The pesky wolf from The Three Ninja Pigs is still hungry (after all he didn’t get anything to eat in the previous book). But because he was beaten byThe pesky wolf from The Three Ninja Pigs is still hungry (after all he didn’t get anything to eat in the previous book). But because he was beaten by the Ninja Pigs (and quite a few other animals) he decides to sneak into ninja school and train. And train he did. Eventually he mastered everything and was ready to go out and look for a meal. While looking for some food he runs into Riding Hood. He redirects her to pick some flowers and then sneaks into Grandma’s house to wait for her. But unlike other versions of Little Red Riding Hood Red is equipped to deal with a ninja wolf…because she is a ninja too.
This is another great ninja book. The little ones I read this to loved the ninja references and the fact that Red and the wolf were so well-matched. And Granny is seriously awesome (who wouldn’t love a granny who does tai chi?!?). I also love the illustrations and how the book is layed-out. The different pages have panels of illustrations (similar to graphic novel panels) only they are angled and slanted (no boring rectangular panels here). This helps give a feel of movement and action, which is especially great when Red and the Wolf are fighting. Plus the expressions are pure genius. (I can’t tell you how much one little kiddo laughed when seeing the lipstick and Granny’s robe on the wolf.) This story has enough meat on it that even elementary school kids will enjoy reading or listening to it. And the preschool story time kids will all want to be ninjas after reading this book. Brilliant. Just brilliant....more
Essie keeps her own secrets. She is living on the planet Thanda and fights and fixes drones (stitching computer codes) to survive. Only everything chaEssie keeps her own secrets. She is living on the planet Thanda and fights and fixes drones (stitching computer codes) to survive. Only everything changes once Dane comes and crashes near where she lives in Forty-Two. Suddenly Essie has to figure out how to either stand up and face her secrets and her past (while saving Dane’s life) or to harden and hide like she has for the past eight years. Only, it is hard for Essie to say no to helping Dane…even when he isn’t taking away all of her other options. And now Essie is in the middle of a war that spans multiple planets and multiple people. Only, she isn’t sure if she can stitch together enough codes to keep her and the worlds safe.
This is a brilliant re-telling of the fairy tale Snow White. Essie is a strong, amazing character. She didn’t have everything handed to her, but she still had enough grit and gumption to take control of her life and the world around her. Plus I loved how it had elements of Snow White but it didn’t force the whole story to be tied to the fairy tale. But there were apple references, seven “dwarfs”, and the kiss to complete the fairy tale. And now let’s talk about Dane. He is no prince charming who is just there to swoon over. Instead he has a personality. He gets angry and has strong emotional attachments to his family. He fights, he talks, and he plans. He is no stock character that the princess falls in love with and doesn’t see again until the wedding. He is there for all of the bits of the story. And once the romance started to really get going I couldn’t put the book down. Basically this book took over my life until I was able to finish reading it. But still I wish it was a wee bit longer just so I could keep enjoying it. Loved it. So much....more
A bear who was from the woods went for a walk. Unfortunately for the bear he got a little lost–in fact he ended up wandering all the way into the bigA bear who was from the woods went for a walk. Unfortunately for the bear he got a little lost–in fact he ended up wandering all the way into the big city next to his forest home. The city was bright, noisy, and just too busy for the bear to handle. In order to get away from the hustle and bustle he went into a building and ended up going up an elevator and into a fancy apartment. The bear wanted to take a little break from the city, so he stayed in the apartment. First he tried to eat some porridge, but only one was okay enough to eat. Then he tried to sit on some chairs, but only one was comfortable…and he broke that one. Then he tried to take a nap, but only one bed was worth sleeping in. Eventually the family who lived in the apartment came back. They were dismayed that their house had been disturbed…and that the one who disrupted the abode was sleeping in the little boy’s bed. However, unlike the traditional story, this one did not have the sleeping bear run away as soon as the family woke him up…because the mother of the family was none other than Goldilocks. She and the bear (who turned out to be Baby Bear) had a good chat before Baby Bear went back to his home in the woods.
This is a funny story for those who know the original story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Young readers will especially like the different types of “porridge” and “chairs” (a goldfish bowl/ cat food or cactus/cat respectively) that Baby Bear tends to try. The illustrations are also very colorful and bright. With such fun expressions on Baby Bear, Goldilocks and her family kids will enjoy reading this silly spoof of a classic fairy tale....more
I love this new Ever After High book! It made me think almost as much as the first book did. But then again, if you saw my review of Shannon Hale’s DaI love this new Ever After High book! It made me think almost as much as the first book did. But then again, if you saw my review of Shannon Hale’s Dangerous you would know that me loving Shannon Hale books is nothing new.
In this second in the series Raven Queen and Apple White are still trying to figure everything out at Ever After High (especially since Apple is still upset that Raven ruined Legacy Day). And Raven is still trying to make her own path and not be forced to live the life of her mother. Only now there are more characters that are trying to figure everything out. For example Cerise has a secret (her mother is Red Ridding Hood and her father is Big Bad Wolf) and should she be hiding for the rest of her life because she is part wolf? Or Ashlynn seems to be in love with the son of a Hunter instead of who the future Cinderella should be in love with. And then there is Maddie (the daughter of the Mad Hatter). She has heaps of troubles and who knows if Apple or Raven could get her out of them.
This is such a fun book. I laughed out loud. I stopped reading to ponder. I tried to guess about the new twists since there is just enough hints of fairy tales to make me know the characters without really knowing the characters. And really, the whole heart of the story is if these characters should really be forced into a life path set out for them. Or is Raven more evil than them all if she wants to have the opportunity to be her own person? Does going her own way and balking the traditional fairy tales make her more evil than even her mother the Wicked Queen? With all the great characters, fun plot, and bits to think on it isn’t any wonder that I gobbled this book up in less than 12 hours. So. Much. Fun. Shannon Hale, I can’t wait to read more....more
The other two books in this series had nice endings...not that the adventures were over just that they were good places to stop reading. This one hasThe other two books in this series had nice endings...not that the adventures were over just that they were good places to stop reading. This one has more of a cliff-hanger. And the fact that I can't even find the fourth book online anywhere...makes me wonder what is happening. I think some kids I know will be sad that they won't know the end of the adventures......more
This was a fun start to the Tales of a Manx Preemie. And I love that there are some fun chapter books that take place on the Isle of Man. I can't waitThis was a fun start to the Tales of a Manx Preemie. And I love that there are some fun chapter books that take place on the Isle of Man. I can't wait to see what my nieces and nephews think of this one. :)...more
In this fairy tale world the children of various fairy tale characters know that they will go to school and eventually grow up and take the place of tIn this fairy tale world the children of various fairy tale characters know that they will go to school and eventually grow up and take the place of their parents. So Apple White will eventually become the new Snow White. And Raven Queen will eventually become the Evil Queen destined to try to kill Apple. The only complication is that Raven doesn’t want to be evil. She doesn’t even like her mother and wants to be nothing like her. Sure she has power and goblins and the like are more than willing to have her as their queen. But Raven truly wants to be her own person and not be forced to live a life based on the choices of those that had lived before. Or based on the Storybook of Legends and what that book determines her life should be like. This line of thinking makes Apple nervous. For if Raven doesn’t follow through with her evil destiny, that will ruin Apple’s chance for a happily ever after.
This is a great book. First of all I love that it is written for a younger audience. There a few and far between books that I can recommend for elementary school-aged kids that are well written. And I am glad that another one has joined the ranks. Secondly, I love the twists and turns that come with the “kids” of all these fairy tale characters. Not only do they have some characteristics of their fairy tale parents, but they are their own selves. Sure the Charming brothers are, well, charming. But they have personalities that go beyond the few sentences that ever describe the handsome princes. And the fact that even all the more minor characters have personalities that are rich and full of depth is refreshing. (Even the narrator is given a bit of a personality!) Plus, as a kid who is often told exactly what they should do and how they should do it and who they should become, this is just the type of book to give them confidence to be themselves. Add to all that the fact that there is enough fight and pull to get away from the typical fairy tale stories and the audience just has no way to know where this story is going. I can’t wait to see where this series is headed!...more
This is another retelling of the Tortoise & the Hare, but done in the illustration style that only Jerry Pinkney can do. The race begins with loadThis is another retelling of the Tortoise & the Hare, but done in the illustration style that only Jerry Pinkney can do. The race begins with loads of animals dressed in some items of clothes (hats, vests, bonnets, etc.) ready to watch the race between the tortoise and the hare. There aren’t many words. A fox calls out, “On your marks, get set…Go!” Of course the hare takes off and goes as fast as possible. The pictures show how the hare can go quickly over logs or water and the tortoise takes more time (illustrated by more panels) to go over the same distance. To begin with the hare looks frantic and is going all-out (as shown by the completely outstretched body). But soon hare slows down and digs a hole, eats some lettuce, and takes a nap. Tortoise still trudges on. Eventually hare wakes up and realizes that the nap wasn’t such a great idea because “slow and steady wins the race!”
This is a delightfully illustrated edition of this fable. The expressions on the animals are amazing. There is so much that is told in just an expression or the body language. They way that the smaller panels show what takes longer (from the tortoise’s movements to hare’s sleeping) are a nice visual cue as to how continual movement is more important than rushing and going off-course. And the last illustration with the hare tying the checkered flag around the tortoise’s neck hints that there are no hard feelings against each other. This is a fun retelling that is nearly wordless–just the most essential words are used. Which is great since that will allow grownups who “read” the book to youngsters to continually ask “what is happening?” Which in turn will allow kiddos the opportunity to practice their narrative skills by interpreting what they see and processing it with words into a story. Nicely done, Mr. Pinkney. Nicely done....more
Cress (short for Crescent Moon) is stuck in a satellite. Thaumaturge Mira has trapped her there ever since she figured out how to manipulate a netscreCress (short for Crescent Moon) is stuck in a satellite. Thaumaturge Mira has trapped her there ever since she figured out how to manipulate a netscreen…and forces her to work non-stip for the Lunar crown. But Cress wants a prince to save her…or at least someone like Thorne (who happens to be a hero). And she doesn’t want Cinder to fall prey to Queen Levana, who she despises even more than Thaumaturge Mira. But as with all things in this sci-fi fairytale world, there are some harsh parts of living in a fairy tale. Take for example the “fall” that Rapunzel’s (or Cress’) hero must have. And the fact that that hero loses his sight from that fall (in the traditional tale as well as here). And of course Cinder and Scarlet don’t have it easy either. In fact, I would not envy either of their fairy tales plot-lines this go-round. But…seeing how there is still one more story to go, of course life is still tricky and hard. And there isn’t quite the “happily ever” after yet. But hopefully, with a little luck and some superb cyber help from Cress, then Cinder can take some more steps to stop Queen Levana from taking over the world. Well done. Now if only Winter was out…...more
Antonia was a beautiful princess. She had everything she could ever want, being a princess and all. However, she felt bored. But being a princess sheAntonia was a beautiful princess. She had everything she could ever want, being a princess and all. However, she felt bored. But being a princess she had many friends. So she called them up. But Cinderella was cleaning, Rapunzel didn’t leave her tower, Sleeping Beauty was taking a nap, and Snow White was just plain busy. But Antonia couldn’t stand it. She was bored and she finally decided to do something about it. So she started running. She ran to Rapunzel’s tower and convinced Rapunzel to run with her. Then Cinderella joined them. And Snow White and Sleeping Beauty. Then some animals joined them (like the three billy goats gruff). Antonia loved the freedom she felt while she was running. Finally they all reached the sea and a lovely sunset. Then everyone turned around and went back to their homes with a fresh outlook on life. From then on out all the princesses were more apt to do things together, and they were never bored.
This is a fun twist on what it is like to be a fairy tale princess. In fact, I love the fact that Antonia takes charge of her life by doing something rather than actually just being bored. She didn’t wait for a fairy godmother or a prince to come and change her life–she did it. Also, I liked how just the act of running, exercising, made her feel better. Not stuff that she got or bought or friends or anything. It was doing something. And then all her friends decided to go along with her.
And then there are the illustrations. I love how it feels like a few textures and some colors were put together to make these pictures. Textures such as the bows on Antonia’s dress or what look like a photograph of Snow White’s dishes are combined with what look like lace doilies or brick walls for paths and castle towers. Then illustrations of the actual princesses faces or hair or trees are ever present as well. In fact, this whole set of illustrations are just one happy marriage of texture, drawing, and complementing colors (that go along with the pink and sparkly feel most young readers will love). Seriously, any little girl who loves pink and princesses will enjoy this story. And who knows, perhaps she will also learn to run or do things on her own to make her life a little less-boring. Brilliant....more