Such a cute book about friendship! The pictures are bright and colorful, with the different shapes contorting themselves into new shapes, like a houseSuch a cute book about friendship! The pictures are bright and colorful, with the different shapes contorting themselves into new shapes, like a house or a rocketship. With all the plays on words and plays on pictures (like the shapes making a house), the kids were pointing and laughing and howling and giggling the whole way through....more
We've always known that Claudia isn't a great student. Now she has to repeat the seventh grade, and she's completely humiliated! On the flip side, thoWe've always known that Claudia isn't a great student. Now she has to repeat the seventh grade, and she's completely humiliated! On the flip side, though, she has the honor of being selected to attend a special art class with a famous artist. And as with all BSC books, everything turns out wonderful in the end. ...more
What I love about this book is that it's a history of the *land* of Seattle. Businessmen and families are only mentioned as they relate to the land: tWhat I love about this book is that it's a history of the *land* of Seattle. Businessmen and families are only mentioned as they relate to the land: they had a home at this current intersection, which was torn down or moved as part of Denny Hill; they had a business at this former intersection, which was created with fill on tideflats; he rallied to create a railroad in this part of the city, which required building out. The history of the land isn't told as often as the stories of the people are, so this was a refreshing take on Seattle history.
The book covers the geological aspect of the city (glaciers!), the original shorelines and using fill to create new land areas, connecting Lake Union/Lake Washington/Puget Sound, and the big one... regrading Denny Hill.
Speaking of "the big one," I also love how Williams relates some of the historical stories about the land to modern (or, in some cases, modernish) day -- Why did some buildings get wrecked more than others during the 2001 Nisqually earthquake? Because those buildings were on fill, not solid land. How will the current shoreline/original shoreline/glacier remains have an impact on Bertha and the new State Route 99 tunnel? And by the way, what about the Bertha project (When Williams first started mentioning Bertha in the book, I feared that those mentions would date the book and make it less relevant 10 years from now, let alone 40 or 50 years from now. Then I realized we're talking about the tunnel boring project... We'll still be trying to dig that tunnel 40 or 50 years from now! ... *sigh* Poor Bertha.), and other potential tunnels or roadways around the city? How about the new seawall that will be built to replace the old seawall that was built where new land was created using fill? And toward the end (but I can't seem to find it now, so I hope I didn't imagine this), when he seems to get wistful (or maybe that was just me) about the fact that Seattleites of the late 1800s/early 1900s wanted to get rid of Denny Hill to make the city more open for business and traffic, but then business didn't grow like they expected, and we now have tunnels and buses and trucks that could easily get through/around/over the hill, so did it really need to be flattened? Oh, that kills me!
And finally, his remarkable statement that "Just as early Seattlelites had to adapt to what they found, we now have to adapt to what our predecessors left us" is fabulous! It brings everything together: the history of the land, the history of the city, the revisions to the land that the citydwellers made, and all of the little connections to current-day that he's made throughout the book.
I was disappointed, though, that this was such a short book! I expected it to be much longer, because the topic is so underrepresented. Still, what a great history!...more
So, a young English princess moves in to Kristy's neighborhood, and Mary Anne gets chosen by the parents to be the girl's babysitter/companion. And hiSo, a young English princess moves in to Kristy's neighborhood, and Mary Anne gets chosen by the parents to be the girl's babysitter/companion. And hilarity ensues.
Except, not really. The end storyline turns out to be that this girl is standoffish to new people and bitter because her parents are always traveling and she feels neglected and like everyone she likes leaves, so why bother liking anyone. But it just never felt like we got a lot of that during the book... Yes, she sometimes seems standoffish from the rest of the kids of the neighborhood, but wouldn't you seem a little awkward if you'd just moved to a new country, meeting new people, don't know the language (at least not the slang) and the customs, and you're surrounded by a bunch of goons? But suddenly at the end it's like "Oh, she's that way because she misses her parents! Everything makes sense! Don't cry little girl, your parents are coming back!" "Oh, okay. I'll make friends now!" Meh.
(This, of course, coming from someone who is WAY too old to be reading these books and trying to get any substance or moral out of them. I'm sure if I'd read this when I was 10, with all the other BSC books I read, I would have thought it was a fine book. Not my favorite BSC book, but a fine one.)...more
I'd forgotten how inspirational Baby-Sitters Club books can be, or try to be. In this book, Mallory learns how to stick up for herself (to a teacher,I'd forgotten how inspirational Baby-Sitters Club books can be, or try to be. In this book, Mallory learns how to stick up for herself (to a teacher, a principal, and other students), while at the same time knowing she has the intelligence to lead a major project, and also has to remind herself that being a "brain" isn't a bad thing. At the same time, Kristy's sub-plot (creating a marching band for kids who don't belong to any clubs) is about inclusiveness, creativity, stick-to-it-ness, and teamwork.
I could see how young readers get some good lessons from these books... even though I don't remember every learning or being inspired by them. I always just thought they were fun, light stories....more
Oh, Pigeon. He tries to be such a trickster. In this book, you're tasked with making sure he doesn't stay up late, but he'll try anything to get you tOh, Pigeon. He tries to be such a trickster. In this book, you're tasked with making sure he doesn't stay up late, but he'll try anything to get you to let him stay up, including distracting you with small talk!...more
Mo Willems books are SO cute. This one would be fun to read out loud to/with kids because Pigeon is begging and pleading to drive a bus, so it would bMo Willems books are SO cute. This one would be fun to read out loud to/with kids because Pigeon is begging and pleading to drive a bus, so it would be fun to make all the begging and pleading voices.
I also love how no detail is left out in the illustrations. Even the endpapers are funny -- Pigeon in various poses (cool guy; feet up in the air; etc.) while driving a bus. Right there, before the book even started, had me giggling. And I'm not even the target audience! ...more
In the research notes of The Voyage Of The Continental, a YA historical fiction about Asa Mercer bringing women to Seattle from the East Coast in 1866In the research notes of The Voyage Of The Continental, a YA historical fiction about Asa Mercer bringing women to Seattle from the East Coast in 1866, the author, Katherine Kirkpatrick, mentions this book as another historical fiction (but for adults, rather than YA) account of "Mercer's girls."
While the book is technically about a girl who went on Mercer's expedition, it's not really *about* the expedition, at least not in my mind. The voyage doesn't even begin to start until page 94, and it's not until page 106 that the trip finally begins! You're almost 1/4 of the way through the book before the journey even starts! And in those 94 pages before the girls make their way to the boat, you get A LOT of story that didn't seem relevant. I didn't really care about the creep that the main character's cousin was supposed to marry. She's not even going to Seattle! Why do we care? And then once they did start on the voyage, Rucker skips huge chunks of time. I think it was mentioned that they were on the shores of New Jersey, then some stuff happened, with no reference to time or distance elapsed, and the next thing we know, they're in Rio! Then the main character has a romantic encounter with someone on the ship, and then they're in San Francisco! Wait a minute!! There should be a whole lot of time between those cities -- don't just skim over all the details of what happened on the ship! Seasickness! Confinement! The question of how everyone's going to pay for the trip! Give me more than "Oh, he was dreamy. I'm so happy! But he's a scoundrel! No, I'm still happy! Now we're in love! Ta-da! We're on the other side of the continent! We've arrived!"
This book might be okay if you're more into the romance of the story, and care less about the actual Mercer story. If you want to read about Mercer's expedition and the trials and tribulations of bringing a boatload of women to help teach, nurse for, and populate a wilderness town, this isn't the book for you. And since I don't care about romance stories (How many times do we need to talk about a young woman's breasts?!?) or girl-meets-boy / happily-ever-after stories, and I *do* want to read about Mercer's trip, then this wasn't the book for me....more
Like The Voyage Of The Continental, this is a YA historical fiction about Mercer's girls, the women, young and old, that Asa Mercer brought from the ELike The Voyage Of The Continental, this is a YA historical fiction about Mercer's girls, the women, young and old, that Asa Mercer brought from the East Coast to Seattle to help populate the new city. In contrast, however, The Voyage of the Continental is mainly about the trip itself, but Petticoats West focuses more on life after the ships arrived in Seattle and the girls starting their new lives.
Whereas The Voyage of the Continental had a lot of history, and was researched using Roger Conant's journal and articles about the trip, Petticoats West is much lighter in the factual history, but much richer in details about the surroundings and other descriptions....more
I LOVED this book when I was a kid. I enjoyed the Ramona books, and I loved the TV show (Sarah Polley was the *perfect* Ramona!) so this book was beyoI LOVED this book when I was a kid. I enjoyed the Ramona books, and I loved the TV show (Sarah Polley was the *perfect* Ramona!) so this book was beyond amazing for me. I loved the show so much that when I read this book, I could remember every detail about every scene they talked about. Loved, loved, loved this book! I read it over and over. And over. ...more