I wasn’t the slightest bit disappointed. In fact, I think this is my favorite of the 4 books.
I was charmed the minute I opened the book and saw a bunch of gorgeous rocks pictured on the 2 inside front covers, and then turned to the back to see if they’d show the same or different rocks or something else, and they were the same rocks but on the 2 pages of the inside back covers they are labeled with their names. Loved it! I would have poured over these pages as a child, choosing my favorites.
And then the information in the book proper is fascinating. I knew some but not all of it. The examples given were so, so interesting. I was completely captivated and would have been even more so when I was a rock and mineral fanatic and loved studying geology, especially volcanoes, and was avidly pouring over my copy of Rocks and Minerals.
A part of me wants to include more details in this review, including the descriptive terms and various examples used on the pages, but I’ve decided it will be more fun for readers of all ages to discover for themselves the contents of this book. It’s really wonderful.
The youngest children can enjoy the illustrations in this book; they’re outstanding, very beautiful. Children 7-13 can appreciate the more detailed information inside. As for independent reading, I’d say this book is for 8 or 9 and up, depending on the previous knowledge and the vocabulary of the person.
If I was 8-12 I’d have spent my allowance to have a copy of this book in my home library, and if I had children at home I’d make sure to have an owned copy there.
I fervently hope that this team creates more books in this nature series.
I’ll reread this book at least once before I (sadly) return it to the library, and I’m happy it will be available for borrowing in the future.
If I go on now it will sound like hyperbole, so I’ll stop now....more
I loved this book. The stories are marvelous. They’re exceptional. They’re incredibly deftly written. Each story is a gem, as is the entire narrative.I loved this book. The stories are marvelous. They’re exceptional. They’re incredibly deftly written. Each story is a gem, as is the entire narrative.
Though I thoroughly enjoyed the book, it wasn’t a comfort read for me. In fact, all my hypochondriac tendencies and fears about my future health status were activated, but I loved the stories anyway, despite feeling sad, infuriated, and especially really scared at times while reading. It greatly helped that the compassionate nature of the writer continually shines through the pages.
I haven’t enjoyed a short story book as much since I read How to Breathe Underwater by Julie Orringer. Although I’ve always enjoyed reading essays, but my usual preference is to read novels and full-length non-fiction books rather than short stories and books of short stories. However, these are intersecting stories, with characters that sometimes make appearances in different stories. The stories also somehow feel as if they’re part of one story, and in general they do follow a timeline, from young to old, from students to experienced medical doctors. The whole thing worked really well. I thought the stories fit together so well even before I got to the last story, and that last story solidified the job of tying all the stories together.
These stories are published as fiction but all along they read as truth to me, and the last story makes clear that each does have a huge non-fiction component. That’s why this book is on so many of my apparently contradictory shelves.
I love the quote that starts the book: “If you don’t care for obscenity, you don’t care for the truth.” (It’s by Tim O’Brien from How to Tell a War Story. I can’t find that book at Goodreads but I probably wouldn’t add it to my favorite quotes anyway, even though I really like the quote and it definitely fits this book.) One of my big quibbles with medicine, ever since I was aware, from eleven years old on, is the dishonestly. When it comes to medical matters I value honesty above all else. (I recently took a continuing education class about end of life care and was tempted to write a long rant in the feedback section to their contention that what is most important when treating a patient is hope. Not for myself it isn’t; it’s honesty.) I appreciate that she has worked in palliative care.
I loved the San Francisco settings. I could identify most of them and am familiar with some of them. I always enjoy books that I can put on my san-francisco shelf. This book makes wonderful use of the city, its medical facilities but also many other places.
I really appreciated how skillfully the relationships and communications and miscommunications were explored, from cross-cultural, to supervisor-supervisee, doctor-patient, between lovers and between friends, between group members, etc.
As I read these stories I couldn’t help but be aware of the following of my feelings/beliefs: Don't get sick. Don't get disabled. Don't get old if not in perfect health, and be wealthy, not poor. And perhaps: Don’t go into medicine, or be careful it’s your true calling if you do. I have physicians in my family and I’ve watched many in the process of dying, so I’d already thought a great deal about these matters, but reading this book has caused enough of a shift that I think I’ll be looking at death & dying and doctor-patient relationships slightly differently.
I’m always impressed by and frequently enjoy writing by physicians. On the back inside cover of the book, in the bio section, it says that “She is an associate professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, where she cares for older patients and directs the Northern California Geriatric Education Center and UCSF Medical Humanities.” She probably couldn’t have written this exact book without her medical training and practice, but it reads as a book written by a true writer, and I hope she writes and publishes more work. I’ll read it if she does....more
This is a really fine concept book about palindromes. The story is very amusing, and there are multiple palindromes on every page, including phrases aThis is a really fine concept book about palindromes. The story is very amusing, and there are multiple palindromes on every page, including phrases as well as words. If I hadn’t known the subject matter was palindromes, I’d have missed many of the ones that are phrases.
The last page is very, very funny.
I did find it sort of weird that Bob felt the extreme need to get away from palindromes, but I suspect most kids will find that part of the fun.
I can’t say I enjoyed the illustration style, but the pictures fit the story very well, and I assume that most kids will enjoy them.
I highly recommend this book for children to teach what palindromes are and also for kids who already have that knowledge and who will be amused by this story, and will enjoy noticing all the palindromes in it.
ETA: Oh, and even the book’s dedications and author’s and illustrator’s bios are related tie ins and also very funny....more
Looking at the entries one by one, some are very interesting. Reading this book cover to cover is a chore. It’s weird too because I’m not sure of theLooking at the entries one by one, some are very interesting. Reading this book cover to cover is a chore. It’s weird too because I’m not sure of the best readership for this book. Some of the items and activities actually still exist. (Girl Scout cookies, heavy weight boxing, etc.) Some I remember from childhood (white gloves, middies, etc.) (that was kind of fun) and some are older than that, though many can be found today in some little part of the world. (gaslit streetlamps, and many others) Some of the blurbs are amusing and/or informative, but there is no real organization other than an alphabetical list. I’d have loved sections showing when & where in history these items and people existed. I thought I might find this book a lot of fun, but only certain entries were for me. It’s not a great book for research or for writers (due to its simple list format) and for so many of the listed things I had not one iota of interest in them. Most of the blurbs were fun though. So, for me star wise it’s between it was okay and I liked it. 2 ½ stars. I’m rounding down though because reading it wasn’t that enjoyable an experience. I kept borrowing it from the library and having to return it and taking it out again because I didn’t want to give up since I’d invested time in the reading of it. I feel like a curmudgeon as it may be others’ cups of tea more than it was mine....more
This is a terrific book for activist kids or as a motivator to show how a very few people can make a very big difference in making the world a betterThis is a terrific book for activist kids or as a motivator to show how a very few people can make a very big difference in making the world a better place. I would have appreciated some extra material in the back with ideas for kids, with more detailed information about the clean up efforts, etc.
I absolutely adored the illustrations, both the large paintings on one side of the page and the tiny miniature paintings on the other side of the page. The two maps are also done well, and I always enjoy maps in books. The art is 5 star work for my taste.
I found the history fascinating. I never knew that the European settlers thought the forest bad luck and that’s why they cut down so many trees. But I found most of the text account just okay. The Native Americans (Indians here) shown as all good and the European settlers as all bad, probably nearly true but not quite. It was interesting to read about their differences in how they viewed nature. The Europeans saw what was there are commodities, to be used/exploited and, despite the successful clean up effort in this case, many Americans (and I’m sure many others) still seem to have that point of view.
Although there was a lot of information here, and I have interest in river clean up and in the environment, I found myself drawn to the artwork more than the account, and the part of the text account that most interested me were the first few pages, before the white settlers arrived and well before the river clean up was needed.
My edition has a Reading Rainbow sticker on it, and I’ll bet this story made a good Reading Rainbow episode....more