by M.E. HELLER
The Gate Between The Worlds: A trilogy of Brownie Adventures
Book III Eager young readers will love this modern fairy tale. It features Brownies and various other elemental beings, along with Skylar and Jeff, the two young boys from Books I and II. Followers of the trilogy will be especially thrilled! We hear they have been nearly dying of suspense. In this last adventure the Brownies find a mysterious red stone in their cave, lying in a puddle of blue paint, dropped there accidentally by a pair of rascally goblins who have stolen it from a dragon’s treasure trove paint. It is carried to Earth by the Brownies and dropped into the fireplace on Pappy’s place on the Green Mountain. The boys find it there later, hidden under the ashes of a dying fire. Hidden inside the bright red stone a salamander, a prince, Sparkalot, has come to Earth all the way from the World of Fire. Curious to visit other worlds, especially the World of Earth, he has run away from home. From burning down houses, setting toasters afire, to creating chaos in a school classroom, he has gotten into all sorts of mischief, and it is up to the boys, the brownies, and the flower fairy, Marigold ( who, at one point, gets swallowed by a fish) to send this naughty creature back to h the World of Fire.
Book II Who Killed The Flowers . Fairyland has changed! Sometimes forgetting how to perform the simplest magical operation, fairies, elves, wizards, dragons, and gnomes have begun to take on very human characteristics. A two thousand year old fairy godmother has retired from that profession and taken to her bed. An inventive, precocious, and wickedly troublesome wizard, Math, flies around in a flying saucer and plows through the Great Sea in a submarine. Fairies and elves have gradually begun to assume human lifestyles, such as a whacky version of Downton Abbey. An underwater monster known as Slimebottom has threatened to kill flowers… everywhere. It is up to the boys and their various elemental cohorts to put a stop to it .
Book I The Return of the Brownies, by M.E. Heller. Brownies, aside from cameras, cookies, Girl Scouts and “points” (an award for doing something special), are actually part of the gnome family, as are goblins and a few other species that haven’t yet been imagined. The Brownie, designated “earth elemental” by Paracelsus, a 17th Century German doctor, was said to abide in hollow tree trunks, beneath forest leaf and brush and, sometimes, in your house. Perhaps real brownies lived with 19th Century writer/illustrator Palmer Cox in the towered Quebec manor house he called “Brownie Castle.” It was Palmer Cox who made the Brownie famous. Perhaps he saw their tiny shadows, heard their soft footsteps or, out of the corner of his eye, watched them dart across the room. We imagined that he did. and what if, after more than an hundred years, they returned to Brownie Castle? Such is the setting of The Return of the Brownies. a modern fairy tale wherein an immensely curious nine year old blessed with second sight is called upon to help defeat an evil stuffed toy which has proliferated the toy market and threatened to close the Gate Between the worlds.
A child’s review of Book I The Return of the Brownies