I think I may have had a short attention span as a child. I certainly recalled the start of this book - trooping back onto the boat, with the last ducI think I may have had a short attention span as a child. I certainly recalled the start of this book - trooping back onto the boat, with the last duck getting a spank (scary), then Ping avoiding the spank and in doing so loosing all contact with everyone he knew (very scary). However I have no recollection of the happy ending...
Now I'm an adult I appreciate one of the best book reviews I've read in a while which was contributed to Amazon by an anonymous user from Upper Volta, Uzbekistan in 1999 - and republished by Mike Muuss, the developer of the freeware network tool Ping....more
I fondly recall the Blinky Bill character from my childhood – but never remember reading the original stories. Having now read the originals I suspect that my fond memories come from the various adaptions that have been made over the years.
I must say I was shocked by the mature themes contained in the first couple of chapters in Blinky Bill. First he is born – a joyous occasion. Then his father is shot and killed by humans, forcing the family to move. The new tree contains Mrs Grunty who’s history included having her whole family shot by humans, then herself being kidnapped and transported a long distance to become someone’s pet. These seem like pretty adult themes for a kids book, particularly when compared with the relatively tame TV series.
I gave this book 3 stars primarily because of the environment the books create – the idea of anthropogenic Australian bush animals and the character of Blinky a young adventurous (and naughty) koala. I didn’t find the stories themselves to be page-turners. ...more
I prefer my blue anthropomorphic shunting (US: switching) engine to be named Thomas!
A few things irritated me about this book: 1. Watty Piper never exiI prefer my blue anthropomorphic shunting (US: switching) engine to be named Thomas!
A few things irritated me about this book: 1. Watty Piper never existed - it is simply a pseudonym for the publishing company Platt & Munk (now part of Penguin). 2. The trademark symbol for "The Little Engine that Could" prominently displayed on the front cover - and that they bothered to attempt to trademark "I Think I Can". This is an issue especially because of the strong evidence to suggest that the story is significantly older than the Watty Piper, Platt & Munk edition. See In Search of Watty Piper 3. Just about every page finishes half-way through a sentence, which is a critical failure in editing for a book that is designed to be read aloud. 4. The repetition. Sometimes repetition is good - but in this case I simply found it irritating. Maybe X-man when he grows up a bit will love it...
So what did I like? The moral of having confidence in your abilities and perseverance is of course admirable.
Well I think the gender roles are more equitably distributed than the original Railway Series books by W. Awdry, staring of course Thomas the Tank Engine. ...more
I must admit I was ignorant of the existance of this book - but I loved the Oscar winning 1938 Disney animation Ferdinand the Bull. This animation wasI must admit I was ignorant of the existance of this book - but I loved the Oscar winning 1938 Disney animation Ferdinand the Bull. This animation was created during one of the most exciting times at Disney - the in the years surrounding 1938 they created Snow White, Pinocchio, Fantasia, Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Bambi, Dumbo, etc, etc. My favourite bit of the animation is the reaction of the Mother to the "even though she was a cow" line - something that wasn't really captured in the book.
The animation is very faithful to the original story and illustrations.
A lovely pacifist story about being yourself rather than blindly conforming to society's norms....more
In his first children's book Dr Seuss shows us why he became one of the most successful children's authors of all time. It is interesting to note thatIn his first children's book Dr Seuss shows us why he became one of the most successful children's authors of all time. It is interesting to note that it wasn't until 20 years after this book was published that The Cat in the Hat made him a household name.
I remember Babar the TV series from my youth - and I was always curious how the story began.
The story is pretty full-on compared with the fluffy niceI remember Babar the TV series from my youth - and I was always curious how the story began.
The story is pretty full-on compared with the fluffy nice children's stories that are so common. There is death (Babar's mum & the King of the Elephants), there is a potentially concerning possibly incestuous, possibly pedophilic marriage between Babar and his much younger cousin, a potentially concerning relationship between an old lady and an elephant, and the underlying colonial mentality of the book.
But between all this there is a lovely coming-of-age story and plenty of fun elephant-out-of-water moments.
X-man is still too young to get much out of this book, but will the controversial nature of the book stop me reading it to him when he's older? Well, time will tell - but I hope not!
This appears to be an American classic - but this is the first I've heard of it.
My first thought on openning this book was the similarity between MaryThis appears to be an American classic - but this is the first I've heard of it.
My first thought on openning this book was the similarity between Mary Anne and the Snort from P.D. Eastman's Are You My Mother?. It always struck me as odd that Eastman brought back what must have been ancient technology to his 1950s audience - but it makes perfect sense if his audience are used to this level of technology courtesy of this book, which was written at the time steam was overtaken by diesel engines.
It is interesting reading this book from the 1930's which portrays the idea that humans can overcome nature (using Mike Mulligan and Mary Anne and some others) from a time when we are increasingly attempting to minimise our impact on the environment - an many of those extremely large engineering projects wouldn't get off the ground because of environmental impacts.
The little grey rabbit is obviously a classic, and well loved my many people... But I didn't like this book at all.
I found the Grey Rabbit to be too pThe little grey rabbit is obviously a classic, and well loved my many people... But I didn't like this book at all.
I found the Grey Rabbit to be too put-upon and submissive.
The story was pretty derivative - the environment was very Beatrix Potter and this particular story was essentially The Tale of Peter Rabbit, albeit longer and more complex. Even the climax was pretty much a copy of a famous fairy tale (I won't give away which!) - and really didn't tie up all the loose ends.