A fairly simple lost-in-fairyland tale with beautiful illustrations. Reminiscent of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Little Nemo, and Spirited Away (...moreA fairly simple lost-in-fairyland tale with beautiful illustrations. Reminiscent of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Little Nemo, and Spirited Away (and a bit of Peter Pan). Story is a little too derivative, with its influences worn prominently on its sleeve. The basic premise is straight out of Little Nemo, with our protagonists lost in a dream and trying to find their way home. There is what might be considered a sub-plot involving Leah (the older sibling) growing up and needing to move out of the nursery soon (a la Wendy in Peter Pan), but nothing really comes of it. The train sequence in particular is very reminiscent of Miyazaki's Spirited Away, and the bee keeper reminds me more of Miyazaki's witch than Carroll's Red Queen, though Nytra's linework does remind one of Tenniel.(less)
Note: This is a general review of the whole series, not this specific volume.
The Nancy Drew Notebooks were a series of chapter books designed for youn...moreNote: This is a general review of the whole series, not this specific volume.
The Nancy Drew Notebooks were a series of chapter books designed for younger readers, starring a third grade Nancy with her pals Bess and George. Supporting characters Carson Drew and Hannah Gruen are also present. The series was later revamped and relaunched as Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew, and the Clue Crew books are generally better IMO.
The Notebooks mysteries are typically eight chapters each, about 70 pages. As with the parent series, Nancy does most of the actual sleuthing, and Bess and George provide moral support and act as audience surrogates, asking Nancy questions that prod her towards the correct answers. The mysteries typically revolve around school girl concerns--who took a locket, who erased Nancy's name from the volunteer board, is Hannah leaving for a new job, did Nancy's puppy steal food?
There are a few recurring supporting characters, most notable of whom is rival Brenda Carlson, who is generally an annoyance and leads to frequent mean-spiritedness.
The Clue Crew mysteries are better in my opinion for several reasons: Bess and George are promoted to full partners in "the Clue Crew" (though Nancy is first among equals); Bess is given more positive character traits beyond being fashion conscious (she likes to build and fix things)(George remains the athletic one but is also promoted to computer whiz); Brenda is thankfully removed and is replaced with a more consistent group of classmates (some of whom can be annoying but none of whom are as outright nasty as Brenda); the mysteries are slightly longer (100 pages, 10 chapters), the mysteries are slightly more diverse; and they are in general more positive in tone than the Notebooks series.
I'll note for the record that there's a corresponding set of young Hardy Boys books but we haven't tried any of those yet--Sophie hasn't demonstrated much interest. (less)
Another wonderful comic for young readers from Toon Books.
This one is for beginning readers. Clean, clear art moves a simple story forward, with easy...moreAnother wonderful comic for young readers from Toon Books.
This one is for beginning readers. Clean, clear art moves a simple story forward, with easy dialog for beginning readers. Chick and Chickie are friends who play together; taking turns creating masks and then playing with the letter 'A'. The landscape format allows the presentation of one or two panels per page in a single tier, removing any ambiguities in the panel to panel transitions. My five year-old enjoyed it.(less)
A Toon Book. Like Pixar, Toon Books are consistently good; you can't go wrong no matter which one you pick. This is the third Benny and Penny book, fo...moreA Toon Book. Like Pixar, Toon Books are consistently good; you can't go wrong no matter which one you pick. This is the third Benny and Penny book, following Just Pretend and The Big No No, though they're each stand alone stories.(less)