Hughes, Langston. 2009. My People. Photographs by Charles R. Smith Jr. Simon & Schuster.
This picture book is incredible. I love the photographs byHughes, Langston. 2009. My People. Photographs by Charles R. Smith Jr. Simon & Schuster.
This picture book is incredible. I love the photographs by Charles R. Smith Jr. I do. They're so beautiful, so expressive. They really evoke the mood and tone found in Langston Hughes' classic poem "My People." I really don't see how they could complement each other any better than they already do. You can read the poem in its entirety here. I love what Smith says in his note, "at just thirty-three words total, the poem is a study in simplicity, which is what attracted me to it in the first place." I love simple. And this poem, this book, is further proof that simple can be good, really good. A short and simple poem about beauty paired with masterful photographs....more
I just LOVED this third book in the series. I really do love Moose Flanagan and his family. I think Moose is one of the best narrators! In Al Capone DI just LOVED this third book in the series. I really do love Moose Flanagan and his family. I think Moose is one of the best narrators! In Al Capone Does My Homework, Moose has a few mysteries to solve. First, he needs to find out WHO set fire to their apartment, and why! There are certain busybodies on Alcatraz who are telling everyone that Natalie, Moose's older sister, set the fire! In fact, this hateful woman calls Natalie's special boarding school and has her put on probation! All without proof. Moose may struggle with his sister, with his relationship to his sister, how he really feels about "being responsible" for her, but he knows that he HAS to defend his sister and protect her from people like that. There are a few clues to follow in this one, and I won't share any more details, but, this book is so great!!!
I loved spending time with Moose, Jimmy, Annie, Piper, and Janet....more
Ramona and Her Mother is the fifth book in the Ramona series by Beverly Cleary. Ramona and Her Father ends with Christmas, Ramona and Her Mother opensRamona and Her Mother is the fifth book in the Ramona series by Beverly Cleary. Ramona and Her Father ends with Christmas, Ramona and Her Mother opens with New Year. It's nice, for a change, to get the opportunity to spend a full year with Ramona and the rest of the Quimby family.
"A Present for Willa Jean" The Quimby family hosts a New Year's Day brunch for the neighborhood. While Beezus gets to help serve and host, Ramona's "job" is to entertain Willa Jean. Is Ramona happy about this? Not really! In case you don't remember, Willa Jean is far from Ramona's favorite person. Don't even dream of bringing up any similarities between Ramona and Willa Jean! In this chapter, Ramona gives Willa Jean a box of Kleenex for a present.
"Slacks for Ella Funt" What's the Quimby household like on a Saturday? Well, on this particular Saturday, it's an interesting one. Ramona wants to have a sewing project like Beezus and her mom. She decides that she will make her elephant a pair of pants. Does it go well? Not really. Could she have successfully made a skirt for her elephant? Most likely without any trouble. But stubborn Ramona wanted PANTS. When it doesn't end well, she gets upset, which leads to her doing something very naughty with a tube of toothpaste!
Nobody had to tell Ramona that life was full of disappointments. She already knew. She was disappointed almost every evening because she had to go to bed at eight-thirty and never got to see the end of the eight o'clock movie on television. She had seen many beginnings but no endings. And even though she had outgrown her tricycle, she was still disappointed because she never could find a tricycle license plate with her name printed on it. (40)
As Ramona sat on the hard edge of the tub, feeling sorry for herself and trying to sort out her thoughts, she noticed a brand-new red-white-and-blue tube of toothpaste lying beside the washbasin. How smooth and shiny it looked with only one little dent where someone had squeezed it once. That tube was as good as new, and it was the large economy size. Ramona was suddenly filled with longing. All her life she had wanted to squeeze toothpaste, really squeeze it, not just a little squirt on her toothbrush but a whole tube, a large economy size tube, all at one time just as she had longed to pull out a whole box of Kleenex. I'll give it one little squeeze, thought Ramona. Just one teeny squeeze to make me feel better. She seized the tube. (43)
"Nobody Likes Ramona" Ramona has a bad day at school, and a very bad day at the Kemps after school. Willa Jean won't let Howie and Ramona play checkers. And when Howie and Ramona try to play something else--a big accident happens.
"The Quarrel" The bad day continues for every single member of the Quimby family. It's a HORRIBLE night at home. Ramona and Beezus witness their parents fighting, and, it upsets both of them.
"The Great Hair Argument" Beezus is the star, of sorts, of this chapter. Beezus is getting to be "that age" and a bit difficult for her parents. In this chapter, Beezus is growing out her hair and refusing to let her mom cut it anymore. She wants a REAL hair cut in a real salon by a real stylist. She says all the girls in her class get real hair cuts. Reluctantly, Mrs. Quimby agrees, but, it will be a student stylist. Will Beezus like her new haircut?! Ramona also gets a new haircut in this one.
"Ramona's New Pajamas" Ramona loves, loves, loves her new pajamas. But is it a good idea to wear pajamas under your clothes and go to school?!
"The Telephone Call" Ramona has a fit--though she refrains from yelling guts, guts, guts--and decides to run away from home. Her mom "helps" her pack. Will Ramona really run away?! ...more
After Sophie's father dies, her step-mother sends away two of her sisters. Sophie she keeps on as an apprentice in the family's hat business. Sophie tAfter Sophie's father dies, her step-mother sends away two of her sisters. Sophie she keeps on as an apprentice in the family's hat business. Sophie trims hats. While she's trimming hats and arranging them, she finds herself very often talking to the hats, supposing what kind of person will buy the hat, etc. The shop begins to do well--really well. One person--one witch--notices and decides to act. Poor Sophie finds herself under the witch's spell! Sophie leaves her old life behind, without a word, and goes on an adventure of sorts. Life certainly becomes more challenging for Sophie! But she soon finds a new place to belong, a strange place, an odd place, but a place that begins to feel oddly enough like home. Sophie makes friends in unexpected places.
I loved rereading Howl's Moving Castle. From start to finish, this fantasy novel proves delightfully charming. I loved the characters. I especially loved Sophie and Wizard Howl. I loved the world-building. I love the storytelling. I loved Jones' descriptions. It's just a fun, fun adventure story with heart.
Here's how it begins: "In the land of Ingary, where such things as seven-league boots and cloaks of invisibility really exist, it is quite a misfortune to be born the eldest of three. Everyone knows you are the one who will fail first, and worst, if the three of you set out to seek your fortunes. Sophie Hatter was the eldest of three sisters. She was not even the child of a poor woodcutter, which might have given her some chance of success!" It hooks readers from the very beginning. It certainly hooked me!
I would definitely recommend this one! I just love it! ...more
More jungle noir, please! More, more, more! So yes, it's safe to assume that I loved "watching" Jake G. Panda in The Case of the Cursed Dodo. The bookMore jungle noir, please! More, more, more! So yes, it's safe to assume that I loved "watching" Jake G. Panda in The Case of the Cursed Dodo. The book is written in movie/script format. Which could just have easily failed as succeeded, but, in this case worked quite well.
What did I love about The Case of the Cursed Dodo? Well, I loved, loved, loved the writing. More specifically the descriptions.
Ernie's the hotel driver. A thick-skinned pachyderm with a chip on his shoulder. He lost his tusks in a hunting accident. And he's not the kinda guy to quickly forget. But I had a soft spot for the big fella. He had a lead foot and worked for peanuts. (21)
So the premise if you haven't guessed it is that the hero is a detective. Jake G. Panda is "in the protection racket. I'm the Last Resort's house dick. The hotel snoop. The resident fuzz. It's my job to keep the guests safe and outta harm's way" (9). The first case involves a missing hare (Professor Harry), a mysterious long-buried suitcase, and a 'cursed dodo.' Plenty of action and humor. Just a treat to read. ...more
I read Darth Vader and Son after reading Vader's Little Princess. I really, really, really enjoyed both books very much. However, I must say that I laI read Darth Vader and Son after reading Vader's Little Princess. I really, really, really enjoyed both books very much. However, I must say that I laughed more with this first book. I liked the parenting advice. I liked how they used or nearly used, I should say, direct quotes from the trilogies and gave the words a whole new meaning! For example, "This is not the toy you are looking for..." instead of "This is not the droid you are looking for." (It was also fun seeing WHICH toy it was (Jar Jar). These comic strips are just fun. I'd recommend these easily!...more
Why is it that reading These Happy Golden Years makes me giddy? Could it be my actual favorite of the series after all? Perhaps. It has been such a trWhy is it that reading These Happy Golden Years makes me giddy? Could it be my actual favorite of the series after all? Perhaps. It has been such a treat for me to reread these Little House books this past month. I've enjoyed visiting with Laura and her family. I've enjoyed watching 'the romance' unfold with Almanzo in Little Town on the Prairie and These Happy Golden Years.
In These Happy Golden Years Laura has accepted--for better or worse--that she is all grown up. In this book, she teaches several different schools. Each teaching term is short--a few months here, a few months there. Her first teaching position lasts eight weeks, and, it is mostly a nightmare for her. She's rooming with Mr. and Mrs. Brewster. And Mrs. Brewster must be suffering from some mental illness. I feel sorry for Mr. Brewster and their baby, Johnny. There's a helplessness in the situation. Laura realizes how blessed she's been for a happy home life. The opening chapters dwell on her homesickness and gratitude. And she owes much to Almanzo Wilder. For HE comes to "rescue" her from the Brewsters every single weekend no matter how cold the weather. And it all comes as such a surprise to her that she'll get to spend her weekends at home.
When she's not teaching school, she's attending it. Every few months, it seems, she receives an opportunity to teach and earn money, and she'll take a teacher's exam, and get another certificate. But teaching isn't the only way she's able to earn money. She really, truly wants to earn money, not for herself, but to help keep Mary in college.
Most of the book focuses on the courtship of Laura and Almanzo. How he comes to take her sledding or for buggy rides. Laura does love his horses.
I found SON to be an amazing read!!!! I just loved, loved, loved it! Definitely a book I read in one sitting. In fact, I read The Messenger and Son thI found SON to be an amazing read!!!! I just loved, loved, loved it! Definitely a book I read in one sitting. In fact, I read The Messenger and Son the same evening. The book focuses on two characters: Claire and Gabe.
When Claire was twelve, she was assigned to be a birthmother. Barely two years later, she gives birth to her first (and only) child. Birthmothers never raise their own children, never care for their own young, not even that first year before it is placed into an adopting family. Because #36's arrival was complicated, Claire is dismissed from her (original) assignment and reassigned to the fish hatchery. Perhaps she should have stopped thinking about the baby she gave birth to, the baby she never even caught a glimpse of. But she happens to have an acquaintance assigned to the Nurturers, and she happens to learn the number of her child. And she learns he was a boy. She takes risks, perhaps, and decides to volunteer. Over the course of a year or so, she has the chance to bond with her son. She doesn't know his name, not really. And it's not as if there is a way for her to get her happily ever after, but, she has to make those few precious stolen moments count.
What I loved about Claire's story is that it offers readers an opportunity to revisit The Giver, to see it from another point of view. Readers get a chance to meet Jonas's father, to get to know him, in a way, over a series of encounters throughout the year. Readers also get a chance to explore different sides of the community. Claire is a fascinating heroine, in my opinion. I'm not sure that she's more fascinating than Jonas in The Giver, but, she's an observant, emotional heroine. And I connected with her from the start.
The novel covers many years, and only the first section is set in the same community as The Giver...
The other narrator of Son is Gabriel. Readers get a chance to revisit the community first introduced in Messenger. It gets VERY exciting and dramatic...
These two little ones just LOVE their Dad. He does make the best playground, after all. Where big sister goes, baby soon follows, as you'll notice asThese two little ones just LOVE their Dad. He does make the best playground, after all. Where big sister goes, baby soon follows, as you'll notice as you read this fun and playful new board book by Luciana Navarro Powell. The text is fun, playful, spirited, definitely matching the energy of the characters. The rhyming works for me, for the most part. I would definitely recommend this one!...more