I wasn’t really in the mood for folk or fairy tales, but this is the last book I must return tomorrow to the library, so I read it.
I loved the illust...moreI wasn’t really in the mood for folk or fairy tales, but this is the last book I must return tomorrow to the library, so I read it.
I loved the illustrations, which are glorious. I loved the message that getting something without working for it isn’t satisfying, and loved how Biddy found the magic within herself.
However, I absolutely hated the end. I have little doubt that the story follows what’s considered a sensible pattern, but I was left feeling very morose. What is probably meant to be a happy ending, filled me with sadness. That’s not always a bad thing, but I guess I’m not familiar with this type of tale because I was not expecting what happened, and I wasn’t happy about it. I know that’s my fault for being clueless about this type of tale. I’m thinking I’d have had to have more knowledge and been in a different mood to fully appreciate this story’s ending.
Given how lovely the pictures are and how overall satisfying the tale is, I have to give this at least 3 ½ stars. It’s a beautifully done book.(less)
When I picked this up, I’d assumed it was a picture book. It’s not. It’s illustrated but it’s so heavy on text, I don’t consider it to be a picture bo...moreWhen I picked this up, I’d assumed it was a picture book. It’s not. It’s illustrated but it’s so heavy on text, I don’t consider it to be a picture book. It’s a very short (64 pages) illustrated chapter book.
I’m not that interested in Valentine’s Day so I am not the best audience for this book, but I did find parts interesting. I liked the instructions/presentation for some of the crafts that can be made. I enjoyed some of the history; I learned a few things.
In fact, the information presented is sufficiently sophisticated (and disturbing) that I think I’d recommend this book for ages (at least) 9-13, and through adulthood for readers interested in this subject matter.
But, I didn’t find the presentation that fascinating; it was interesting though.
The illustrations are all in black and white, but they’re very charming.
How St. Valentine’s Day Came to Be Valentines Cross the Atlantic True-Love Tokens Enter Cupid Valentine Love Birds Hearts and Sweethearts Roses are Red Valentine Lace Red, Pink, and White Valentine Goodies Stories and Poems for Valentine’s Day Sources Index
The back cover of this book makes it clear that this author-illustrator team have a series of holiday books. The other books listed on the back are about St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. And a book about the Fourth of July by this illustrator but another author is also listed.(less)
I was greatly touched by this story and I really love it. I admit when I got to the end, my cynical self said this probably wouldn’t happen, but of co...moreI was greatly touched by this story and I really love it. I admit when I got to the end, my cynical self said this probably wouldn’t happen, but of course with some people it would. I love the depiction of the poor but loving shtetl family, especially the imaginations of the three daughters, and the moral of the story, of how important it is to be generous, with help & charity, and with friendship too.
The illustrations are wonderful, eliciting pure joy from me.
At the back of the book there is one page of text that educates about Hanukkah, and it does so in an interesting way, even for younger children.
According to the author, this story was told to her by her father, who learned it from a man whose father had lived in a shtetl; I love stories passed down orally, and appreciate when they are put to paper as this one was.
This is a perfect book for family reading during Hanukkah, and is a good story for learning about Hanukkah, for when a group or family wants to discuss selfishness and generosity, and empathy, and also it’s just a good family and sisters story.
4 ½ stars, ½ star off from this curmudgeon who thinks it might be overly optimistic(less)
I LOVE chocolate. I love that the recipe at the end of the book for Mexican hot cocoa is for the traditional, “accidentally vegan” version, even thoug...moreI LOVE chocolate. I love that the recipe at the end of the book for Mexican hot cocoa is for the traditional, “accidentally vegan” version, even though this variation is not my personal favorite. Most kids who try it without the suggested variations are likely to be surprised by the flavor.
The illustrations are deliberately influenced by Mayan and Aztec art. They’re cut-paper and collage. They fit the tale well and I found them interesting, although they’re not all that aesthetically pleasing to me. I did like the colors, the people, especially their eyes & their facial expressions, and the frog, and the boldness and vividness of the illustrations and how they fill the page. The gods were kind of creepy and might scare some children if the story is not read with a lighthearted voice inflection.
According to the author’s note at the end, the book was actually inspired by a New Orleans chocolate store, Blue Frog Chocolates. The author and illustrator are from New Orleans and nearby Baton Rouge.
The story is definitely meant to be read aloud. It works well as a read aloud. I didn’t enjoy my silent reading all that much but when I went back and read it out loud, I thought it was great fun. I do love how many Spanish words and short phrases are mixed in with the mostly English language story, in such a way that their meaning is well understood.
I’m not sure why I didn’t love this one. It didn’t quite thrill me. I did enjoy it though, and I think kids who love folktales, myths and legends, and definitely chocolate, are likely to enjoy the book.
Awhile back, I read three picture books with the Pied Piper story and have another on my to-read shelf that I’ve been unable to obtain. I happened to...more Awhile back, I read three picture books with the Pied Piper story and have another on my to-read shelf that I’ve been unable to obtain. I happened to see this book on the featured shelf at my branch library and grabbed it, not knowing what to expect, except that the cover appealed to me. The Pied Piper fable had a huge emotional impact on me when I was a child, and I really like the story.
This is a very text heavy picture book, so I’d say it’s for independent readers or reading aloud to school aged children, and possibly not in one sitting, although if time allows, reading the story all at once is the way to go.
This version of the story is told first person from the point of view of the young lame boy. I love his first impression of the Pied Piper as “wonderfully weird.”
So, I can’t give this book less than 4 stars. The pictures are remarkably good, I think. They’re intricately detailed and colorful and beautiful. They’re really special.
The story? Well, this one is different from any other Pied Piper tale I’ve ever read. It starts off darker than most versions, but ends up happier than any other version I’ve read. (view spoiler)[ The children return home unharmed. (hide spoiler)] This telling has a definite additional moral too; it’s incredibly message heavy, even as compared to the original. Somehow, I didn’t mind that because I loved the message(s), and the characters, but its deviation from the standard bothered me somewhat, so I deducted a half star or so. As a child, I’m sure I’d have considerably preferred this version to any of the others, and definitely to the one I had read to me when I was young.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
There isn’t much to this book but it is cute, and for kids it might be fun to guess/know what’s on the next page. For each double page there is a silh...moreThere isn’t much to this book but it is cute, and for kids it might be fun to guess/know what’s on the next page. For each double page there is a silhouette of something in the foggy foggy forest with the (a tad annoying for this adult) repeating questioning of what it could be and then the next pages show, via rhyme and full color picture what it is. There are some fairy tale characters and they’re in amusing positions such as “Cinderella and Snow White in a water-pistol fight.” There are only about ten of these. I think kids will enjoy this book though, especially if they’re familiar with some of the characters and especially if they like guessing games. I wasn’t wowed but I think some members of the target audience will be big fans. I did enjoy the illustrations and their rhymes and particularly the whimsy. For unicorn fans there is “a unicorn playing a horn.” 2 ½ stars, deserving of rounding up(less)
I love this book. It’s a simple tale about the whole being bigger than the parts, about really seeing, and it manages to teach about colors, numbers 1...moreI love this book. It’s a simple tale about the whole being bigger than the parts, about really seeing, and it manages to teach about colors, numbers 1 through 7, and the days of the week. Immediately knew what the whole was, but young children, having this read to them or reading it for the first time, might find out only when the seventh and last mouse takes a more careful look.
The paper-collage illustrations are very appealing; they’re bright, bold, colorful, and eye catching. I really liked them, at least in connection with this particular story.
It’s very cute and wise. And children of all ages can enjoy it, even the youngest children. It’s not a board book though, so supervision should be given to any young child who might tear the pages. Even after knowing what happens, I think many children will happily and frequently want this one reread.
I’m not sure why this tale touched me so much, but it did. I believe in coincidence, not superstition, and I wasn’t particularly in the mood for a fol...moreI’m not sure why this tale touched me so much, but it did. I believe in coincidence, not superstition, and I wasn’t particularly in the mood for a folktale.
I wish there had been a section at the end elaborating on the origins of the beckoning cat legend, tradition, and how’s it’s looked at and used today. There is a glossary in the back, with just a few words.
But, the story of a monk and his cat is so lovely. I was very touched by them both. Their eventual good fate was fun to read about, particularly regarding the generosity shown by all. I mostly enjoyed reading about their loving relationship, especially when they had little but each other.
I really enjoyed the illustrations. I appreciated how the art style and colors/brightness changed depending on whether the scenes were of the monk and his cat at the monastery vs. the scenes of the village market.
This is a wonderful book for anyone who loves cats, enjoys folk tales, particularly Japanese folk tales, those who enjoy interesting illustrations, and those who want to instigate a discussion about “paying it forward” and giving and giving back. (less)
The illustrations are period perfect and full of detail. I especially love the cat sleeping on the same bed as the baker.
I’ve been familiar since chil...moreThe illustrations are period perfect and full of detail. I especially love the cat sleeping on the same bed as the baker.
I’ve been familiar since childhood with 13 equaling a baker’s dozen, and this was a fun tale of how a dozen might have come to mean 13 vs. 12 where bakery goods are concerned.
I think this is the only Saint Nicholas Day story I’ve ever read and I can heartily recommend it. It reads like an original fairy tale. I cared about the baker. The message re Saint Nicholas’s generosity and of being generous is a good one. And the cookies look delicious and festive. It’s a fun story with wonderful pictures.
I would have loved an author’s note about the actual history of a baker’s dozen.
The ending felt a bit abrupt to me, but that’s my only quibble with this otherwise wonderful original fairy tale.
It’s a wonderful story about a lonely...moreThe ending felt a bit abrupt to me, but that’s my only quibble with this otherwise wonderful original fairy tale.
It’s a wonderful story about a lonely princess who is not allowed to play with the children outside the palace gates. The bird and the princess in this story are two of a kind, first imprisoned and lonely and then, due to the princess’s actions, their lives change much for the better.
This is the fourth picture book I’ve read by this author, who by the way, seems to attract the best illustrators, and I’m now eager to read all her books; she’s very prolific.
The illustrations are marvelous. I love the expressiveness of the princess, the queen, the governess, and the lady-in-waiting. The pictures are lush and vibrant and lovely.
I’d recommend this book to everyone who can enjoy an original fairy tale and for all children looking for an excellent friendship story.(less)
This might be my new favorite fairy tale, and it’s enhanced by lush and gorgeous illustrations. I thoroughly enjoyed it, despite recently not being in...moreThis might be my new favorite fairy tale, and it’s enhanced by lush and gorgeous illustrations. I thoroughly enjoyed it, despite recently not being in the mood to read fairy or folk tales. This book is an amazing gem.
I love the strong and kind and giving woman protagonist, Katya, and though her grandmother is in only a short part of the story, I liked her too. I love the animals, including a good, vs. more commonly evil, fairy tale wolf character. How refreshing!
There is one character, the main villain, I’d have found very frightening as a preschooler and maybe in my earliest school years too, but I’d have still loved the tale.
This is a beautiful book and would make a wonderful gift for girls age 4 or 5 to 9 or even 10 or 11.
There are many full page illustrations and they’re just wonderful. They’re intricate and are really special. Some looked like stained glass to me and I love that look. They have a very Russian feel about them. The nesting doll (living) interiors are all so wonderful. There are such a rich variety of colors. The story is fine on its own but the pictures make it soar.
This is a perfect fairy tale for readers looking for a story where the woman is allowed to be the heroine.
I adore the last page.
This would be an appropriate book for humane education.
I might edit this review some day. For now, it’s one of those books I am such a fan of that I can’t write a worthy review.(less)