This is the same illustrator as Duck! Rabbit!, notoriously not one of my favorites. Cloudette was... eh. The illustrations are pretty cute but the stoThis is the same illustrator as Duck! Rabbit!, notoriously not one of my favorites. Cloudette was... eh. The illustrations are pretty cute but the story line is contrived and down talking, and I hate picture books like that. Kids aren't stupid, they just don't have extensive vocabularies yet. Yet. There is a major plot hole (I know, it's a picture book, the plot is like *this* big. Nonetheless...) in that Cloudette laments that her smallness makes her useless, yet she forces herself to be bigger...? Seems like an easy fix. Feeling useless, Cloudette? Just suddenly make yourself useful! Yeah. I'm not buying it. Needs less baby talk. Needs more explosions.
**Edit: I would like to note that I liked the use of "cloud" words. I guess if you're going to be themey, you should go all out....more
My first impression of this book was, "WHAT IS THIS I DON'T EVEN." The book flap proclaims this is an added chapter to Animal Farm, in which a young dMy first impression of this book was, "WHAT IS THIS I DON'T EVEN." The book flap proclaims this is an added chapter to Animal Farm, in which a young duck questions the authority of the pig in charge, Orvie (why? why change it? I just don't understand). Naturally, Orvie doesn't have an army of vicious dogs to help him run a tight ship so the duck's insistance that he be allowed to "wear the farmer boots" doesn't result in his head being ripped off. Instead, it ends in everyone having a lovely old time in the pond (?) and the duck gets to wear the farmer boots. Somehow, Johnson managed to water down the horrors of the Russian Revolution to make it palatable for children, and gave it a happy ending. I feel like this might skew the children's future discoveries when they find out what actually happened. It's never a good idea to lie to kids about this kind of stuff. Also, I found the little symbols of Animal Farm (All Animals Are Equal crossed out on the wall, two different instances of "Old Major" and "Squeeler" [sic] written on Orvie's chair, and so forth) confusing and incomplete....more
Amazingly, I only just read this book this month. But, I remember seeing the movie in high school and I feel like I remember it ending a little differAmazingly, I only just read this book this month. But, I remember seeing the movie in high school and I feel like I remember it ending a little differently. Actually, a lot differently. So if someone could help me out here (cause I don't anticipate seeking out the movie anytime soon), does Snowball come back in the movie? Anyway, I enjoyed this far more than 1984, even though here it's still pretty clear that Orwell's story telling skills are quite inferior to his understanding scary real life circumstances and predicting terrifying future dystopias skills. It is a scary book, and knowing the reality of events and keeping that at the forefront of your mind while reading Animal Farm is necessary to finish the book. If you try to read it just as a story you're likely to get frustrated at his "tell, don't show" style and how little credit he gives to the other farm animals (describing most of them as stupid and brutish, and a billion other adjectives that make you want to throw this book into a furnace). Only the pigs are dynamic characters; even after years, none of the other animals change their mindsets or their habits. There isn't really a resolution, but more of a realization. It's a frightening one, sure, but doesn't do much to provide closer on the story. On a side note, there's a picture book in my store called "Four Legs Bad, Two Legs Good" that I'm concerned about....more