This isn’t a bad little book. At first glance, it seems to be a story about a platypus but then morphs into a story that is more about a young boy whoThis isn’t a bad little book. At first glance, it seems to be a story about a platypus but then morphs into a story that is more about a young boy who grows up to study platypuses. This is both a good and bad thing. It’s bad because it makes the book almost feel as if it should be two books. If you start out being more interested in Scartail the insertion of the boys feels off (and vice versa I would imagine). It’s good because it does show how interest can spark learning and a career path.
It is also more of a guy book because the people who are doing things are by and large men. There is a wife but she dies first. It does seem to be based on the author’s own life, and it could be written, in part to balance Shy the Platypus, but the addition of a woman (or girl) that does something would be nice. ...more
I don’t have children, but I am so buying this book. I LOVE THIS BOOK! I have had to tell people of ages 18-20 or olderDisclaimer: ARC via Netgalley.
I don’t have children, but I am so buying this book. I LOVE THIS BOOK! I have had to tell people of ages 18-20 or older what exactly a doe, a bitch, a stud, and a stag among other words mean. I should make this book required reading. In a short and brilliantly illustrated book, Betsy R. Rosenthal and Jago, let children (and adults for that matter) know various terms for mobs of animals. The poetry and the illustrations are perfectly matched. Silly rhymes with brilliantly done artwork, Rosenthal and Jago actually ensure the reader will remember what they are teaching. There is even a glossary in the back. I love this book. ...more
This is the first non-myth or fairy tale work of Shepard’s that I’ve read. It is about the famous Christmas Truce in WW I. Shepard relates the story vThis is the first non-myth or fairy tale work of Shepard’s that I’ve read. It is about the famous Christmas Truce in WW I. Shepard relates the story via a soldier’s letter home to his kid sister. It isn’t overly romanticized and seems to capture what many of the soldiers might have been thinking at the time. Shepard also gets high marks for including an afterword that looks at the debate over the accuracy of the story as well as the details of it. He also then places the story in a larger context with the world today. He also includes reading suggestions....more
The artwork is interesting and brilliantly colored. But the best part is the rhyme for each prince that makes excellentDisclaimer: ARC via Netgalley
The artwork is interesting and brilliantly colored. But the best part is the rhyme for each prince that makes excellent use of the given letter. 90 percent or more of the words are going to start with the letter, and there is reference made to all types of things, including Elvis. Rather clever. ...more
What’s a squirrel to do when the moon lands on his tree? Read this and find out. It’s a rather whimsical story. In truthDisclaimer: ARC via Netgalley
What’s a squirrel to do when the moon lands on his tree? Read this and find out. It’s a rather whimsical story. In truth, the artwork is far more impressive and detailed than the writing. There are wonderful little details in the art – play particular attention to the cell scenes. There is some great and inventive ideas, at least in the terms of the illustrations. It’s a rather charming book. Enjoyable for the adult that is reading it to children as well as the children. ...more
It is because of Lynn Whitfield that I got to know Josephine Baker.
Hopefully, it will be thanks to Peggy Caravantes thDisclaimer: ARC via Netgalley.
It is because of Lynn Whitfield that I got to know Josephine Baker.
Hopefully, it will be thanks to Peggy Caravantes that more young girls will get to know her.
Carvantes’ biography of Baker is one of those rare works where the subject is presented with taste but with a strong light. While written at a level for a pre-teen or teen, the book does not hesitate to lighten or disregard the warts.
It is to Carvantes’ credit that in her introduction she points out the difficulty in writing about Baker and her life story. The book starts with Baker’s early and confronts not only the poverty and racism, but also the attempted molestation. When discussing Baker’s introduction to the stage as well as her early contract signings, Caravantes doesn’t present Baker in a flawless light (and this transcends to the adoption of the Rainbow Tribe in Baker’s later years). Baker’s lack of education, relationship with money (or lack thereof), pride, and emotional storms are all presents if unflinching, with description and hands off approach that allows the reader to reach a conclusion about Baker. Caravantes’ also, briefly, presents brief “where are they now” biographies of the Rainbow Tribe.
Baker’s work as a spy is detailed, but more importantly so is the reaction to her performances in the rising Nazi Era with reaction to her tour. Her later life work and ties to Civil Rights as well as the impact of some of her public statements is dealt with in context, not just the statements but the events leading up to them. Baker comes across as some who is passionate and dedicated, but prideful and family driven.
Baker comes across as human and all the more heroic because of that. Caravantes is not only introducing Baker to the coming generations, she and Baker are showing them that you can be who you are.
This is the story of Caroline and her desire for a pony, a Chincoteague pony. Is it Misty of Chincoteague? Well, noDisclaimer: Read via Netgalley.
This is the story of Caroline and her desire for a pony, a Chincoteague pony. Is it Misty of Chincoteague? Well, no. Henry’s writing is better. At times, this book seems to focus on too much that has little to do with the pacing of the story and seems to weigh it down.
It is not a bad book.
I am not sure how much of the story is straight up fact and how much is slightly fictionalized. Regardless, Lori Szymanski gets huge props for choosing as her protagonist a girl, who plays rugby, and while beautiful, is not super skinny and overtly perky. As Szymanski describes her, Caroline and her family sound like people you want to meet. Not perfect, and not stereotypical.
While the book doesn’t overly focus on the cost of raising a horse (Caroline has to save up money to buy the horse, nothing is said about caring costs), Szymanski makes it clear that a horse is an investment not only in money but also time. Her focus on the Feather Fund also shows how there are groups that do aid those horse crazy people in need.
The book also includes a glossary of terms at the back. The terms cover gender, color, marking, and other various terms, making the book a good educational source. ...more
Disclaimer: ARC via Netgalley. Well, it’s cute. But a bit too busy for me. Jedi Academy is about a young Jedi as he returns to school from vacation. BDisclaimer: ARC via Netgalley. Well, it’s cute. But a bit too busy for me. Jedi Academy is about a young Jedi as he returns to school from vacation. Basically, it is every boarding school funny book meets Yoda. Not as funny as it could be because it tries to do too much. The best parts of the story are not the panel strips, but the letters or newsflashes (as in Yoda shutting down the Jedi version of Facebook). It’s cute, but there really isn’t much, and the Darth Vader and kiddo books are better. ...more
I don’t blame you for being angry. Being constantly mistaken for a penguin must be reallDisclaimer: ARC via Netgalley
Dear Angry Little Puffin or ALP,
I don’t blame you for being angry. Being constantly mistaken for a penguin must be really harsh, especially when you are some much cuter than penguins. It’s really nice that Mr. Young helped you get this book published so people who aren’t in the know can finally be in the know.
Honestly, why did the people in the Montreal Bio-Dome look at the silly penguins, and not you cute and adorable birds?
Do penguins have a good cereal named after them? A good peanut butter cereal at that? I think not.
And March of the Puffins would have been a much better movie. Your rant, ALP was wonderful and a neat way to educate people on the greatness of puffins as opposed to the weakness of penguins. It is far better to be at the top than at the bottom, I agree. The illustrations that accompany the rant, from the crossed out title to the globe to the flight are cute, adorable, and filled with nice little jokes. The page with the stupid penguin merchandise was apt.
The best part, however ALP, was the inclusion of the girl and her father. Too often we see sons and fathers, or daughters and mothers. It was nice to see a girl in the know with her father encouraging her love for puffins. That section of the book would make any woman smile with joy (it ranks right up there with that car commercial with the girl in the back seat pretending to race while her father drives).
So ALP, I should let you know that I don’t a little child, but I fully intend on buying this book because Puffins rule and Penguins drool.
A couple years the Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian had an exhibit entitled A Song for the Horse Nation. The pDisclaimer: ARC via Netgalley.
A couple years the Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian had an exhibit entitled A Song for the Horse Nation. The purpose was to showcase the influence of horses on Native American history and culture. It was a really good exhibit and the reason why I read this book that was offered on Netgalley via a read it now option.
Goble’s story is of a young boy who wants to become a young man. This is done by taking another tribe’s horse, something done at night. The story concerns men, and is simply a telling of age story that involves native culture. The pictures are marvelous.
The story itself is told pretty well, if sometimes with chunks of too much text. It almost is as if the book can’t decide what it wants to be – a child’s level reader or something higher.
That aside, it is an excellent book with the romanticizing being in the introduction. There is a line about horse getting being not the same as stealing. It seems more like a defensive semantic difference than anything else. It is important to note the cultural importance of the act – the honor in the claiming of horses - but the comment feels very out of place and almost defensive. Perhaps this is fear due to the subject matter. It just seemed silly however. Like having a disclaimer before a Robin Hood story.
Still, strange line in the foreword aside, the book is really and beautifully illustrated.
This is a relatively good short biography of Anne Frank. It is designed for children and schools, so it offers a glossary andCrossposted at Booklikes
This is a relatively good short biography of Anne Frank. It is designed for children and schools, so it offers a glossary and fact boxes. While it doesn’t hide the truth, it is not as graphically illustrated as it would be in an adult biography.
Mullin gets full marks for doing much to present a further picture of Edith Frank and Pfeiffer than what Anne presents in the diary. Too often Edith give way to Otto, and Mullin does much to correct this. It is well worth a read by anyone who has read the diary. The focus is on the Franks so no real mention is made about the adaptations of the Diary. Further information is given, however, about Anne’s friends. It, in many ways, answers questions that someone would have after reading the Diary. ...more
This is a story about Gawain the goose who is accused of stealing from the kingdom’s treasury. You would think the bearCrossposted at The Fish Place.
This is a story about Gawain the goose who is accused of stealing from the kingdom’s treasury. You would think the bear king would eat him as punishment, but he doesn’t. It is a rather simple tale, but truly charming. Lovely illustrations, and I like the decorating....more
This is the third installment in the Young Underground series. The focus of the series is a pair of twins who live Denmark during German Occupation. IThis is the third installment in the Young Underground series. The focus of the series is a pair of twins who live Denmark during German Occupation. In this book, the pair is caught up in the delivery of illegal newspapers. The series is published by a Christian publishing house, but why God and faith do have a role, it isn’t a hit you over the head with a rolling pin type. If you believed in God and found yourself being chased by Nazi, wouldn’t you pray? Yep. While the book is focused on Peter, his twin sister Elsie is a good girl character in the sense that she is as tough as her brother. She is not a stereotypical tom boy; in fact, I wouldn’t call her a tom boy at all. This was excellent because too often the girls in such series are shown to be “girls who act boys”. Elise acts Elise. She is not a boy. Nice touch that. The action is pretty good, and does a good job of conveying the dangers and risks realistically without being too graphic for the desired age group.
While the story is somewhat simplistic and predictable, there is a good deal of charm in the story as well as humor. The use of two different styles oWhile the story is somewhat simplistic and predictable, there is a good deal of charm in the story as well as humor. The use of two different styles of artwork was a good touch as well....more
I didn’t find this quite as funny as the Twelve Dogs of Christmas, though it is amusing enough. The pictures are quite funny and the type of cats chosI didn’t find this quite as funny as the Twelve Dogs of Christmas, though it is amusing enough. The pictures are quite funny and the type of cats chosen are rather interesting. I just can’t see some of the cats doing some of the things mentioned....more
Disclaimer: ARC read via Netgalley in exchange for a fair review. The ARC did not have all the illustrations, so I cannot commCrossposted at Booklikes
Disclaimer: ARC read via Netgalley in exchange for a fair review. The ARC did not have all the illustrations, so I cannot comment on those.
When I was a freshman in high school, the Iliad was one of the books used in English class. I didn’t have a problem reading it because not only had I read Bullfinch and Hamilton, but also the children’s version of Troy. My first reaction was this is it, no wonder everyone else finds it boring. All the good stuff was left out.
In many ways, it is that reaction that this Osprey book about Troy battles, and seems to battle quite well. While the matter of Homer’s epic is covered quite well, the details that appear in the non-Homer work, the needed sacrifice to sail, the fate of the women, Helen’s back-story – all make an appearance here. The good bits are here.
The use of the good bit – the violent and disturbing bits that many people I would imagine, want to be left out – make the book entertaining and show that the story can still compete with the likes of Ironman and Thor, those box office behemoths. By keeping the nasty bits, the story becomes more engaging.
The prose is lively and matter of fact. It is not purple, and, more importantly, it is engaging enough to keep the attention of the reader. While it does focus on the story, told in chronological order, there is a historical reference – a look at the site of Troy as well as Greek culture. Additionally, there are boxes that contain a breakdown of who brought how many ships and which god was on which side. These boxes are nicely designed and make accessing the information quite easy. There is also a section about Hollywood versions of the story. Better yet, there is a bibliography at the end.
It is true that for the reader more familiar with the story (say, long time fan of the story), there isn’t anything really new – though the ease of access for detail might be worth the cost of book alone. The book, however, is ideal for a teen or pre-teen who expresses an interest in the story or who is not responding well to Homer. ...more
Your child has just watched the Disney cartoon of Robin Hood and wants to know more? What do you do? You get this book.
Osprey’s Robin Hood book contains a breakdown of the legend drawing not just on the famous book by Pyle but also on the ballads. The stories follow the well known tracts of Robin Hood. However, like the Troy book in the series, this book is rather deeper than first appears. First, most of the major characters in addition to Robin Hood get a close look. For instance, there is a look at the change in Much the Miller’s Son as well as Little John and Marian. There is also a look at who the Sheriff might have actually been as well as contenders for the Robin Hood figure. The Robin Hood section is most interesting because each contender is dealt with in terms of strengths and weaknesses.
The story is not sugar coated so not only is Robin as Puck here, but Robin as outlaw. It is this outlaw aspect that makes the book the most interesting for there is a look at the changing nature of the story. The section about Hollywood versions of the tale illustrates this quite well and covers up to the BBC recent series as well as the Crowe movie. The variations in the film versions are woven into an analysis of the tale, showcasing the everyman aspect that is a thesis of the critical aspect of this work.
Despite the scholarly side, the book is designed for pre-teen and teens. The writing is not condescending and is engaging. Included is a bibliography for further reading. While the book does not have anything new for the long time student of the tale, it serves as a good jumping off point.