When I was a young teen, I was a “Paul girl”, to quote from the wonderful Anna Quindlen, and I suppose I’m still a Paul fan: How could I not love a veWhen I was a young teen, I was a “Paul girl”, to quote from the wonderful Anna Quindlen, and I suppose I’m still a Paul fan: How could I not love a vegetarian and it’s a McCartney song that touches me most (The Long and Winding Road), but during my adulthood I’ve definitely been a John woman too. I’ve always liked his complexity and admired some of his outlook.
I found this to be an interesting biography, told partly via his song lyrics.
The illustrations are spectacular.
The information in the back is incomplete (re Beatles records in particular but) adds a great deal to the story. The important dates section adds a lot more information.
Somehow, though, this felt like a shell of a biography. I do think it’s a good introduction to John’s life, and the Beatles music and the Beatles. And, though this book wasn’t alone in this, I saw a window into what attracted John to Yoko. Most importantly, it’s a wonderful book for kids who feel unsupported in any way and who need to find within themselves motivation to follow their dreams. Even if kids read this seeing John as just anyone, not the celebrity, not the real man, they could get a great deal from this story.
I really appreciated the author’s and illustrator’s notes at the beginning of the book. I found it fascinating what they said about what John’s life and music meant to them; they came to it from very different perspectives, both interesting....more
I have a too long recommended for list for the recommend to field. I can heartily recommend this book to 9 to 13 year olds (and those young at heart)I have a too long recommended for list for the recommend to field. I can heartily recommend this book to 9 to 13 year olds (and those young at heart) who enjoy historical fiction stories and/or speculative fiction time travel stories, kids who are going through or have gone through divorce or another loss, who are ambivalent about change and/or growing up, who have an interest in San Francisco and/or San Francisco history, have enjoyed any books by Mark Twain, who are looking for a terrific friendship story, who are having any kind of rough time whatsoever, who are interested in history in general and curious about the future, who are introspective, and anyone who enjoys a wonderful story.
I loved this book. The only thing that felt a little odd to me were some of the interactions between Joan and Lee, but I got used to their communication style and it ended up working well for me.
I loved the creative chapter titles, containing multiples words/phrases that give information about chapter content to come.
I loved the ingenious time travel aspects, and Mark Twain, especially the Tom Sawyer material, and especially Samual Clemens the man. What a hoot to have him in this story in this way. I love the glimpses of old San Francisco; they were very enlightening. I liked all the characters and their relationships.
The story is so, so creative. The premise is great, and its fruition worked, at least for me.
I particularly liked the San Francisco setting, the main reason I got to the book as quickly as I did, present (2012) and past(s) and possible future. Great fun! I love recognizing so many places. Oh, and the other main reason I got to this book is because I loved another book by this author: The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop.
I’m saddened and perplexed that of the 10 copies at the San Francisco Public Library, 9 of them for lending, 1 of those borrowed by me, that 5 are on the shelf, available. Today’s San Francisco kids, both sexes, all races, especially those 9 through 13: read this! All copies should be checked out, with a reserve queue. Perhaps many kids/families have purchased this. I have seen copies in local independent bookstores.
4 ½ stars, 5 stars from my younger self
This book would have been ideal for me when I was 11-12, after the death of my mother.
It would make a fine bibliotherapy book for kids who are struggling with any loss or change.
I’d like to see it in many households, and all school libraries and children’s hospital libraries.
It might be a good choice for reluctant readers too, depending upon their interests.
And, look at all the bookshelves I was able to use for this book!
Thanks to Goodreads’ friend Gundula. I guess I originally found this because of your shelving of it. Now, it’s your turn to read it!...more
I really loved reading this quirky and hilarious book. It’s a hoot, and I found it so entertaining.
I spent much of the time chortling along, and founI really loved reading this quirky and hilarious book. It’s a hoot, and I found it so entertaining.
I spent much of the time chortling along, and found most of it delightful. For instance, never could I have imagined that Ps and Bs could be so funny.
Every once in a while, there were short periods when I was afraid it was going to get tedious, and then I’d be caught unawares, many times, laughing so hard.
Like most good humor, there is much poignancy too. The tone did change for a while toward the end and I wish it hadn’t. I don’t think it was absolutely necessary, though it did make sense. For me it lowered my rating ½ or a bit more fraction of a star. So, 4 ½ stars, not 5, but I’ll round up because I had so much fun reading it.
There were some real surprises, and I hated to put it down. As the ending approached, I was so eager to find out what had happened/would happen, so I didn’t put it down, even though it meant getting way behind with my end of the month tasks and paperwork that normally take up a great deal of my last weekday of the month.
I might have liked it even better if I lived in Seattle (I have visited frequently and know the city fairly well so maybe not) and/or if I was wealthy, had a house, and/or teens/children in certain types of schools, but I “got it” as I read. And for many years now I’ve yearned to go to Antarctica and so I enjoyed the armchair travel there. I enjoyed the art/artist/genius angle and the MS angle too. The story is a perspicacious and brilliant satire in so many ways.
I loved the unique mix of emails, letters, documents, etc. that helped tell the story. I loved Bee’s voice, Bernadette, and so many of the cast of characters.
Overall, this was a real joy. If I wasn’t about to start another humorous novel by a favorite author of mine, I’m sure I’d be incredibly sad that I’m done. I am feeling a tad mournful anyway, and I envy readers who have this book ahead of them. A mark of a very worthwhile read!...more
This is an excellent bibliotherapy book for young children who’ve lost a parent, I’d say ages 3-8.
Hopefully they’ll have as good adults as the child iThis is an excellent bibliotherapy book for young children who’ve lost a parent, I’d say ages 3-8.
Hopefully they’ll have as good adults as the child in this book, but even if they don’t this book might be helpful for dealing with the grief and confusion of losing a parent.
I appreciate how this child feels, and expresses, anger, and a whole range of emotions. I appreciate all the thought processes the child goes through. Nothing feels inauthentic; it seems as though a child could react in just this way.
I love the illustrations. They have a simplicity to them but they’re so expressive. I like the liberal use of red, with some yellow. My imagination would have included quite a bit of blue, but somehow the red & yellow work wonderfully.
While this story shows this child and his father, and his grandmother too, coping with the loss of a mother, wife, daughter, it’s not a happily ever after type story. The loss of the young child’s mother remains a sad thing. And that’s good, and realistic.
One caveat is that this story and its pictures might actually set off some sad and angry feelings in children going through a grieving process. That’s not necessarily a bad thing at all, but it’s good to be prepared for that possibility.
My goal today was to read at least a half dozen of the couple dozen picture books I have at home, but I think it’s going to be just this one because iMy goal today was to read at least a half dozen of the couple dozen picture books I have at home, but I think it’s going to be just this one because it took me so long to read and view. This book was well worth the time I took with it. It’s a superb book.
This is definitely a book for readers because it is both so text heavy and because all the pictures/maps have captions for every little thing, so a lot of reading is involved. Pre-readers may also enjoy it but I wouldn’t recommend this book for reading aloud unless the listener(s) can also read along, and not really even then.
This book has two page spreads, including wonderful maps (that could have been made by children) and each time the reader turns the page they get taken back ten years, starting from 1988 and ending in 1788. Each section is narrated by a child who describes their life and place. And, for all 200 years it’s the exact same place in Australia. Readers will see the different circumstances of the children, and their similarities, and will see how the place dramatically changes over time. I have to say that creek spends way too many years being unusable!! At times the children’s stories are very poignant (the hardships are many and there are many deaths) and at times the accounts are very amusing. I loved this: “I’d quite like to be a savage.” (from the 1868 child) and many other parts too.
I appreciated the full circle of this starting and ending with Aboriginal children and the more straight line of showing how the place changed over time. I loved learning about the various immigrants over the years, and their varied circumstances.
Sometimes the every ten years seemed too short a time to show. The changes seemed drastic sometimes, possibly not 100% realistic (but maybe that’s how it really was) but sometimes I loved the time changes, especially when someone was mentioned in two time periods, such as at age 21 mentioned by that child and then back to at age 11 narrated by them 10 years earlier.
I adored the illustrations, especially all the maps of the place. I loved the kids and their surrounding, including the many animals. There is so much detail, and it’s all fascinating.
There is a short glossary in the back, and while I knew the meaning of the majority of the words, I learned a few new ones.
This would make a perfect book for older elementary school age readers who love maps, history, learning about people from different cultures in different times, Australia, and so much more. Great for kids about to make a trip to Australia. Great for kids who like reading about how other children live and have lived. Great for kids who like maps, and this book could be used as an inspiration for kids making their own maps of their places and also researching the history of their places.
This is an incredibly busy book and it’s worth taking hours to read. I’d have poured over this many times as a kid and probably eventually memorized its contents.
I’d love other books such as this about other places, including my little area of the world. It hasn’t changed quite so much so quickly in recent years though, but I’d find it really interesting to go back 200 years and see the changes in land and peoples. I’d love books such as this for many other locations. This one was captivating!...more
I zoomed through this, whenever I was willing to pick it up at all, because I just didn’t like it and didn’t want to have to spend too much time readiI zoomed through this, whenever I was willing to pick it up at all, because I just didn’t like it and didn’t want to have to spend too much time reading it.
I should like it. I have many friends who’ve given it 5 and 4 stars, much of it takes place in “my era” and I feel as though I should like Irving’s work, all of it.
But this is just too weird for me. And I really couldn’t stand all the content about religion and faith and the way it was addressed I found incredibly irritating. Very peculiar story!
I couldn’t even care about the characters. Everything was connected and wrapped up neatly so I can admire that skillfulness but since I didn’t enjoy the story, I can’t muster that much admiration.
I’ll have to give it another chance sometime. The only reason I persisted and kept reading is that this book is the book for my next real world book club meeting. I’ll bet they’ll all love it. What’s wrong with me?! I guess this one just isn’t my cup of tea. Irving is often too strange for me actually, although I did like Garp and loved The Cider House Rules movie. I didn’t like this at all though. I will be interested in our book club discussion because I suspect I’ll be alone with that opinion.
Oh gosh. I didn’t record my reading start date and I have no idea when it was, but I know I started it over a month ago....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 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"]>...more
Ah, the title. Ha! Yuck! The reader finds out quickly why the title for this book is as it is.
This is a really superb book. It’s text heavy, althoughAh, the title. Ha! Yuck! The reader finds out quickly why the title for this book is as it is.
This is a really superb book. It’s text heavy, although the illustrations are marvelous, and for older children, I’d say 9 (maybe 8) to 12 and up, all the way up.
This is an excellent biography of Charles Darwin. I knew quite a bit about his research and philosophy and his years on the Beagle, but not that much about what came before and after, so I learned a lot.
I appreciated how this book encompasses Darwin’s life, and nature, science, philosophy, religion, history, so much.
The illustrations, mixed-media collages, contain actual bits of natural materials, and they’re just wonderful. As is true with many picture books, I was less than enthusiastic about the portrayal of human faces, but I got used to those, and I ended up enjoying all the (very creative) illustrations.
This is an excellent introduction to many subjects and could be a great springboard for discussion about evolution, evolution and religion, natural history, scientific research, and, of course, Darwin’s life and times. This is a good first book for learning about and discussing all these subjects.
If Darwin was working today, I’m sure animal rights activists would be up in arms.
It was ready at the library today. I picked it up today. I read it today. Now I’ll have to wait year for her next book. I’ve been caught up for a whiIt was ready at the library today. I picked it up today. I read it today. Now I’ll have to wait ½ year for her next book. I’ve been caught up for a while with all Polacco’s books so I’ve been waiting book to book. This was a worthwhile one to wait for.
I think this story does an admirable job of addressing the subject of cyber-bullying, in this case among some sixth graders.
I realize that this book and several other books by this author-illustrator could (almost) go on my san-francisco shelf. I actually liked the pictures in this book quite a bit, including some fabulous illustrations of the San Francisco area, so onto that shelf it goes. I guess when I have some time I should add more Polacco books to that shelf.
I really appreciate how Polacco engages her readers to think about bullying, how she encourages them to put themselves in the situation the characters experienced, and at the end asked them a direct question to contemplate. On the back inside cover she writes a note to her readers about the bullying she experienced when she was young and notes the bullying she’s witnessed in two decades of school visits, with bullying, particularly cyber-bullying, drastically increasing.
Looking at the ratings on Goodreads, I seem to appreciate this book more than most other readers. I was engaged, touched, and I’d happily share this with a child or group of children. 4 ½ stars And this might be a first for me: It’s possible I like the pictures more than the story. I don’t think that’s ever happened with me and a Polacco book, but I liked the story just fine too.
I’d recommend this to girls and boys in 4th grade through 7th grade, and anyone who’s been the victim of a bully or knows someone who has, or someone who has bullied others....more