This is a touch-and-feel book. Most of these don't have a narrative (eg That's not my truck). This one attempts a story line, following Dog through hi...moreThis is a touch-and-feel book. Most of these don't have a narrative (eg That's not my truck). This one attempts a story line, following Dog through his day. This story probably the most inane story I've read to date. The plot is boring, and what's more you don't really empathise with Dog.
Beyond that this book introduces a word which I don't think X-man needs to know - bored!(less)
This book was given as a gift for re-subscribing to ABA.
Like most things ABA this book is definately left-leaning with regard the parenting style it s...moreThis book was given as a gift for re-subscribing to ABA.
Like most things ABA this book is definately left-leaning with regard the parenting style it supports. Homebirth and co-sleeping are portrayed as the norm. As a centre-left parent myself I can see the advantages in this style of parenting, and think that certain aspects should become more widely accepted (eg midwifes should be able to get insurance to conduct midwife assisted homebirths).
The author used quotes from "normal parents" to complement the theory she was providing. A couple of points on these quotes. Firstly some of the quotes included scientific claims that I don't think can be backed up (and certainly there were no references to the studies) - I thought it was low including these in the quotes, because I don't think the editors would have allowed them to be included in the main body of text. Secondly all the "normal parents" were women - not one Dad amoungst them. This reflected a lack of respect for Dads throughout the book expecting that Dads 1. would not be reading the book, 2. did not play an large role in parenting unless prompted by mum and 3. would be playing the bread-winning role. I suppose I am hyper-sensitive about this issue...
There were some potentially useful activity ideas for toddlers that I might go back and reference.
I ate up a huge number of these sort of books during the K's pregnancy - I used them to gain insight into what to expect with a young one around. These were really useful and I would recommend the same path for any future Mum or Dad. However I think that I'm now over these types of books. I'm pretty happy going with the flow - and I have playgroups to witness older kids behaviour and parents to chat to. (less)
**spoiler alert** If I had to summarise I's say "didn't live up to expectations". A good judge of a book is how you feel towards the end - and this on...more**spoiler alert** If I had to summarise I's say "didn't live up to expectations". A good judge of a book is how you feel towards the end - and this one I was thinking "don't put it down now, or you'll never bother to pick it up again".
My wife brought it home from the library and said "I thought you might like this". A quick review of the covers and discovered it was "allegedly humourous writing from Scientific American". My first thoughts were "I enjoy reading Scientific American, although New Scientist is better" and secondly "humourous scientific writing is usually pretty good!".
It was only much later that I thought "in all the Scientific Americans I have read I don't recall the "Anti Gravity column these articles come from!" A quick check of the magazine to discover that it fits within the Opinion section - which I have to say I usually flick over pretty quickly to get to the meaty stuff.
This was apparently the best of this column over a period of 10 years. The articles were apparently arranged into general topics eg "Wild and Wacky", "In Sickness and in Health", etc. This meant that you were jumping around in time a fair bit, which you usually didn't notice until there was reference to a world event that you knew, followed in the next article by one 5 years earlier.
I agree with a previous reviewer that it was particularly American. I can get American humour (too much US TV I'm afraid) - but the references to obscure US D-grade celebrities, TV shows and sports stars did miss the mark for me on numerous occasions.
Like all of these books based on accumulated work (eg blogs, magazine articles, etc) I would recommend having a read of the work on which it is based: Anti Gravity
It is a quick read, and there are some genuinely humourous bits (but nothing laugh out loud) - so not a complete waste of time!(less)
The book begins with a map - every book I've read that begins with a map is worth a read!
The book fol...more**spoiler alert** A child's journey of discovery.
The book begins with a map - every book I've read that begins with a map is worth a read!
The book follows Chip, a young crocodile, and his best friend Max, a young monkey. Chip is concerned he doesn't know what his dad "does all day long" after Max's dad swings past. Chip and Max visit a variety of young African animals, each of whom wanted to grow up and be just like their dad - each with a special skill. Chip grows increasingly despondent as they meet each animal. But the feeling is turned around when Chip learns that his dad is a teacher - teaching all the young animals how to grow up like their dad.
A warm-hearted story of the positive influence dads have on their kids.
With a bit of discussion it could also be spun as a fantastic story of unlikely friends - the crocodile and the monkey.
I love the cartoon-esque illustrations - particularly the classroom scene.
My one niggle - there are never any stay-at-home dads in stories. Even this warm-hearted lovely story suggests and underlying lack of communication between dad and Chip.(less)
Told through the innocent narration of the unnamed child.
A really sweet story. I hope that as a family we can develop the type of special family tradi...moreTold through the innocent narration of the unnamed child.
A really sweet story. I hope that as a family we can develop the type of special family tradition that is explained in this book. I also hope that X-man can develop as close a relationship to his grandparents as the child to Nanna and Poppy.
Chris Raschka won the 2006 Caldecott Medal for the illustrations in this book. The child-like illustrations perfectly complement the child-narration of the book. (less)
A deeply engrossing book - you'll be transported to a different time and place and truely care about the fates of all the characters (like good fictio...more A deeply engrossing book - you'll be transported to a different time and place and truely care about the fates of all the characters (like good fiction should).
Beyond this Nation is thought provoking - Grief, isolation, loneliness, the joy of friendship, cultural divides, racism, societial norms, religion, belief, gender roles, history, perception vs reality, science and sacrifice.
If you don't know that Foul Ole Ron says "Mellennium Hand and Shrimp" or that you shouldn't eat the sausages-inna-bun from Cut-Me-Own-Throat Dibbler then I wouldn't bother with this book. A quick test for this is to look at the award on the front cover - if you understand it then read the book, if you don't, don't. (The award is fake, a reference to The Librarian (of the Unseen University) who was turned into a orangutan in The Light Fantastic and has since refused to be turned back. He says Ook! and eats bananas.)
If however you are a fan of the Discworld series and you have a young person in your life, then I would highly recommend this book.
Surely "'bout two hundred" stacked turtles should make it into the GUINNESS BOOK OF WORLD RECORDS.... And Yertle had the single-minded vision to ensur...moreSurely "'bout two hundred" stacked turtles should make it into the GUINNESS BOOK OF WORLD RECORDS.... And Yertle had the single-minded vision to ensure his record was nearly uncontestable by stacking "'bout five thousand, six hundred and seven" turtles. Focus and determination such as this is are admirable qualities which should be encouraged in our children so they can all become elite sportspeople and entrepreneurs...
Wait... that was the moral that everyone else is talking about isn't it?
As usual fantastic rhythm, rhyme from Dr. Seuss. Like many of the 'Yellow-backed' books this also delivers important morals (in this case the dangers of despotism and vanity.
Like all things, the Simpsons has been here, and has an appropriate quote: "Possibly the best book ever written on the subject of turtle stacking." Lisa Simpson (episode: Lisa the Simpson originally aired 8 March 1998)(less)
Yes, this is regarded as a classic children's book in the US. Yes, it did win the Caldecott Medal and launch Ezra Jack Keats's career. Yes, it was inn...moreYes, this is regarded as a classic children's book in the US. Yes, it did win the Caldecott Medal and launch Ezra Jack Keats's career. Yes, it was innovative for the time by using a black protagonist, and an urban setting. Yes, the joy of new snow is reasonably universal for kids.
But I just didn't get into it. The illustrations would work as a reminder of the joy of new snow - but certainly didn't work explaining this concept to the unfamiliar. And I found the ending to be unfulfilling.
This would probably work best in an area like Ezra's home New York. Here snow happens regularly (so the idea of snow is familar), but is rare enough to cause excitment. It is also rare enough that the city essentially shuts down if they get snow - kids get Snow Days, mum and dad are urged to stay off the roads. Closer to the equator snow (particularly snow at home) becomes so rare it is out of the range of experience of the child reader. Closer to the poles and the joy of new snow simply becomes part of everyday life during winter. (less)
If you loved the TV series you'll enjoy the books... I'm unsure how this book would read without having the TV characters acting out the book in your...moreIf you loved the TV series you'll enjoy the books... I'm unsure how this book would read without having the TV characters acting out the book in your head.(less)
About half way through this book I was getting very irritated by Heidi's preoccupation with creating a kiss-and-tell chronicle of he sexual exploits a...moreAbout half way through this book I was getting very irritated by Heidi's preoccupation with creating a kiss-and-tell chronicle of he sexual exploits across the globe. Then the "Black Hawk Down" occurred, and genocides in Rwanda and Bosnia left 100,000s dead and gruesome stories of depraved violence.
Probably the most memorable quote from the book is from Andrew: "If blue-helmeted U.N. peacekeepers show up in your town or village and offer to protect you, run. Or else get weapons. Your lives are worth so much less than theirs."(less)