I liked this one better than her first two books. It's clearly targeted at quite young children--fewer words, and there is a rhyming scheme to facilit...moreI liked this one better than her first two books. It's clearly targeted at quite young children--fewer words, and there is a rhyming scheme to facilitate reading aloud, although the meter is clunky on more than a few of the pages, which could make you stumble in your recitation.
Most of the story is about a tiny man, Mr. Zidderdeedee, who lives beneath a big tree and makes sure the roots get watered when it rains. I'm unclear why it's necessary to poke a funnel up through the grass to collect the water and run it via a garden hose to the roots instead of just letting the rain soak down, but I guess if you can accept the idea of a tiny man living under a tree, then perhaps the ecological inaccuracies wouldn't bother you anyway. I think Ms. Page was aiming for whimsy; however, in the end it just wasn't my cup of tea.
I received a free PDF copy of this title from the publicist in exchange for my review.(less)
In Bobbs and the Little Boy, the little boy (who is never named, so I'll call him LB) has a big sister, so then why does he freak out about a girl moving in across the street in Bobbs and the Little Boy Meet Agnes and say he knows nothing about girls or what they like? I could understand him being disappointed that the new neighbor was a girl rather than a boy his age, but his consternation is...odd. And why was Bobbs so upset--wouldn't it have made more sense for Bobbs to be merely curious about girls?
The story in Meet Agnes jumps from page to page, seemingly at random, as though there were originally a much longer, more cohesive story, but my copy somehow lost pages along the way. It's a nice idea for a story for the two children to become friends; however, nothing feels authentic. Two thirds of the way through, the author just announces, "Now they are friends." Huh?
Agnes was a brat the day she moved in, yet that night, LB & Bobbs decide to make friends with her. She's lonely on one page,...and on the next, she's throwing a hissy fit over an outfit. The loneliness would make a good plotline, but it's never connected to the hissy fit, and on the next page, LB & Bobbs are suddenly at Agnes' house watching her make a disgusting concoction of PB&J goo. Um, OK, why? The next page is about a sleepover just for girls, then--poof!--a page about singing and mixing up words where Page says they had become friends. And so on until the end of the book.
It's like Ms. Page had ideas for stories but skipped the part where she edited what she wrote, got other people to read and give feedback, edited some more, submitted to a publisher, had a professional editor work with her to smooth out the jolts and lurching, got the stories checked over by a copy editor, polished them one last time, and THEN published.
Sadly, I can't see recommending these books to library patrons or even reading them to my own daughter. I received free copies from the publicist in exchange for being part of the author's "Virtual Tour," but in light of my opinion of them, as a courtesy, I will only be posting my reviews here (because I try to write reviews of everything I read) and not on my blog.(less)
The book is odd, disjointed, and poorly written. The stuffed creature named Bobbs is creepy, actually, and reminds me of the horrible movie, Ted, star...moreThe book is odd, disjointed, and poorly written. The stuffed creature named Bobbs is creepy, actually, and reminds me of the horrible movie, Ted, starring Mark Wahlberg, except without the drugs, alcohol, bad language, and promiscuity (thank goodness!).
The sentence structure doesn't flow well--sentences are often choppy and awkward. Sometimes high-level words are used (i.e. "petrified") that seem unlikely to come out of the mouth of a child in daycare, while other times words are said over and over, making the text repetitive but not in a positive learning kind of way. And there are missing commas in many compound sentences, which is a particular pet peeve of mine.
One sentence's repetition which gave me the heebie jeebies was, "Did Bobbs smile at the little boy?" I think maybe it would have been better for the story if that idea had progressed, as though the little boy (who never gets named, so I'll call him LB) noticed but didn't believe his eyes at first. You know, started out as, "Did Bobbs smile at the little boy," and then the next time changed to, "The little boy looked closer. Did Bobbs just smile at him?" And so on.
When Bobbs first talks to the little boy, he tells LB, "...there are some things little boys do that I can't know - that I don't understand." Bobbs insists that because they are buddies, he has to ask LB questions, and LB has to answer. This somehow comes across as sinister and abusive to me, but more importantly, I don't understand the choice of phrasing. Why can't Bobbs know? That particular phrase is repeated when Bobbs asks about the crying boy who was afraid of clowns. I don't get it. Why can't he know? Is he not allowed? Is he not capable of knowing?
I haven't been able to figure out what the point of this book is. Who is the intended audience? I thought it was supposed to be a story of friendship between a boy and his favorite stuffed animal, so why lurch from tale to tale of a small child improbably explaining to the talking stuffed toy about why children get scared. Maybe this book is supposed to be used in therapy?? It had the potential to be a very sweet story, akin to Corduroy meets Toy Story meets Penguin, but it missed that by a mile.
I wanted to get a second opinion, so I had my mom, a retired elementary school librarian and teacher, read it, too. She also thought it was bizarre. My husband couldn't even make it past the first couple of pages.
I received a free copy of this book from the publicist as part of their "virtual book tour," although I ended up offering to not participate since I didn't like the books (this one and its sequel, Bobbs and the Boy Meet Agnes). Still, my goal is to review every book I read, so I'm posting this here, if not on my blog.(less)
Nobody really pays much attention to Wanda Petronski other than to tease the shy, silent girl about the hundred dresses she claims to have, so no one...moreNobody really pays much attention to Wanda Petronski other than to tease the shy, silent girl about the hundred dresses she claims to have, so no one even notices at first when she stops showing up to school. When her classmates do think of her, it's often to wonder why she would lie about something so obvious--she clearly has only the one dress, which she wears every single day.
Maddie's best friend Peggy instigated the daily teasing sessions, and Maddie has always felt guilty about that, but she's been afraid to speak up for fear the girls' attention would turn to her next. After all, she's poor, too, although not quite so poor as Wanda. When Wanda stops coming to school, Maddie wants to do something to make up for hurting her, especially after they all learn the truth of the hundred dresses. But are they too late?
This classic story highlights not only the emotional pain inflicted by bullies but also the trauma caused by bystanders who privately object yet publicly do nothing to stop the abuse. Like Mean Girls but for an older elementary school crowd. It would be a great choice for a classroom read-aloud and discussion (or role-playing session), as well as an excellent book for parents and grandparents to read (aloud or silently) and discuss with their children/grandchildren. Even though it was first published in 1944, it's still relevant today, other than the sexist design/coloring competition and the fact that girls only wear dresses to school.(less)
Great little book about an older sister who doesn't want to share with her younger sister. The illustrations really tell this story and convey Sheila...moreGreat little book about an older sister who doesn't want to share with her younger sister. The illustrations really tell this story and convey Sheila Rae & Louise's feelings better than words could ever do. The last page, however, I often skip when reading to my daughter because it seems like it was tacked on to appease parents, and I don't find it believable. Too saccharine.(less)
Super short. Pretty humorous. Includes a fairly explicit sex scene. Well, the whole thing is just one scene, part of which is a quickie on the couch (...moreSuper short. Pretty humorous. Includes a fairly explicit sex scene. Well, the whole thing is just one scene, part of which is a quickie on the couch (that ends up on the floor). I'm not even sure what doorway(s) to tag it with because the whole thing is so short. Anyone who likes the Charley Davidson Grim Reaper series should enjoy this little vignette. Definitely don't read it unless you've read the first 5 books in the series, though, as it contains spoilers.(less)