Hooo boy. Anything that could have gone wrong on the Heffley's family road trip certainly did. The amount of misery Mrs. Heffley put the family througHooo boy. Anything that could have gone wrong on the Heffley's family road trip certainly did. The amount of misery Mrs. Heffley put the family through in this Wimpy Kid installment was almost too much, truth be told. Not that it wasn't funny. Jeff Kinney is always funny. This one was just... really easy to commiserate with, maybe. I've never felt BAD for Greg until now. Moms though, ammiright?
I wouldn't have minded losing the pig and gaining a Rowley appearance, but the scene with the cheese curds and child leash made up for that. ...more
Cute, and a series I would have been eagerly anticipated new releases from in elementary school. As an adult reader, I found several of the plot devicCute, and a series I would have been eagerly anticipated new releases from in elementary school. As an adult reader, I found several of the plot devices flimsy (why not make Mr. Beeston have a longer lasting memory eraser, for example, instead of claiming that in 12 long years he never once missed an afternoon tea with Mary Penelope, which is so hard to believe, especially when he's so curmudgeony?), and, admittedly, I couldn't help wondering how Emily's fish father could have ever mated with her mother (does he keep his manhood in a tail pocket too?), but that's true of any mer-human love story. What's perhaps more important is that I appreciated and related to Emily's desire for a best friend, and her happy ending, complete with mom, dad, Shona, a secret island, saying sayonara to junior high and the mean girls therein, AND getting to shock her enemies (though again with Mr. Beeston. Who SEES A MERMAID but is then like "oh what? You brought doughnuts..." and wanders off for a snack?) made for a sweetly satisfying conclusion.
Elementary school-me would definitely have continued with the series, and adult-me is curious to see if the story strengthens as it continues. I'm pretty generous with television pilots episodes; willing to accept that they're just getting their bearings, establishing the world and its characters. I can see Emily Windsnap and the Monster from the Deep being all the better because we won't need to wonder at how she became a mermaid, and we can just jump into the adventure. Only one way to find out though...
It's a real bonus that artist Sarah Gibb's cover art and chapter illustrations are so beautiful. I wish there were more artwork, or at least a few full page illustrations.
A very somber chapter in the lives of the Moomins. The reading is a bit murky, at times a bit of a drudgery even, as you struggle along with the familA very somber chapter in the lives of the Moomins. The reading is a bit murky, at times a bit of a drudgery even, as you struggle along with the family as they forge a new life for themselves on an (almost) deserted island where nothing seems to work and nature itself is against them. But that's life, isn't it? Whether you're human of hippo-like-something-or-other, you've got to keep pressing on even when the world fights you and fills you with self-doubt. In the end, if you have your family about you.. annoying though you often find them (again, whether his an or hippo), you have home. At least I think that's what Jansson is getting at in a much more nuanced and unsentimental way.
Moominpappa At Sea is quiet in the leisure way of all Moomins books, and still enchanting, though in a more chilling manner this time around thanks to the foreboding presence of the Groke, and the very swift and strange upheaval of the trees. Some books are like a warm crackling fire, but reading this on snowy nights made me colder still, like waves of cold sea water rushing at you. But I swear I could smell pine needles and smell snow reading this too, and that's another kind of enchantment altogether....more