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
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
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
This is a fun alphabet book that has a story. Similar to how Caveman A B.C. Story had a story presented through the alphabet…so does this. Although thThis is a fun alphabet book that has a story. Similar to how Caveman A B.C. Story had a story presented through the alphabet…so does this. Although this particular story is a familiar fairy tale–Goldilocks and the Three Bears. It starts with “A” for the alphabet and then goes to the “B” bears and ends with (the second) “Z” which “is for zany…because it was that kind of day!” Kids who know the original Goldilocks story will laugh at the new alphabetical way the story is presented. Then there are the illustrations. Each alphabet letter looks like it has wood grain lines running through it, giving a complimentary feel to the “carved” letters while allowing them to all be different colors that pop off the page. And Goldilocks is just fun with wild yellow hair (that almost reminds me of the crazy-wild hair of a certain new red-headed princess from a cartoon…just less curly). When looking at the illustrations there are bits that are totally in focus such as the characters or significant parts to the story (the porridge, the chairs, the bed, etc.). However, the background of the illustrations have a soft, somewhat out-of-focus quality (the details on the forest trees aren’t crisp or the picture hanging on the cottage wall is out of focus) which makes the illustrations have the same feel as some professional photography will carefully picked frame of focus and soft focus background. Only this is with illustrations. And being a person who loves looking at some great photography…I kind of liked the way the illustrations were thought-through to the point that even the details or lack of details draws readers to particular points of a story.
All-in-all this is a fun story. I don’t know that it will help young readers drill the alphabet letters in their heads. But it will be something that kids who are learning or have just learned the alphabet can find joy in because they can figure out what is coming, especially if they happen to love folk and fairy tales. I like it. A lot....more
Veronica’s life is horrid. Her father disappeared when she was younger, her boyfriend just broke up with her (and apparently the whole school high schVeronica’s life is horrid. Her father disappeared when she was younger, her boyfriend just broke up with her (and apparently the whole school high school knew he was cheating on her), and her mother and soon-to-be lazy step-father want her out of the house. So when she starts seeing visions of an extremely hot guy in a kilt, she wonders if she is going crazy. Then Veronica’s best friend MacKenna decides to take Veronica with her to Scotland to take care of the cottage she inherited from her aunt. Then Vee and Kenna discover that the cottage borders a legend of a magical land named Doon. And when they are transported to Doon, Veronica discovers that the kilt clad Prince is the man of her visions. But the citizens of Doon are wary of the two foreign girls. To top it all off, something dark is trying to destroy Doon. And Veronica has no idea how to save the place that has immediately captured her heart, nor the prince who seems be teetering between hating and loving Veronica.
My inner-romantic has always loved a good musical. I can’t even tell you how many times I watched Brigadoon, one of my all-time favorites. So imagine my delight when I heard that this particular book had ties to that story. Although this novel has nods to Brigadoon (used with permission), this Doon is a little different from the musical. For starters there are touches of modern plumbing and multicultural foods. And there is a castle with a beautiful mountain vista (that of course Veronica falls in love with). The novel is told in multiple points of view: Veronica’s and MacKenna’s. Although Veronica’s story is the majority of the book. The multiple points of view are nice, because readers get to know and care about both girls (and both of their love interests). Which is not to say that they are the only characters readers will care about. Fergus the guard and Fiona are great supporting characters, with a romance of their own. In fact, the whole book is one romantic journey for those three couples. Romantic both in the traditional sense and in that the setting is one of those magically romantic settings. However, once a reader gets to the end of this book, there is going to be serious heart palpitations. Mostly because there is an emotional cliff-hanger. Which is not surprising seeing how this is to be the first in a series of four books. Seriously, if I could make the authors write any faster…I would. Because this is one of those stories that I long to read…only just the first part has been written. Can’t wait for more....more
Once upon a time there were three little pigs. When the farmer and his wife decide to sell the farm and move to Florida, the three pigs have to go outOnce upon a time there were three little pigs. When the farmer and his wife decide to sell the farm and move to Florida, the three pigs have to go out into the world and get their own place. The first pig wants to build a house out of straw seeing how that would leave more money for potato chips. The second pig builds a house out of sticks and purchases bottles of sody-pop. The third pig spends all her money on bricks and gets by with a sandwich that she was given (although she has plans to plant a garden). Of course the big bad wolf comes. He is very hungry but all the food shops in town close as soon as they see the wolf coming. So when he comes upon the first and second pig’s homes he blows them down while looking for some food. But when he gets to the third pig’s home he can’t blow down the brick home. Then comes the fun twist of the pigs learning that this particular wolf isn’t quite so big and bad as he appeared to be.
This is a fun remake of the Three Little Pigs and the Big Bad Wolf. I liked how the wolf isn’t quite so bad, he just acted bad because he was so hungry. I liked how the illustrations are as big and grand as this classic story. The brush strokes give just the right amount of texture to make me almost sneeze at the sight of the straw. I also like all the little details like the scooter that one of the pigs uses to get around. Or the pink flamingo in the yard of the brick house. And I am seriously impressed with how the diving board over the swimming pool really looks like it is bouncing up and down just after it flung the first pig into the air. The story is amusing, but the illustrations truly make this story shine....more
Crankee Doodle is just a touch cranky. Even though he is “bored” he doesn’t want to heed his pony’s advice and head to town. And he definetly does notCrankee Doodle is just a touch cranky. Even though he is “bored” he doesn’t want to heed his pony’s advice and head to town. And he definetly does not want to get a feather for his cap (he doesn’t even like macaroni). In this playful parody to the classic children’s song Yankee Doodle Dandy children will laugh (not only at the talking pony’s interaction with Crankee) but the fact that Crankee is just as confused at various references to the song as children might be (why oh why is a fancy hat called macaroni?). The illustrations also portray just how whimsical this story is. From the mid-eye-rolls of Crankee to the curved macaroni on the end pages, this book is as over the top as the the amount of blades of grass that are illustrated on one hill (which is a lot). In fact, for children who often wonder at the crazy ideas or words or phrases of grownups (, Crankee just might be a character that will bring about laughs over the strange antics of a song that so many grownups have taught children over the years....more
I just had to share this one. Not much to say, but so fun that I had to share it. This is like those Where’s Waldo books only it is with Doctor Who. II just had to share this one. Not much to say, but so fun that I had to share it. This is like those Where’s Waldo books only it is with Doctor Who. I know loads of kids who love the search-and-find picture books. So this is a fun idea for those parents who are into Doctor Who and are excited about looking for something other than the red and white stripes. Honestly, the adults might like this book more than the kiddos. Now if only all the other iconic movies could have their own search-and-find books. Perhaps Pride and Prejudice or Star Wars perhaps? Maybe Sherlock?...more
In this prehistoric rendition of the Three Billy Goats Gruff, three triceratops brothers (with the last name of “Tuff”) see some lush, green plants onIn this prehistoric rendition of the Three Billy Goats Gruff, three triceratops brothers (with the last name of “Tuff”) see some lush, green plants on the other side of the valley. They want to go and eat…but there is a big, bad tyrannosaurus rex blocking their way. The smallest brother (named Stanley) heads down first. Of course the T-Rex decides to wait for the option of a bigger meal. Then Rufus heads over and tells Rex about a bigger brother to keep from becoming a meal. Finally the oldest and the biggest triceratops brother comes down to the valley. The T-Rex tries to eat him, but with one powerful blow from Bob’s tail, the T-Rex is sent far away. And the three triceratops (along with many other vegetarian dinosaurs) get to eat to their heart’s content.
This is a fun play on a classic story. And what kids won’t love the fact that it is all about dinosaurs?!? The big black lines around the dinosaurs and simple textured colors will give young readers loads to look at as well as clearly showing them what is going on. However, readers who don’t know that this is a play on the Billy Goats GRUFF will wonder why the triceratops are named TUFF. But with the T-Rex flying into a volcano, most kids will only care about how cool Bob is for a big brother....more
Not sure I loved (or totally got) the ending. Honestly it jarred me a bit. But then again a wolf trying to eat you is typically a jarring story. BeautNot sure I loved (or totally got) the ending. Honestly it jarred me a bit. But then again a wolf trying to eat you is typically a jarring story. Beautiful illustrations. Just not sure if I would give it to a kid......more