Cheryl Cheryl's Comments (member since Oct 21, 2013)


Cheryl's comments from the Children's Books group.

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188 (Of course, discussions remain open, so readers can chime in whenever they get a chance....)
May 25, 2016 04:13PM

188 Welcome! I had to look up Ladybird books, turns out it's a UK imprint of Penguin. Perhaps somewhat comparable to Little Apple books in the US, which I have more familiarity with since I'm from the US: https://shop.scholastic.com/shop/en/t...
188 Fjóla wrote: "Manybooks wrote: "Wow, I cannot believe this happened to you, sigh. Did someone flag a review you posted? Or was it because of the fact that you do not suffer spamming, or manipulative authors with..."

I've moved almost all my activity to Leafmarks, especially reviews. And I do very few book or list edits anymore.
May 23, 2016 03:50PM

188 Jenny wrote: "Hansel and Gretel. Nothing to add about this either but it does have lovely illustrations. (A few of the faces are a bit unsettling to me, but with the events happening in the story, ..."

I have to admit this didn't occur to me, but it makes sense. Thanks!
188 People are hoping to be led to books about fairies, because they're interested in, but unfamiliar with, what's available?

I've used that strategy for several of our previous themes.
(OT - what bothers me is when ppl vote and then don't participate in the discussion itself.)
May 21, 2016 09:51AM

188 Avi's Finding Providence is short, so I did go ahead and order it, just so we get a taste of Roger Williams. I also ordered The Silver Pencil and will try to reread it. And even though Foster's look at Abe is long, I ordered it and look forward to skimming it, at least.
May 21, 2016 09:40AM

188 Time to start looking for whichever of these books you'd like to read with us!

I particularly recommend The Hundred Dresses: it's short, rich in discussion ideas, and likely to be readily available.
188 I just came up with some discussion questions for a different work in a different group. They might help in this one, adapted of course.

Is there anything to the story besides the ideas and themes?

Are there particularly graceful lines or metaphors or sequences?

Are there allusions to other works, or to history or contemporary culture?

Is the story universal or more contextually relevant? Is it likely to become a classic, enjoyed and appreciated by future generations?
188 I'll read whatever is chosen that I can get. I suspect most ppl feel similarly - let the ppl who care the most do the choosing.

For me: It's just that Fairies is not a topic I'm particularly interested in. :shrug:
May 19, 2016 09:31PM

188 Kathryn wrote: "Yes, speaking of deeper meanings, the musical "Into the Woods" has those darker and more mature leanings in the song the Wolf sings to Red."

That's great fun, and available on video.
May 18, 2016 03:34PM

188 This version of Little Red Riding Hood is so wordy & long that it's awkward, imo. But of course the art deserves the Caldecott all on its own. That little girl's expression just melts my heart.

Interesting that the girl is so young. As some of you have surely heard, the story is supposed to symbolize the necessity for girls to protect their virginity. I'm not sure what the grandmother's role in that reading is, but the girl is supposed to be careful and stay on the path to a traditional marriage.

Anyway, ever since I was little I knew that a wolf could not swallow anyone whole, and even were it possible, they could not be rescued without a big mess of blood and entrails. So, this is another story that just doesn't work for me, in any picture-book version I've read.

There is a companion to the Rumplestiltskin book I mentioned above, called Cloaked in Red. I wasn't quite as entertained by those imaginings, and some are more mature/ sophisticated. But I do recommend it for any of you who like to explore different interpretations of a theme, and different themes drawn from a common template.
May 18, 2016 03:18PM

188 While I totally respect that some of you love this version of Hansel and Gretel, I have to admit that I, personally, did not. I appreciate that it's the mother (not the stereotypical step-mother) who loses her senses and gives up her maternal feelings. I appreciate the art for the scenery & architecture. I'm thankful that the reason that Hansel looks back for his kitten and pigeon is finally explained.

But, I don't quite believe the explanation - one can drop a pebble without turning around - I always thought the kitten and pigeon symbolized something. And I don't like the way the people look, with oversize heads and not a resemblance to anyone I've ever known. I miss the fence of transformed gingerbread children, and I miss the ride on the duck on the way home.

My opinions, not a judgement.
May 18, 2016 02:59PM

188 Rumpelstiltskin is indeed beautifully illustrated. I love that the people seem real, as if drawn from life, as if the models were family or friends of Zelinsky.

I always feel sorry for the imp in these stories. The father and the king are greedy, the daughter either greedy or stupid (in this version, she's at first coerced, then seems happy enough), but the imp wants a child. Now, tell me I'm using rose-colored glasses, but I always thought he wanted to child to love, to raise to be a comfort in his old age kind of thing. I'm not sure but that he wouldn't do a better job than the greedy king and the none-too-bright or brave miller's daughter.

But that's just my opinion, of course. Just for fun, some of you might want to check out the several little explorations in Vivian Vande Velde's The Rumpelstiltskin Problem.
May 18, 2016 02:14PM

188 When I Was Young in the Mountains is quietly lovely. What a lucky girl, to have grandparents that managed to teach her to be happy with her life, despite all the challenges. I never would have been satisfied -- and in fact wasn't, with my childhood that resembled hers in several key ways.

I was certainly surprised to see, in the author bio on the jacket, that this was Rylant's first book! Maybe that's why Goode, already established, illustrated it.

Not my favorite style of pix, but they suit.
May 18, 2016 02:01PM

188 Have You Seen My Duckling?

I would love to give this five stars, with its theme of the one duckling being the bold adventurer, the simple text, the counting, the hide'n'seek... but the birds are not drawn accurately! I got out my Sibley and I can't tell if the one is a bittern, or a heron; the other a grebe, or a merganser....
May 15, 2016 08:33AM

188 :)

Ten, Nine, Eight is, of course, a wonderful book, for all the reasons mentioned above. It's rare to see a counting book that counts down, so that's a bonus... children will master their numbers more readily if they're exposed to them from different perspectives.

I don't know if Bang did this intentionally, but there's another 'hidden' counting pattern in the book. On every page, the *previous* number can also be counted. Usually it's quite easy. I only felt a stretch on the "3 loving kisses" page, but even there a child & parent could count four hands, or four legs, or four spaces between the crib bars.
May 14, 2016 07:02PM

188 Right, of course. But since these trips were each begun in the wee hours of the morning, and in a car that just didn't look capable of going more than a few hundred miles at a time, I suspect the melons and the grapes didn't grow all that far apart.... :)
May 14, 2016 04:14PM

188 Stephen Gammell, who illustrated The Relatives Came, also illustrated one of our previous Caldecott Honor books, Where the Buffaloes Begin. I don't find it easy to see the resemblance in the two sets of pictures!

There does seem to be a bit of a backstory to this, as the relatives stay "for weeks and weeks," which, it seems to me, is a bit long for a family reunion. But maybe this large family is very close-knit, and did not choose to live so far apart, and treasures every minute together.
May 12, 2016 04:03PM

188 Thanks for all comments, folks, and for not taking offense at my bluntness. Lots of things to think about.... :)
188 Ooh, great topic. I know there are several but I'll have to think and come back....
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