The pictures are truly wonderful and perfectly illustrate the book’s focus about perception and self-identity tI love this book. It’s almost perfect.
The pictures are truly wonderful and perfectly illustrate the book’s focus about perception and self-identity too. They’re detailed, fascinating, sometimes humorous, sometimes sweet, and sometimes scary.
The text is interesting and has effective repetition to keep young children engaged while at the same time sufficiently interesting so that older readers will not be bored.
I like the end a lot although that last illustration is might be my least favorite of the bunch.
I love this book. It’s feeling really challenging to try to start my next (any) book because I doubt I’ll enjoy it as much as I liked this one. I haveI love this book. It’s feeling really challenging to try to start my next (any) book because I doubt I’ll enjoy it as much as I liked this one. I have added this one to my favorites shelf.
I’m so grateful that my book club agreed to read this for our March book. For me it was the perfect book at the perfect time. In fact, some of my book club members were having a hard time getting a copy, so I quickly finished the last couple of chapters so that they could read my library copy before its due date. That was easy to do. This book was easy to pick up and hard to put down. My preference when reading books is to stop reading at the end of chapters or at least at the end of mid-chapter marked breaks, but with this book I was happy to read until I had to put the book down to do something else. Finishing a sentence was enough for me. I didn’t want to stop reading until I absolutely had to stop.
Beth Harmon is an amazing and memorable character. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about her life and reading this amazing coming of age story. I loved both the character and the story.
The secondary characters are also very well drawn out, to just the right amount, in my opinion, and they all also contribute to making this story great.
I don’t even play chess and there is so much in this story that is play by play during chess games, and I had no idea what was going on with the relaying of chess pieces moving on the board or what they meant, yet the descriptions completely held my attention; I was riveted. I was hooked for start to finish. I think if I knew the game of chess I might have gotten even more out of the story, though I have no complaints reading it not knowing the game.
I was afraid I wouldn’t enjoy reading about Beth as much when she aged (age 8 to age 19) but I found her always interesting. In fact, even though the book ended in a satisfying way, I’d read a sequel if there was one. Unfortunately, this book was published in 1983, the author’s seventh book, and he died in 1984, so this is his last book.
The book is a really fast read; it has 243 pages and 14 chapters, some long. The story took a few unexpected turns in the last couple of chapters. I appreciated the twists in the storyline.
This is a story about a girl who’s a chess prodigy but if I had a thrillers shelf I’d use it for this book. It did read like a thriller, especially parts in the middle and the end.
I wouldn’t say that the language is gorgeous, and it’s not a particularly quotable book, but I think that it’s beautifully written. The characters, particularly the main character, are completely believable. It’s a brilliantly constructed book. Though it isn’t a long book and the events take place over only 11 years, it felt like an epic to me.
I’ve always wanted to learn to play chess, though I think the fun would be playing at an advanced level. At this point I doubt I could learn to play past a beginner level, and I certainly don’t have the aptitude to play the way the best chess players can play. It seems as though it would be a thrill to be able to play at a top level. I got a bit of vicarious satisfaction from “watching” Beth play the game. This book made me even more curious and interested in the game. If I had read this as a teen or young adult I’ll bet I’d have made an effort to learn and play chess games.
Highly recommended. Particularly recommended for those who enjoy coming of age stories, orphan stories, those have an interest in chess, physical fitness, addiction, mentoring, and feminism....more
Before reading this book, I had heard of Irena Sendler. I’d read two children’s picture books about her: Irena's Jars of Secrets and Irena Sendler andBefore reading this book, I had heard of Irena Sendler. I’d read two children’s picture books about her: Irena's Jars of Secrets and Irena Sendler and the Children of the Warsaw Ghetto. Because they were written for children, they were sanitized and did not reveal the worst of the atrocities or many of the details of Irena’s life and the lives of her collaborators or the lives of the victims. I did not get even close to a full picture, though I’m glad there are books for children about this heroine. They were fine introductions and inspired me to learn more.
I’ve read hundreds of Holocaust books, non-fiction and fiction. This one is non-fiction and it’s one of the very best books of its kind that I’ve read. I had no qualms about giving it 5 stars. It’s a splendid book, well written and brilliantly organized and expertly constructed. It’s incredibly dense with information, but always readable and engaging. I found it hard to put down, though at times it was extremely painful to read.
I cannot stress enough how much I learned from this book. I got a better feel for the scope of the conditions inside the Warsaw Ghetto, Warsaw and Poland during WWII than I have from reading most other books about it, perhaps more than from any other book. I learned so much about Irena and her background that it made sense why she was as she was and why she did what she did. Many people I’d known about from reading other books make appearances and it was interesting to see how they were connected to each other, including to Irena.
The book is well researched, with a fine explanation from the author about what few liberties she took (I found her and the book’s contents trustworthy!) and how she conducted her research. There are extensive notes and an impressive bibliography. I appreciated what photos were included and wish that there had been even more of them.
It was a good time for me to read this book. Despite its serious and sometimes heartbreaking subject matter, I was fine with reading it over the holidays. I took courage from what these people went through. They and their situations made what trepidation I feel for what we’re facing later this month doable. I got courage from their willingness to do the right thing. This book could have been titled Dozens (maybe Hundreds) of People’s Children. So many participated in trying to save lives and so many were incredibly brave. I hope I would have the courage to do what's right, as might be required, over these next few years! Irena’s bravery and the bravery of those she worked with and the bravery of many other Poles, non-Jewish and Jewish, is so inspiring. They were remarkable people, and ordinary people. I could hope to be only a fraction as brave. There were so many heroes. Unfortunately, there were obviously a huge number of victims, but also so many that were saved, and that is inspiring.
While it turned out that none of them were actually safe, they could certainly have protected themselves better than they did by not trying to help. I was particularly touched by those who had children of their own and risked so much to help other people’s children; their actions were life threatening for them and for their entire families.
I did learn a lot about Warsaw throughout WWII and I’d never realized quite how in danger the Catholic and other non-Jewish Polish people were in, especially toward the end of the war.
How could so many people be so brave (this book must be read to see just how almost superhuman bravery was exhibited time after time!) and how could so many people have acted so evilly? I was left more uplifted than in despair.
One example of what fine storytelling this book has is one of the chapter titles led me to assume one thing, as does the way this book begins (with Irena’s arrest by the Gestapo) and because of that I’d assumed something, until I looked at the photos section in the middle of the book. But why that was done makes perfect sense. The reader follows Irena over time (through her triumphs and tragedies and challenges – with the full gamut of thoughts and emotions and experiences) and the presentation was not done gratuitously but in a way that I as a reader got a real sense of how it was for Irena and all the others, adults and children, non-Jews and Jews, people of all persuasions in this time and place.
I honestly can’t imagine going through what Irena and many of her contemporaries did, and obviously what the Polish Jews had to endure in the ghetto and being sent to Treblinka or otherwise murdered, well I cannot imagine coping. Yes, there is much real life tragedy in this account, but the truly amazing efforts of so many who did what they could to save lives, of adults as well as a large number of children, left me feeling in awe.
There is horrific content and there is a lot of suspense but it also has sweet and lovely and joyful parts.
This is a timely book, telling a story that needed telling, and an excellent effort, and I highly recommend it....more
I was eager to read this book because I remember my first Slinky and what a novelty it was and how much fun it was to play with it. I’d thought it wasI was eager to read this book because I remember my first Slinky and what a novelty it was and how much fun it was to play with it. I’d thought it was a fairly brand new toy when I got mine (in 1958-1960?) but I found out from this book that it had actually been around for quite a while. I did know something about its development, how it was serendipity that led to its invention.
This author-illustrator has impressive credentials for both writing and illustrating, and I did like both here, but I wanted to love the book even more than I did.
I love how it shows how a thought can be so creative and how the inventor’s wife and son participated in bringing the idea to fruition and to great success. It’s a lovely family story.
This picture book is full of information and seems more text heavy than it actually is, and I think it’s best for independent readers or group read alouds. Having a slinky or slinkys around to play with around the time of reading this book is highly recommended. This book is likely to most appeal to adults and children who’ve played with slinkys and have enjoyed them.
Toy = 4-1/2 stars, Book = 3-1/2 stars
Fun thing to read on the last day of the year, in a year that had many NOT fun things about it!...more
The Snowy Day is a 4 star book for me, though not particularly memorable from my childhood, even though it was introduced to my 4th grade class by onThe Snowy Day is a 4 star book for me, though not particularly memorable from my childhood, even though it was introduced to my 4th grade class by one of our school librarians when it was a brand new book. As an adult I think I more fully appreciate it. I was very eager to read this book, a book about its creator.
I’m so delighted that this will be the last book I finish in 2016. It’s so apropos for what’s going on in current events. I guess that’s always been true, but I found it especially touching right now.
Stellar job! I found everything about this book impressive and spectacular: the biographical information, the art, the poem (just bits at times didn’t work that well for me, but overall it was excellent,) the materials included at the end, everything! I learned a lot and had my memory refreshed for some things. It does great justice to Ezra’s story and to Peter’s story too.
I was deeply emotionally moved by the artist’s story and by what he did with his career and his life. We desperately needed the Snowy Day book in 1962. Today we need books like this. Even though this is a children’s picture book (best suited to middle grade readers) I highly recommend it to every reader. ...more
Okay, this book is absolutely adorable. It’s great fun and I would recommend it to children, for independent readers and reading aloud to groups and oOkay, this book is absolutely adorable. It’s great fun and I would recommend it to children, for independent readers and reading aloud to groups and one to one.
I admit that throughout the story I was very concerned for the bear because things don’t go well for bears when they’re in close proximity to human habitats.
But I loved the twist ending, and even before it, I was softly chuckling to myself on many pages.
The best thing about this book is its illustrations. The pictures are lush and beautiful and colorful, with just the right amount of realism.
As a vegan and thinking of vegan children, I was grateful that the contents of the sandwich weren’t revealed (because it would have likely contained animal products) and that berries were the only food specified....more
I’m so disappointed because I’d seen this book on someone’s (real) shelves and jumped to reserve it at the library to see if I’d want thisNot for me!
I’m so disappointed because I’d seen this book on someone’s (real) shelves and jumped to reserve it at the library to see if I’d want this for giving new baby gifts. What a great idea!
The most stars I would have given anyway is 3.
This is a board book, so presumably geared toward babies, toddlers, and preschoolers, and their adults. The illustrations are colorful and interesting and while I’m not a huge fan of their style, I think many readers will like them, including young readers/listeners. However, the vocabulary is so advanced that while babies to preschoolers might enjoy the pictures and the cadence of the language, they’re not going to understand much of the text. Older kids will but they don’t need board books.
However, I am such a fan of the idea, and I’m all for parents, teachers, babysitters, etc. adults enjoying kids’ books, that I could have forgiven the not so friendly for young kids vocabulary.
Then I got to H.
“H is for Healthy food – a human right. Honeydew, jicama, nature’s delight. Hummus, Hot dogs, Havarti cheese. Hot dogs!?! Yes! Healthy hot dogs please! (And pizza.)”
That was it for me. Hot dogs, even vegan ones, aren’t really that healthy. And this is a book that touts rights for all varieties of humans, and I agree with that. But not only nothing about animals but a point is made to eat what is definitely animal derived cheese and probably animal flesh. What about non-human animal rights?! What about animal rights activists, most of whom are also human rights activists. Anyway, that lost me. I will never give or read this book to anyone, and certainly not any child. If I’m reading a book about activism it doesn’t have to mention animals but if it does it has to be for their rights, not for their use and abuse by activists and would be activists.
I’m not wild about most insects and I wasn’t feeling particularly interested in beetles, but I’ve enjoyed other books in this series so much I want to read them all. And actually this probably was my least favorite book in the series so far. (I’m fairly sure that I’ll enjoy the Nest book better than I did this one.) I did learn a lot though and the art and amount of information provided is impressive.
Preschoolers and beginning elementary school students can probably enjoy the illustrations and the simple poem and captions, as a read aloud, although the vocabulary used is advanced. Older elementary school students can also enjoy the the much more detailed text information given on most pages of the book.
This book could be great for all genders, approximately ages 5-12, particularly for kids who are fascinated with insects or with nature in general. ...more
Someone lent me this book. I had though I’d probably already read it, most likely when it came out in 1982, and when I got to a pReread 8/18-8/19/2016
Someone lent me this book. I had though I’d probably already read it, most likely when it came out in 1982, and when I got to a particular page I knew I had. I might even own a copy. I have some books tripled up so it might be in the back somewhere. I also know I saw the tv movie of the book The Acorn People, also by this author, and I might have read that book too. I continued with the reread so I’d know how to rate it. I read the book so long ago, probably nearly three and a half decades ago, that I needed to jog my memory, and I was basically enjoying reading it so I continued. I reread it over a 24 hour period. It’s a short book and a fast read.
I always enjoy San Francisco settings in books, and here I also knew the workplace the author describes. I knew the place, the general time period, and I’m more than 50% certain I recognized one or two or three of the kids described in the book, or some of the kids he used for composite characters.
Because of that I found it a bit of a sad read, but that was okay.
I notice very few readers have shelved it at Goodreads. It is an old originally published in paperback book, decades old, and likely out of print, so that’s not surprising. The book has very low ratings, and I guess I understand that too, but maybe because of my particular circumstances, I really liked it. Prior to my rating/review at Goodreads the book had no written reviews and only 4 ratings, one 4 star, one 3 star, and two 2 star. While 11 members have shelved the book at LibraryThing, apparently they’re all on the to read shelf, as there were no ratings/reviews before mine....more
Full disclosure: Not only did I win this book through LibraryThing’s Early Reviewers program in exchange for an honest review but in fall 1972 I tookFull disclosure: Not only did I win this book through LibraryThing’s Early Reviewers program in exchange for an honest review but in fall 1972 I took a college class, Modern American Novel, and the author was the professor. (I rarely feel old but between this book and my next book, about the Altamont concert, I'm feeling kind of old, or at the least long-lived.)
I read a not for sale uncorrected proof paperback advance edition that has 280 pages. I read it over 14 days, taking my time because I was reading it concurrently with a novel and other materials. I'm thinking I should have waited for a library copy edition, the finished hardcover, but I might not have borrowed it in the very near future, and I do enjoy advance copies. I have reserved a copy at the library to read any content changed from or not included in my unfinished edition.
First the good because overall I enjoyed this very much: I love the storytelling that goes on all the way through and that frames the jokes. The author’s personal stories and the historical accounts are interesting. I appreciated the writing style, the chattiness of it, and felt as though I was with the author being told stories, and that was fun. Very engaging and entertaining!
I loved most of the jokes.
I was surprised by how many of the jokes I knew. I’d heard most of them. While I rarely actually laughed as I read, I was highly amused and found the book extremely enjoyable. I equally enjoyed the jokes I already knew and those I was hearing for the first time.
The negatives for me were enough to deduct slightly more than one star from a book I might otherwise have rated 5 stars. While the personal stories were a plus, especially of the author’s early years but more current ones as well, I found the incessant name-dropping annoying. I was almost literally rolling my eyes, frequently. Many of the names will be known to most as they are very famous people and others are locally well known. I suspect that the publisher thought that mentioning all these people, friends and interviewees of the author, would be a plus in the book’s sales. I would have preferred much less content about famous people. I felt that most of the time doing so was completely unnecessary for presenting the jokes and stories about their backgrounds. I’m not saying that sometimes it wasn’t a fun presentation technique, but there was way too much of it for me. I’m not sure that I always notice name-dropping but here it was impossible to not notice. That is the main negative for me. The second negative is that I wish it had delved even deeper, especially with general history and with psychological meanings and how they pertain to Jewish humor and to specific jokes. There is some of that but not as much as I’d expected, and most of it was common sense. There was no analysis I found earth shattering or that even provided much information new to me. I thought I’d learn more than I did. A third issue is the misspellings, but it is an advance copy so I can forgive all, except that the last name of one of the author’s friends is misspelled, and not just in the book proper but also in the Acknowledgements section at the end. I hope all the spelling errors will be corrected in the final for sale edition of the book.
I am Jewish but I was raised not only without religion but also without the Jewish culture. Most of what I learned when young about Judaism came from reading about Jews and Jewish history and reading books by Jewish people, and from two friends who were raised in observant Jewish homes. And yet I feel very Jewish. I do miss the application my city’s Jewish Community Center used to have for their gym, the boxes where a religion was chosen. Only about ½ the members are Jewish but there were many choices for what kind of Jewish an applicant was affiliated with, and one of the options which I always chose was “just Jewish” which is how I feel. Given my lack of background I was a bit surprised by how familiar the jokes were to me. I don’t know if that’s because of my many Jewish friends or because Jewish humor has made its way into the mainstream. I’m assuming it’s the latter.
I finished the book 6 days prior to its official publication date and am posting this review 5 days before it will be available for sale. I feel lucky to have been able to read it early, and I’m glad that I read it. I can definitely recommend it to readers who are interested in its topic.
Contents: Introduction I. Jewish Mothers & Jewish Grandmothers II. Sex & Marriage III. Schlemiels & Schmucks IV. Yiddish, Generations, & Assimilation V. Celebrations VI. Suffering VII. Separate & Distinct Conclusion and Outtakes Acknowledgments
ETA: There are also many other books mentioned in this book, and some of them are likely to go on to my bloated to read shelf. ...more
I read this because it was a book selected for my book club. I wasn’t too happy when I found out that it was book 1 in a trilogy. Even though I can’tI read this because it was a book selected for my book club. I wasn’t too happy when I found out that it was book 1 in a trilogy. Even though I can’t say I was incredibly satisfied with its ending, I don’t feel a consuming desire to read on, though I would like to know everything about books 2 and 3. (Anyone who wants to enlighten me about books 2 & 3, please pm me or email me or post comments in spoiler tags at this review. Thank you!) This book works well enough as a standalone book. The ending is open ended but no more so than in many other books.
I wasn’t 100% satisfied with the ending. Even though in a way I was okay with the resolution I’d have liked even more details and explanations, even though I think the reader is told what is going on by the end, and there are hints throughout.
Especially at the beginning, as I read I was reminded of the tv show Lost, a show I loved most of the way through though I was disappointed by how it ended.
This book is beautifully written. I love the biologist narrator. I enjoyed reading about the parts of her earlier life and reading her thoughts and experiences during the book’s events. I think that almost all the characters are interesting. The story is intriguing and definitely imaginative, and it’s great fun. I was fascinated throughout. I was making guesses all the way along about the meaning of what was going on. In that way this felt like a mystery and I enjoyed that aspect. There are many twists, and I also enjoyed those.
I was afraid it would get religious and I don’t think that it did but I’m ignorant enough that I can’t be certain of that.
The book is very creepy and I felt a great deal of trepidation as I read. It’s one of those stories I can deal with while reading (I was afraid of getting nightmares from this one though I didn’t) but I cannot take movies with this type of subject matter. As I was reading I was informed that this is being made into a movie. I plan to skip it/them.
I do think that my book club might have a good discussion about this book. I didn’t love it but I did like it and I don’t regret taking the time to read it. I think I might enjoy hearing others’ thoughts and opinions even more than I enjoyed the book....more