CLOAKED by Alex Flinn (HarperTeen, February 2011) pulls several threads from traditional stories and reweaves them into a new cloth. Part "Elves and the Shoemaker," "The Frog Prince," "The Fisherman and his Wife," "The Six Swans," and several other folk and fairy tales find their way into the story of Johnny, a teen charged with keeping his family's shoe repair business in operation in the lobby of a swanky South Beach Hotel. The visit of a Princess leads him on a journey filled with danger and magic and giants. The story is action-packed and retains much of the oral tradition quality in terms of motifs and archetypes and the like. So many kids do not know these ancient stories. Flinn helps them fill in the gaps (and in her afterword she does delineate the stories that are contained in the novel).
Here is the scene from the balcony this morning. We are heading down there for a stroll along Waikiki before our tour this afternoon.