I had a lot of partly painful, partly amused déjà-vus reading this picture book. My parents would also always find something they had to do while wait...moreI had a lot of partly painful, partly amused déjà-vus reading this picture book. My parents would also always find something they had to do while waiting for their counterpart to finish looking for that key, freshening up, changing the sweater for a blouse or whatever. And afterwards they blamed each other, or - even worse - us kids for being so miraculously late. (less)
I had thought that a picture book that came with its own music to accompany the story would be a splendid idea.
But I didn't know that the CD would co...moreI had thought that a picture book that came with its own music to accompany the story would be a splendid idea.
But I didn't know that the CD would contain a complete audio version of the text with the songs just strewn in between. The narrator has a lovely, mellow voice that fits the story, but in spite of that it didn't work to listen to the CD while looking at the illustrations. At least not for my niece. She kept turning the pages at a much too quick pace while the audio narrator (Dr. Ring Ding) happily babbled on and on and on. That didn't happen once when we were really reading the text together without third party input - but also without the music.
To me this mixed-media picture book attempt has to be filed away as a failure.(less)
How can you not love a huge, white, teethy and altogether fluffy monster named Prima, who roars, but dances around on much too dainty paws clad in sat...moreHow can you not love a huge, white, teethy and altogether fluffy monster named Prima, who roars, but dances around on much too dainty paws clad in satiny pink ballet slippers?(less)
Sooo cute, this 3D picture book about Louis, the Parisian ladybug, who saves Lotte, a battered moth, from bashing her head to pulp against an ever-lur...moreSooo cute, this 3D picture book about Louis, the Parisian ladybug, who saves Lotte, a battered moth, from bashing her head to pulp against an ever-luring lantern. I want a copy of my own.(less)
Toll! So viel kurzweilige und hilfreiche Informaion auf nur 40 Seiten - inklusive Illustrationen und einer guten Dosis leicht sarkastischen Humors:
"Ei...moreToll! So viel kurzweilige und hilfreiche Informaion auf nur 40 Seiten - inklusive Illustrationen und einer guten Dosis leicht sarkastischen Humors:
"Ein Land zu regieren ist ein bisschen so, wie einen Goldfisch zu haben. Wenn du dich nicht um den Fisch kümmerst, geht alles das Klo runter (in diesem Fall: der Fisch). Sich um eine Bevölkerung zu kümmern macht allerdings etwas mehr Arbeit. Deine Einwohner werden sich nämlich nicht nur mit ein bisschen Futter und sauberem Wasser zufriedengeben. Sie werden große Dinge von Dir erwarten wie eine Regierung, ein Rechts- und ein Wirtschaftssystem. Und kleinere Dinge wie Straßen, Schulen und Krankenhäuser."
"Es hört sich erst einmal verlockend an, die Alleinherrschaft zu haben, aber die Geschichte lehrt uns, dass dieser Job auch gefährlich ist: Mancher Alleinherrscher wurde abgesetzt, gestürzt oder sogar enthauptet. Probier es lieber erst mal mit einer dieser anderen Regierungsformen: ..."(less)
"The Chicken Thief" is a beautifully illustrated, wordless story, but I am not sure concerning the book's message, which is supposed to be unexpected...more"The Chicken Thief" is a beautifully illustrated, wordless story, but I am not sure concerning the book's message, which is supposed to be unexpected "love". The so-called love story features a hen abducted by a fox while her friends are watching in horror. A hen who in the end shows symptoms of Stockholm Syndrome and sends her faithful friends home after a long and laborious rescue mission with a wave of her wing.
After "reading" the story and finding out that the bear, the rabbit and the goose are depicted as the characters who misinterpreted the dangerous-seeming situation wrongly (they blush self-consciously, when they see the hen hug the fox and look away), and that the fox is meant to be a gruff, tough-shell-guy with a marshmallow heart instead of a criminal who changes his mind mid-story, I don't feel comfortable enough to give the hardcover to my little niece anymore. What if she expects abduction by strange, violent men to be the ultimate fun?
The book goes back to Amazon - and on my a-jerk-is-a-jerk shelf, too.
Look at that cute cover! Read the enthusiastic praise by well-known German newspapers and radio stations! Feel my speechless disappointment:
The story...moreLook at that cute cover! Read the enthusiastic praise by well-known German newspapers and radio stations! Feel my speechless disappointment:
The story is supposed to be realistic and yet poetic: Well, yes, the first-person-POV bunny lives in a huge, grey Japanese apartment complex and its Daddy is stuck in an airplane. But Bunny is not supposed to go out and play in the snow until it stops snowing. So the book basically deals with Bunny and Mommy bunny hovering inside that bleak, greyish, dark apartment. They play cards, Bunny makes a forbidden trip to the balcony, Mama cooks and uses the phone. But WHY is it not possible to play in the falling snow in the first place??? This is not Antarctica. It's Tokyo.
The other thing that let me down were the supposedly masterful illustrations. The Bunny family sports red, glowing eyes - colorful dots in a dreary, boring world that presses down on my lungs - colorful dots that turn cutish figures into zombie-like creatures, who get to spend one short moment of happiness in a lonely concrete yard forming little ghosts out of snowy slush.
How poetic, how minimalistic, how artistic! But how enjoyable? Not very much. But that's just my own, unprofessional opinion. (less)
This satirical approach to explaining the principle of shopping and spending money on superfluous things to children - a "picture book" that makes do...moreThis satirical approach to explaining the principle of shopping and spending money on superfluous things to children - a "picture book" that makes do almost without pictures - is so hilarious that I had tears streaming down my face. I consider it a real gem, because I discovered it accidentally in the library.
Here are some treats for you, quotes, loosely translated from the German original cardboard edition:
"When you step out of your door there are a lot of shops waiting for you to enter. The whole world is a shop. [...] Shopping is costly. Therefore your parents give pocket money to you. Please count diligently: How much money have you got? Now compare: How much has your sister got? Your best friend?" [...] More pocket money equals more buying power, which means more work and more secure jobs – even for your parents. If your parents won’t listen to you, speak to grandma and granddad or other relatives!”
“The 10 Golden Rules: 1. Shopping is important. 2. Don’t let anything stop you: Your wishes count. 3. Always take enough money with you. 4. Avoid shops with unfriendly clerks. 5. When you like something: Buy it. 6. If you have doubts: Buy it anyway! 7. Don’t wear used clothes. Buy new ones. 8. Don’t accept self-made presents. 9. Buy things your friends can’t afford. 10. Insist that you are allowed to shop on Sundays*.”
Isn’t it utterly delightful? I thought it was almost as entertaining as some reviews by outraged parents who took the experiment published by a well-known art publisher seriously and bought a copy to enlighten their offspring.
"You get three wishes," the genie said. "I wish for a Duck for Dirk, and My Secret Agent Lover Man for me, and a beautiful little house for us to liv...more"You get three wishes," the genie said. "I wish for a Duck for Dirk, and My Secret Agent Lover Man for me, and a beautiful little house for us to live in happiliy ever after." "Your wishes are granted. Mostly," said the genie.
My wishes were not granted, mostly. I was prepared to read a short, but pleasantly shocking, quirky urban young adult fantasy novel of the ageless sort. Something that has earned being referenced in every other modern fairytale review. But I was disappointed by something so decadent and otherwordly silly of novella-sized proportions - which is maybe hip and maybe multi-layered and satirical and whatnot - that I failed to get it.
Please don't misunderstand. I am not complaining about the "plot" or what the story deals with in general. I do appreciate that it celebrates love in countless forms and outlets between friends, gay lovers, couples who have already split up but cannot let go, parent and child, human and pet, love in different modes of bliss and hurt, family as patchwork as it gets, forgiveness and beauty. I draw my hat because drugs, AIDS, the downsides of stardom and other problems occuring in Hollywood and elsewhere are not glossed over, but brazenly interwoven into everyday life.
I felt let down, because "Weetzie Bat" could only be compared to a fairytale in the sense that both dump unbelievable or exciting facts onto the reader using a detached point of view and a really compact, condensed style: The evil frog turned green with envy, followed the princess into her plush chamber and impregnated her on the spot. He left the castle seven nights before his daughter Swampsea was born. "Good riddance," said her mother, now a royal single parent, and employed a gnarly-horned wet-nurse from hell. Oops! Wrong tale! The man's name was Valentine Jah-Love and the woman's name was Ping Chong. [...] "Jah!" cried Valentine, lifting his stormy face up in the greenish electric light. "You'll have to stay here. It will rain for seven days and seven nights." It rained and rained. Everything in "Weetzie Bat" happens immediately and reminded me of the times in my childhood when I tried to made up a story, started by choosing the characters' names with painful elaboration - the wackier, the better -, moved on to outline what was supposed to happen to whom, jotted down some experimental dialogue and then ... left it to its own devices, because playing some other promising game of make-believe had gained my attention.
In addition to the rush and the lack of filling everything is so easy and too superficial. I.e. My Secret Agent Lover Man (that's a character's name) and Weetzie successfully "make" a couple of movies with the help of one or two friends and their house-mates, who function as actors, wardrobe people and whoever is needed, and earn enough money to live, indulge in their favorite sushi and buy a new car although there is no talk about financing or selling the projects or even of anybody watching the outcomes.
Plus my expectation of a magically version of an 80s L.A. had to be satisfied by a voodoo practicing seductress popping in as a supporting character and by a genie suffering from occupational burn-out who transplants Weetzie and Dirk from being teenaged, desillusioned lesson-cutters to living as house-owners on the look-out for the perfect, respective "Duck" (guy).
Please forgive me, enthusiastic Weetzie fans, for missing the spectacular wonder Weetzie's adventures are supposed to present and for being impatient enough to skip all four sequels without dishing out a second chance to Cherokee, Witch Baby and yet unknown Angel Juan to eventually wow me.(less)
Gosh, that rampant cow and her friends - including the farm lady - are so cute. I love all those tiny details like the chicken who secretly reads in t...moreGosh, that rampant cow and her friends - including the farm lady - are so cute. I love all those tiny details like the chicken who secretly reads in the hen coup or the tiny TV antenna on the bird house roof. I bought this volume for my niece, but I think I have to own at least one of Lieselotte's adventures myself.(less)
Well ... apart from the fact that a bored and bright kid can have an awesome time with every thing that offers colorful illustrations (from food wrap...more Well ... apart from the fact that a bored and bright kid can have an awesome time with every thing that offers colorful illustrations (from food wrappings to street signs) I think that "Little Miss Austen" is one of the worst counting books I've come across. It comes highly recommended as a baby shower present for Darcy-crazy young mums. And since I love my Austen novels a lot, I thought I had to see for myself how the book, that claims to introduce the classic lovestory to the youngest of all readerships, manages to 'tell' the story in 22 pages. I have to admit I overlooked the 'counting primer' inscription on the cover, when I stumbled across the publisher's site. Still, even when I held the book in my hands and noticed the fine print I was intrigued. But ... do you want to know what superduper interesting things the book counts together with darling Baby Fitzwilliam? Horses (great!), Rich Gentlemen (well, okay ...), Sisters (alright ...), but Marriage Proposals? 1000-Pound-Notes (10 altogether)? Probably you hand over the great idea to the austenish Mummy if you buy this book for her newborn. You show her that you are aware of her obsession, that you are a observant girl-friend. I would rather buy something that will appeal to Mini-Bingley a few months later and promise his mother to find time for a video marathon or a joined re-read when he is asleep fondly drooling on 'Bobo Siebenschläfer'.Here are a few sample pages to give you an idea.(less)
Some picture books are also for adults, but some - though not inappropriate or difficult - are sold as children's books but seem to be secretly aimed...moreSome picture books are also for adults, but some - though not inappropriate or difficult - are sold as children's books but seem to be secretly aimed at adults all the way. The popular book about a red-and-white-striped sheep named Fiete, who goes on a day-dream-voyage round the globe together with the wind and his seagull girl-friend only to return to his familiar beach and say "I like it best at home after all" certainly tastes like one of those. All the merchandise that is available (including litte satchets of sugar for tea, postcard-collections and beach towels) heavily underlines that theory.
I am one of those adults who'd rather read something fun or interesting for kids than a feel-good-about-life-picture-book from the don't-know-what-to-buy-gift-book-display. (less)
I don't know. Usually I am enchanted by everything fairytalish and wacky. The crazier the idea or the more far-fetched the setting, the louder my chee...moreI don't know. Usually I am enchanted by everything fairytalish and wacky. The crazier the idea or the more far-fetched the setting, the louder my cheer. But this half-modern, half-traditional fairytale did not move or delight me in the least:
An evil dragon king, who eats his seven dwarfish cooks for breakfast and has a human daughter, who loves the kingdom's pop-idol, a penguin singer/entertainer, who sings songs that criticise the royal rule and thus gets arrested by the king's robots. The princess persuades her witch-aunt, who lives in Berlin-Grünewald and loves finnish Vodka, to disable the prison's security by feeding virus-salamanders into the system, gets the roboters a stocking-knitting job and serves her unsuspecting father a magic pudding, which turns him into something small and harmless. Duh.
I think there are too many aspects that would only appeal to adults and too few elements that could turn the story into something that has sarcastic bite or creative brilliance. The pictures are nicely done, but the plot sounds like something I could have jumbled together after two glasses of wine and a bucket full of giggles.(less)