Basic Plot: Efficiency is key when you have 12 children in the house.
In a lot of ways, this story hides its age well. I can't imagine running a househ...moreBasic Plot: Efficiency is key when you have 12 children in the house.
In a lot of ways, this story hides its age well. I can't imagine running a household with 12 children in it. I think I'd go mad. The father, an efficiency expert, is constantly trying to improve his family's quality of life through his expertise. The issues that arise due to the size of the family and their concerns are pretty timeless. Now, that's not to say that there aren't some dated moments in here, there's actually a small section where the dad does a "minstrel show" bit that's pretty racist, but it could easily be staged to avoid the worst of it. Some people call this play "hilarious." Now, I saw it as mildly amusing, but not anything more than that. Again, good staging and the right cast will make or break this script. There's also a bittersweetness that runs through the play, as we discover right from moment one that the kids are telling a story about the past, and we know almost immediately that the father dies soon after the end of the play, which colors everything with a sadness that mitigates the humor. It was a good play. The story made sense (even if, as a teacher, I saw some issues with the dad's idea of "work" being all that's necessary to skip a few grades in school) and it had emotional weight. There was nothing objectionable in the text, and while it might end up being a little too vanilla at times, this would still be a decent show to be put on today.(less)
Basic Plot: Jingle is a puppy who wants a family of his own.
This was another free Nook download. Apparently, there is actually a toy dog you can buy t...moreBasic Plot: Jingle is a puppy who wants a family of his own.
This was another free Nook download. Apparently, there is actually a toy dog you can buy that will interact with the story, but we didn't have it and my son still liked the story. Of course, he's kind of Christmas-obsessed right now and would probably have loved the story even if there were only pictures of puppies in Santa hats on all the pages. Hey, I think I may have discovered how to sell a book...
The art looked kind of like old-school claymation figures being photographed. There was a lot of detail, and it was overall really cute and a sweet story. Well worth the free download.(less)
Basic Plot: A child hearing about the presidential election wonders what would happen if things were slightly different.
This book was amusing, probabl...moreBasic Plot: A child hearing about the presidential election wonders what would happen if things were slightly different.
This book was amusing, probably more so for me than for my son. The child hears about the "presidential race" and immediately (as kids do) thinks of actual, physical running. She weighs the relative merits both her dog and cat have and tries to determine who would win this race and how. There are some thinly veiled references to clean vs. dirty campaigns that adults will get but kids will not, giving us something to enjoy in this book as well. The differences between cats and dogs are also used effectively here. The art is decent and the reading was good (I got this for free in the "read to me" section of the Nook book store). Overall, I thought it was a decent read, but my little monster hasn't asked for it again, so I'm assuming it wasn't quite funny enough for him. If it's still free on Nook download, you might want to give it a shot with older elementary level kids.(less)
WHY WHY WHY do people feel the need to CHANGE CLASSICS???
There...moreBasic Content: Old nursery rhymes/songs.
Warning: Rant ahead. At least it will be brief.
WHY WHY WHY do people feel the need to CHANGE CLASSICS???
There I am, looking through the Nook store, looking for freebies, and I see this "Read to Me" book for free that is supposed to teach kids classic nursery rhyme songs like "Ring around the Rosie" and "Hickory Dickory Dock." Cool! My son is finally starting to want to sing songs like this.
Listen to book at bedtime and try to sing along, only to find some of the words are changed and ALL of the tunes are altered somehow so that when I try to sing to my son I end up sounding something like Scully from "The Little Mermaid" as I try to adjust on the fly.
This is a VERY beginning reader for small children just beginning to identify words. There is no story, just pretty muc...moreBasic Premise: Stuff on a farm.
This is a VERY beginning reader for small children just beginning to identify words. There is no story, just pretty much a list of stuff that can be found on a farm. It's put together well, with animals, food, and general stuff in different parts of the book (almost like chapters). The artwork includes some photos and some paintings that are nearly photo-real. I downloaded it for free on my Nook, and that version includes a "read to me" option that my son likes a lot. The reader even does animal sounds when going through the animals, so my little guy likes that. He keeps requesting it, so I'd say it's worth a look.
This is a beginning reader book I downloaded for free on my Nook. It is a VERY basic reader, intended for kids just startin...moreBasic plot: Cat does stuff.
This is a beginning reader book I downloaded for free on my Nook. It is a VERY basic reader, intended for kids just starting to identify words and read on their own. This is really not a book intended for fun reading aloud. The pictures are cute, and while there really isn't a story, there is a certain subtle humor to the actions of the cat. Cat people will see it, others not so much.
Truthfully, I wasn't even going to review this one as it was so basic, but darned if my son hasn't asked for it for the past 3 nights running. As a kindergartener, I think its attraction lies in the fact that he's learning to read and starting to be able to identify words. That or he just likes the cats. Hard to say. Either way, this shows there is something positive in that simple, little book. I bumped it up a whole star based on that fact alone. The fact that it was a freebie for my Nook is just icing on the cake. If you have a beginning reader and a Nook, I'd recommend snagging this.(less)
Basic Topic: Anthrogenic climate change. Oooh, big words.
The title is an eye-grabber, no doubt. It is what caused me to pick it up off the shelf at my...moreBasic Topic: Anthrogenic climate change. Oooh, big words.
The title is an eye-grabber, no doubt. It is what caused me to pick it up off the shelf at my school's library and take a look. The premise made me check it out: a plain-language explanation of what we do and do not know about the whys, whens, and how muches (how on Earth does one pluralize "much" without looking like a complete twit???) of climate change. Anthrogenic (means humans cause it) climate change has been a topic for a long time now. Back in the 90's we called it global warming, but climate change is a more accurate term.
The book met its ultimate goal of being very readable for the average person. They avoided long sentences and big words, and even avoided long chapters (most are only a handful of pages) within the very simple concepts that make up the larger sections of the book. It's not a life-changer, it doesn't make specific suggestions for reducing carbon emissions or using alternate energy sources. It simply states that if human beings continue to pump CO2 into the atmosphere, the global climate will change. We don't know precisely how much change will happen, or over how long, especially considering different regions of the planet, but we can definitely tell that humans are causing the climate to change, not just natural phenomena. It also says that we are eventually going to have to do something if we want to slow or stop this effect. It's difficult to summarize a summary.
There have been a lot of people saying global warming is a myth, or that climate change scientists are a bunch of alarmists trying to cause world-wide panic. Neither of these things is true, and the science in this book shows that. There is still a lot of uncertainty to this science, especially as it's hard to predict how the near-infinite number of factors that make up both climate and climate change all get tossed into the mix. They aren't trying to say the world is going to end in fire and flood if we don't start living organic, vegan lifestyles NOW! They are saying the world is definitely changing at a more rapid rate than it did before we started putting crap in the atmosphere. They use science and logic to back it up.
I felt it was a good read, if a bit much to digest in long sittings, even with short chapters and simple language. It's a lot to process. I think I have a better handle on the concept of climate change and the various factors involved. I think I also have a better sense about what the alternatives to oil can and can't do for the environment. If you're looking for a good, readable summary of the science and what it really says about climate change, this is a very good choice.(less)