I really like this re-telling of Rapunzel. It is written in present tense, which I am generally not a fan of, but in this case, I think that made it m...moreI really like this re-telling of Rapunzel. It is written in present tense, which I am generally not a fan of, but in this case, I think that made it more compelling a story, more poetic. I wasn't sure I would like the book when I first started it, but by the third chapter, I couldn't put it down.(less)
This story starts in wintertime, when the wolves of the English country wolds are starving and roaming in packs to bring down anything they can. Into...moreThis story starts in wintertime, when the wolves of the English country wolds are starving and roaming in packs to bring down anything they can. Into this world comes shy, young Sylvia, sent away from her aunt in London to be the companion and playmate to her cousin Bonnie Green of Willoughby Chase. After a harrowing train journey, Sylvia arrives and is warmly welcomed by the effusive, hoydenish Bonnie. The next day sees the departure of Sir Willoughby Green and Lady Green, bound overseas for poor Lady Green's health. The girls are left in the charge of the new governess, Miss Slighcarp, whose true evil nature is revealed upon the parents' departure. In short order, she dismisses all the servants except a handful of the worst ones (and one who only pretended to be bad so he could stay on and watch over the girls), sells the furniture and pockets the money, takes away all of the toys, and locks Bonnie in a cupboard. With the help of James, the loyal servant who stayed on to watch over them as best he can, they discover that Miss Slighcarp has truly nefarious plans for Willoughby Chase. But when the girls try to solicit outside help, they are discovered and sent away to an orphan school run by Mrs. Brisket. At the school, their life is one of drudgery, harshness and hopelessness until one day, a young boy from the wolds by Willoughby Chase comes to find them and help them escape. But where will they go?
We've finally finished the book! And what a grand adventure it was! Set in Victorian England, this story had all the plot elements guaranteed to keep my girls glued to the story as I read it aloud to them. They Ate. It. Up. It's a story that probably works best as a read-aloud the first go-round. The language structure is perfect for the story, old-fashioned, reflecting perfectly the age in which the story takes place, although the story itself was written in 1962. But it might be harder for children who have never been exposed to that antiquated structure to follow, which is why I suggest reading it aloud first.
I had so much fun reading this aloud. It was such fun giving life to all the wonderful characters. The names of characters make me laugh, they're so deliciously perfect for a book set in this period: Pattern (the maid), Miss Slighcarp, Mr. Grimshaw (the accomplice), Mr. Gripe (the lawyer), Dr. Morne, Mrs. Brisket, Mr. Wilderness, etc. And the internal pictures by Pat Marriott have a vagueness that adds splendidly to the menacing feel. (The cover illustration is by Edward Gorey. Isn't it wonderfully sinister?)
If you are looking for old-fashioned Victorian adventure story, with Gothic elements, plucky heroines, nasty bad 'uns, then this is the story for you.(less)
Three little baby owls are left home alone while their mother goes to hunt for food. When she is gone longer than they expect, they worry about whethe...moreThree little baby owls are left home alone while their mother goes to hunt for food. When she is gone longer than they expect, they worry about whether she will come home. It is a warm, sweet story, beautifully illustrated, that addresses the fear every child has about whether Mama is coming back. Our family adores this book. Even my husband, crusty curmudgeon that he is, loves this book, and gets a little weepy at its powerfully simple text. The illustrations are perfect for the story. They set the tone of the book, and create an anxious feel while at the same time making you want to scoop the owls up and cuddle them.(less)
Not only did I throw this book across the room several times during the reading of it, when I was finished I threw it in the trash. I have only done t...moreNot only did I throw this book across the room several times during the reading of it, when I was finished I threw it in the trash. I have only done that (the throwing and the throwing away) once in my life: with this book.
This book was recommended to me by another mother when my first daughter, Olivia, was a couple months old. I'd never heard of the book or the man before. I read the book, my mouth dropping open more and more in horror.
I cannot say anything good about this vile book. It is the worst parenting book I have ever come across. And dangerous to the psychological and physical safety of children. Ezzo presents pseudo-scientific "facts" all throughout his book, (e.g. there is no such thing as a mother's intuition, wearing your baby in a sling puts you on a social scale with animals, don't feed your newborn when she needs it, stick strictly to a feeding schedule, infants should bend around your schedule not you around theirs, etc.) that fly in the face of true, proven scientific facts and recommendations by the AAP. If you are a breastfeeding mother, and follow Ezzo's schedule for feeding your baby, I guarantee you will very quickly lose your milk supply, and your baby will always be hungry. But the worst thing is his completely callous, completely detached parenting style he pushes. His attitude toward babies and young children is appalling. Following his advice could be dangerous, and could lead to a baby who suffers Attachment Disorder, resulting from emotional neglect. The overall impression I got from reading this book -and yes, I read the vile thing all the way through- is that this man hates children and hates women. I can't believe this man has a following...well, yes I can, because he advocates parental selfishness, which obviously is very appealing to certain people. (If you don't want to take on the care of helpless little beings that depend on you for their every need, DON'T HAVE CHILDREN!!! 'Cause once you have them, it's not all about you anymore.) Awful, awful book.
*Robert Bucknam's name is apparently just on there to throw his M.D. weight behind the claptrap that Ezzo espouses, giving the book "credibility". And shame on him for doing so.
My first book by this author. I have to say I didn't like it. The incestuous relationship between the main characters was a huge turn-off, and left a...moreMy first book by this author. I have to say I didn't like it. The incestuous relationship between the main characters was a huge turn-off, and left a nasty taste in my mouth.(less)