I had seen this book on the Guardian's children books readers had read for April or May 2015, and hoped that we had a copy at our library. We did, soI had seen this book on the Guardian's children books readers had read for April or May 2015, and hoped that we had a copy at our library. We did, so I grabbed it for me to read to my son. I love Shaun Tan's work usually, but this one just didn't grab me the way he others have in the past. The book gave rules that two boys learned during one summer, and shows an event and the the effect of that event. For example, they boys go to catch some shooting stars and one of the boys drops his jar, and the text says "Never drop your jar". The pictures got darker the further the story went. I think my son enjoyed it more than me. Recommended for ages 5-8, 3 stars...more
I discovered this book on a website while trying to come up with some new books to check out in the children's area. Honestly most of the appeal for mI discovered this book on a website while trying to come up with some new books to check out in the children's area. Honestly most of the appeal for me where the Lane Smith illustrations. I thought it was pretty cute, but it does go on for way too long. It's all about this little boy who is always getting in trouble. While in his latest punishment in the classroom, he declares that he "has plans, big plans I say!" and that continues to be his mantra for the rest of the book. He means business, and puts on his dad's shiniest tie and pointiest shoes for emphasis. He recruits a mynah bird to join him in his endeavors. He takes over a corporate board meeting and all the big-wigs listen to him because he speaks with such authority. He takes their helicopter, driven by the mynah bird, and heads over to the local football game to help the team beat the out-of-towners. Then he flies to the moon and puts his mantra there for the whole world to see when he flies back. Recommended for ages 5-8, 3 stars. ...more
I also found this book while browsing children's review websites. I fell in love with the illustrations before I even read it, but they were even moreI also found this book while browsing children's review websites. I fell in love with the illustrations before I even read it, but they were even more adorable once you got into the story especially as they showed Einstein as a baby with white hair and a mustache. I loved that the first major thing he says is "My hair is awesome!" and other people mention it throughout the book. It was a basic biography of the scientist, but a nice introduction for children who may have not heard of him and what he did to change the world. Einstein thought in pictures instead of words (which made him take a very long time to speak his mind) and his fascination with a compass his father gave him plus music kept his curiosity alive throughout his life and wanting to keep asking questions. I loved the Einstein quote at the end of the book. Recommended for ages 7-10, 5 stars. ...more
I love the Chu books, although this one didn't have as much pizzazz as the other two books in the series. However, the illustrations by Adam Rex wereI love the Chu books, although this one didn't have as much pizzazz as the other two books in the series. However, the illustrations by Adam Rex were still awesome, cute and hilarious. Chu and his parents are going to the beach, and everything is going alright until the inevitable happens and he sneezes. He does it so hard that he literally breaks the ocean, parting it in two and the fish and other marine life (including merpandas!)are trapped on both sides unable to get through. The beach goers need to make him sneeze again so that everything can be put right, but for the first time ever, Chu can't seem to sneeze. It's not until Tiny the snail suggests that the bright sunlight might help him, and Chu takes off his sunglasses and immediately sneezes. Everything is relatively back to normal, or as normal as it can be with the hurricane force sneeze that flips everything around (my favorite is his parents who have actually switched bathing suits). Chu still has the best day ever. My son loved this book. Recommended for ages 3-6, 4 stars. ...more
Gerald is way too serious about learning to throw the ball, whereas Piggie is just there to have fun. She throws the ball and it ends up going behindGerald is way too serious about learning to throw the ball, whereas Piggie is just there to have fun. She throws the ball and it ends up going behind her and she thinks she is the greatest thrower ever and keeps making up all these things like calling herself "Super Pig" and making up little chants. It is up to Gerald to break the news to her gently.But she doesn't care, she had a lot of fun doing it. Gerald me think of adults and how we tend to take things too seriously. Then of course, Gerald wants to have a little fun himself. Recommended for ages 3-6, 4 stars. ...more
This was a bit of an unusual book but I enjoyed it and so did my son. Freddie is a dinosaur and Gingersnap is a dragon, and they are both flying lookiThis was a bit of an unusual book but I enjoyed it and so did my son. Freddie is a dinosaur and Gingersnap is a dragon, and they are both flying looking for a cloud for Freddie. Gingersnap keeps explaining that it is impossible. They happen upon two children, a boy and girl in a hot air zepplin who are singing about home. They've never seen a dragon and a dinosaur before and so have a billion questions. The kids decide to show them a little magic and suddenly they are all in a lightning storm. They sing until the storm disappears and they find their way back to their homes. Freddie sings their song after they go. The words/lyrics/music are written by the author and included in the back of the book. Recommended for ages 4-7, 3 stars. ...more
Twelve-year old Serafina and her father live in anonymity the basement of the Biltmore Estate, in Asheville, North Carolina in 1899. Her pa has warnedTwelve-year old Serafina and her father live in anonymity the basement of the Biltmore Estate, in Asheville, North Carolina in 1899. Her pa has warned her never to leave the estate and venture into the woods, and she has never done so, although she has always been curious about the woods. Serafina is an unusual girl who can see in the dark and her father has labeled her CRC or Chief Rat Catcher. She has always been happy living alone with her father, although this is disrupted a bit after she learns the truth about her birth. She has caught glimpses of the upstairs folks, but never talked to them until the disappearances start happening. She witnesses a girl named Clara being swallowed into man with a great black cloak, but her father doesn't believe her. She decides to put her trust in Braeden Vanderbilt, the orphaned nephew of George and Edith Vanderbilt, the house's owners. The two quickly become friends after the carriage Braeden and Serafina are in is attacked by the man in the black cloak, and he sees firsthand what the man can do. As more and more children start disappearing, Serafina is forced to go into the woods to stop the mysterious man and find out why he is kidnapping all the children. Will she be able to save Braeden and the other children before the man in the black cloak strikes again? Recommended for ages 10-13, 3-1/2 stars.
I really liked Serafina as a character, especially because she wasn't like the other people in the story. I liked that her and Braeden found each other as they were both alone and in need of a good friend. I'll admit that I didn't realize the book would be so creepy/scary, but it was just enough to make it interesting but not enough to make it over the top. I have never been to Biltmore but it has been on my must-see list for awhile, so it was interesting to hear about all the different parts of the house and grounds through the story. The author lives in Asheville and has obviously researched the book very well to know all the little details about the house and its history. Plus he wrote the book for his three daughters, which is pretty awesome. I would be interested in more stories about Serafina, if he chose to write more. My biggest gripe was the ending, as it seemed a bit too abrupt and if you were paying attention, you could figure it out pretty early on (at least who the man in the black cloak was) and I would've liked more info about the mother and her family. I didn't understand the truth about her mother until the very end, so the author was good at leaving his audience in suspense in that regard. ...more