving, enthusiastic collaboration, character-building, and social and academic growth in groups. It is one of Kids' Wings favorite young adult fairytale and is forecast to become our favorite adult fairytale when we grow up.

Would C. S. Lewis have approved? YES! In his words: "And I think it possible that by confining your child to blameless stories of child life in which nothing alarming ever happens, you would fail to banish the terrors, and would succeed in banishing all that can ennoble them or make them endurable. For, in the fairy tales, side by side with the terrible figures, we find the immemorial comforters and protectors, the radiant ones; and the terrible figures are not merely terrible, but sublime."

Language Alert-p. 97 (d---), p. 265 (b----)

Research Links for
Splendors and Glooms
by Laura Amy Schlitz

The Author's Story

Fairytale Elements

Parsefall's Dialect: What is a Cockney Dialect?

British Coins and Their Relative Values

Wikipedia History of Puppets
The Center for Puppetry Arts
The History of Puppetry in Britain
The Theater Seat Store
Wikipedia History of Marionettes
Making of Sleeping Beauty Marionettes
How to Use Marionettte controls (YouTube)
Beautiful Marionette Ballet (YouTube)
Marionette Show: Step Dancers (YouTube)

Ballet for Dummies
Ballet Dictionary

Beginner Ballet
Ballet Positions

Boston Ballet
Purchase the Video: The Sleeping Beauty Ballet

Cholera (Wikipedia)
What is Cholera?

What is Diphtheria?
Diphtheria in Victorian England
The Maillardet Automaton
What is an Automaton?

Antique Bird Automaton (YouTube Video)
Victorian Automata
Automatons in The Invention of Hugo Cabret

A special thank you to the gifted artist, Natamur, for allowing us
to use her beautiful drawing "Fantoccini" for the Cover Art in our Trials and Courage collection of literature guides and for the ballerina in our header above.


You can purchase the 60-page literature guide PLUS 53-slide interactive Jeopardy-type game for Splendors and Glooms for immediate download! Only $19.95!
Click Here to purchase and download this Kids Wings Literature Guide through Teachers Pay Teachers.

The Kids Wings 60-page literature guide PLUS interactive Jeopardy-type game, perfect for lesson plans, handouts, or projection on your SmartBoard for Splendors and Glooms by Laura Amy Schlitz is now available!

The 60-Kids Wings Activity Guide Contains:
Background Building
Pre-Reading Discussion Cards
Anticipation Guide
2-Page Readers Theater Script
5-page Vocabulary List
Vocabulary Poster Template and Model
5-in-a-Row Vocabulary Logic page and Blank 5-in-a-Row Template
Chart of "Splendors" and "Glooms" from the Story
Character Studies
Themes in the Story
Diamante Poetry, Model and Writing
Collecting and Using Visuals and Text Evidence
15 Comprehension Pages, Multiple Choice, Short Answer, Visualizing
Character Connections, Crossword Puzzle
Lizzie Rose's Character
Recall, Analyze, Discuss, and Write About Events in Chapters 50-51
5 Research Assignment
Answer Pages
Plus, a BONUS Interactive Jeopardy-type Game

Splendors and Glooms is included in the Kids Wings' Trials and Courage CD. You can purchase any of the 22 literature collection for $19.95 each. But, if you purchase the Trials and Courage CD, you will have 22 units for only $1.59 each! It's one of the best offers in the USA!


Extended Fantasy Reading

Rump: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin

(Kids Wings Unit coming, Spring 2014)
Fairest of All

(A funny Snow White spin-off)
Bella at Midnight

(An awesome full-length Cinderella story)
Ella Enchanted
(Great full-length story)
The Shadows
Witch's Guide to Cooking with Children
The Tale of Despereaux
The Cabinet of Wonders
The Magician's Elephant
by Kate DiCamillo

Kids Wings Picture Book Fairytales
Kids Wings Scary Novels and Picture Books


Quotes to memorize:

"When I was ten, I read fairytales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty, I read them openly. When I became a man, I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up." C. S. Lewis

"Those of us who are blamed when old for reading childish books were blamed when children for reading books too old for us. No reader worth his salt trots along in obedience to a time table." C. S. Lewis

“I believe that in a way, sadness is happiness for there can be no wrong without right, no light without dark, no success without failure, no relief without pain, no love without hatred and no Snow White without the evil queen.” Girl234


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Disclaimer: The links here have been scrutinized for their grade and age appropriateness; however, contents of links on the World Wide Web change continuously. It is advisable that teachers and parents review all links before allowing student use. Please contact us immediately if you find any inappropriate links.

© 2013, Suzy Red, Lockhart, Texas
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