I know that there's a lot of debate about just how good of a book this is. I, for one, really enjoyed it! It was a very engaging gothic romance with a...moreI know that there's a lot of debate about just how good of a book this is. I, for one, really enjoyed it! It was a very engaging gothic romance with a sort of desperate, Whuthering Heights feel. Twilight is easily the best of the series and leaves its sequels in the dust when it comes to quality of writing, suspense, romance, and appropriate use of angst.(less)
How to Paint the Portrait of a Bird is an adaptation of a poem by French author Jacques Prevert. Translated and illustrated by award-winning illustrat...moreHow to Paint the Portrait of a Bird is an adaptation of a poem by French author Jacques Prevert. Translated and illustrated by award-winning illustrator Mordicai Gerstein, it is a beautifully poetic story that is not so much about healing or even birds, but about the power of art. The story provides instructions on capturing a bird to paint, beginning with directions to sketch an inviting birdcage to attract the bird. The fantasy of this procedure is whimsical and filled with child-like creativity as it celebrates the creative process and creative solutions to difficult problems. The illustrations are beautifully rendered and seem to call to mind the very portrait that the poem calls its readers to paint. (less)
After getting a request for this book from a kid who has proven to have excellent taste (she's a regular at the library, and we've done a lot of book...moreAfter getting a request for this book from a kid who has proven to have excellent taste (she's a regular at the library, and we've done a lot of book talking!), I finally picked up May Bird and the Ever After by Jodi Lynn Anderson. I was kind of impressed with the book. May is a friendless 10-year-old girl who has a vivid imagination...and the threat of being sent to boarding school looming over her shoulder. One day while walking in the woods near her home, she falls into a lake and is sucked into the "Ever After," home of ghosts, specters, and ghouls. May finds herself instantly hunted by Bo Clevil, who has outlawed the living from remaining in the Ever After. Teamed up with Pumpkin (the ghost who has haunted May's house for years) and trailed by May's pet Somber Kitty, the two set out to find the Book of the Dead, which will hopefully tell May how she can return home.
This engaging story is perhaps a little slow to set up, but May's adventures in Ever After are exciting and fraught with danger. The characters that May meets up with along the way are diverse and well-drawn, each with their own distinct and endearing personalities. There are lots of interesting dead spirits to be found here, but is not a scary book. It would, however, be a good tone-setting for those looking to get into the Halloween spirit but who don't necessarily want to have their pants scared off. (less)
In My Dad's a Birdman, author David Almond's first book for young readers, we meet a young girl named Lizzie whose very eccentric father is building w...moreIn My Dad's a Birdman, author David Almond's first book for young readers, we meet a young girl named Lizzie whose very eccentric father is building wings so that he can fly like a bird. Everyone, including Lizzie's dumpling-obsessed Aunt Doreen, is sure that Lizzie's father is off his rocker is will only get himself and Lizzie into trouble or even seriously hurt. Lizzie, however, ultimately joins her father on his quest to enter the Great Human Bird Competition and discover a way to make his dreams really take flight.
The wacky characterizations are very reminiscent of Roald Dahl's writing, while the bright illustrations by Polly Dunbar remind us of Quentin Blake. Readers will realize that while Aunt Doreen may be logically correct - that flying is best left to the birds - in the end it is really more important that Lizzie and her dad try their best. After all:
"It doesn't matter if we fly of if we fall. We've got each other. We're doing it together. That's all that matters." (less)