From the parallels to Redwall to the gorgeous illustrations (the stained glass windows and Griffin's wings had me swooning!) to the fun jokes hidden iFrom the parallels to Redwall to the gorgeous illustrations (the stained glass windows and Griffin's wings had me swooning!) to the fun jokes hidden in the background (DRAGON POOP), I absolutely adored this book.
Through short, simple sentences and minimal yet eye-catching illustrations, Ed Vere's Max at Night is a fantastic bedtime story! It's sweet and charmiThrough short, simple sentences and minimal yet eye-catching illustrations, Ed Vere's Max at Night is a fantastic bedtime story! It's sweet and charming and an absolute delight that I know I'll be sharing with my nieces! Even better: there's another Max book! Max the Brave came out last year and is about Max wanting to be a brave kitten who chases mice...only he doesn't know what a mouse looks like! TOO CUTE!
This book was gorgeous. When I’m sick I love a good comfort read and nothing screams comfort like a good old-fashioned (literally – this one is from tThis book was gorgeous. When I’m sick I love a good comfort read and nothing screams comfort like a good old-fashioned (literally – this one is from the 50s!) fantasy full of magic and ghosts and everything about it was just perfect. Surprisingly heartbreaking too – for Tom only a day has passed when he returns to the garden, but for Hatty it’s months and as she grows older Tom appears less and less solid until the day she can hardly see him.
I don't know what it is about dads and leather recliners, but it seems like every dad I know has one. Is it something you get at the hospital when they hand you the baby? "Congratulations sir, it's a boy, and here is your leather recliner."
What's with the lack of MG/YA targeted toward boys? SO many times I've had boys come up to me at work and ask for help finding books and wind up leaving with a Rick Riordan novel, a Diary of a Wimpy Kid book, or an adult sci-fi novel that's far too mature for them. I'm pretty excited that I now have another series to recommend: Nate Rocks.
Nathan Rockledge, or Nate Rocks, is a typical 10-year old boy: his 13-year old sister drives him crazy, his mother's cardboard pasta will be the death of him, and he would much rather do just about anything than be paired up with a girl as his science partner.
When the going gets tough, the tough...whip out their sketchpads and save the world. Nate's done it all: save Earth from an asteroid, rescue a woman tied to train tracks, help take down evil villains. Throughout the book Nate has daydreams about being the hero and those were so much fun to read!
Nate Rocks the World is fairly fast-paced, but it works and I think that's a plus for its target audience. Well-written, relatable characters made this book a joy to read and I know boys will absolutely LOVE this series....more
I have a special fondness for books that feature famous literary characters. Jasper Fforde does this expertly and I love him for it. Last year one of my favorites reads was Arthur Slade's The Hunchback Assignments. When I came across Facing the Hunchback of Notre Dame, I instantly wanted to read it. I couldn't wait to jump back into a book featuring Quasimodo! (Embarrassingly enough, I have never read The Hunchback of Notre Dame. However, now that I've got a few books under my belt with Quasimodo as a main character, I feel as though it's definitely time to read the book that started it all.)
Ophelia and Linus Easterday are sent to live with their uncle and aunt while their parents go off chasing butterflies for five years. Being shipped off to live with strange relatives can put a damper on any fourteen-year old's day and this case is no exception. Uncle Augustus and Aunt Portia are...odd. They have a huge interest in themed parties & dinners (for example, a pea-green dinner - every dish contained a green color, whether it was real or artificial) and force the twins to partake in the events.
The only saving grace to their new living arrangement is Aunt Portia's bookshop. She specializes in antique and rare books (she's a lady I could definitely be friends with!) and Ophelia is an avid reader. There's also the exciting rumors that surround the house's previous owner. Cato Grubb, a devious mad scientist, had owned the house before Augustus and Portia moved in and his bizarre disappearance was so sudden all of his belongings were left behind.
One day the twins come across the remains of Cato's laboratory, complete with a wide array of bottles and potions and interesting drawings on the floor. After Ophelia happens to fall asleep in the attic (where the lab is hidden), she discovers something truly amazing: a flesh-and-blood Quasimodo is on the floor in front of her.
In YA novels, it seems to be convenient to have the parents absent. That's not the case with this book: Portia and Augustus ever-present! Despite what the twins think, I'd love to spend a week living at their house. Old books and medieval parties and right up my alley!
I was surprised by how fast-paced this book was! It actually was a bit too quick for my liking. And, unfortunately, once the magical element became introduced the story was bogged down with a number of rules and regulations (many of which didn't seem to be fully explained).
There's a boy staying for the summer at the nearby boarding school who the twins befriend. Walter is charming and British and has a past! These boys tend to be my favorite characters, but it seemed that all Walter did was exercise. There were a few pivotal moments in the book (huge, HUGE scenes) where it mentioned Walter started doing push-ups. Or Walter decided to do sit-ups. His lack of character development was upsetting.
Quasimodo was easily my favorite character. Such a sweetheart. Since all that bell-ringing has made him deaf, Walter 'borrows' a pair of hearing aids for Quasi. Hee! Quasi also develops quite a taste for tea and peanut butter & jelly sandwiches.
The rules dictate that Quasi only has sixty hours before he needs to get back to his world, lest he be vaporized. Those sixty hours went far too fast and despite the kids determination to show Quasi their world, they aren't able to do much other than eat snacks.
The climax was, well, anticlimactic. The story has built up to that moment and it was such a letdown for me. In the end there were many questions left unanswered, but I know this is the first book in a series, so hopefully problems will be settled in the next book.
Overall, I enjoyed Facing the Hunchback of Notre Dame. The writing style in the beginning reminded me of Roald Dahl novels (never a bad thing!). However, the narrator quickly wore out his welcome: he was always using 'big' words and then defining them. I definitely could have done without that. I'm still not entirely sure what the narrator had to do with the story other than the main characters were too busy to sit down and write out their adventure.
While this wasn't a bad book at all, there were some things I didn't love. However, I'll probably check out the second book (especially if it deals with Moby Dick - the book Ophelia was reading at the end of this novel)....more
After not liking this one AT ALL when I first read it years ago, I decided to give it a second shot after coming across the audio read by TIM CURRY. LAfter not liking this one AT ALL when I first read it years ago, I decided to give it a second shot after coming across the audio read by TIM CURRY. Love love love.