So, here’s the situation. I’d most likely have loved this book and given it 5 stars if I’d read it nearly four decades ago when it first came out.
It’sSo, here’s the situation. I’d most likely have loved this book and given it 5 stars if I’d read it nearly four decades ago when it first came out.
It’s so funny to me how as a reader I can almost always tell from what era a book comes. This one is so early 1970s! What was considered idyllic and what was considered horrific from that period comes through.
As a reader now, I liked it. It held my attention for the most part, and I got more & more interested as the sections rolled along, and as things (overall) got more & more depressing & disturbing.
The sensibilities of the 1970s show through: gender equality/inequality, issues of sexual orientation, societal norms and the breaking of them, what’s valued or denigrated about society, and most importantly that regarding the absurdity of warfare, which back then I’m sure was meant to say something about the Vietnam War in particular and war in general.
However, in some ways, this book remains topical: we always seem to be in a (arguably) pointless “forever war” and it is often tied to the economy. The issues of medical care. What makes people human. What makes life worth living. Etc. So, some of this remains brilliant, but some of it now feels downright campy.
I love reading books such as this one, speculative fiction books about the future that were written many years ago. It’s fun to see, up until our present, in what ways they are accurate and in what ways they are inaccurate.
And, I am old enough to get a huge kick out of the observation that the musical Hair, as performed in the 21st century makes the 20th century version look tame. At age 16 or so, I must have attended that production half a dozen times, including once on a New Year’s Eve. This book brought me back, but now it feels very dated in so many ways. Unfortunately, the “forever war” concept still resonates.
I can’t say I’d recommend this book to current and future readers and I don’t intend to read the two sequels, but I’m glad one of my Goodreads’ groups selected this as a monthly read because I’m glad I read it, though almost halfway into the month late for the group, and nearly 4 decades late for full enjoyment purposes....more
I read this book for the first time when I was nine, and unlike many books I loved back then I believe I read it only once or twice. I just reread it,I read this book for the first time when I was nine, and unlike many books I loved back then I believe I read it only once or twice. I just reread it, finishing on 2/25/11, for a March 2011 discussion for the Children's Books group’s Fiction Books Club, one of the months chosen to read a classic vs. contemporary book. I’d remembered enough to give it 5 stars but not enough to review it, though I recalled the gist of the story well enough. I’m so glad I reread it now, nearly a half century after my first reading!
I have no idea which library edition(s) I read as a child. I own a nondescript paperback edition. I bought the Norton critical edition but didn’t have time to read it for the group discussion. This Tasha Tudor illustrated edition was the book I was able to borrow from the library so this is the edition I read for my reread, the first in decades. And I did enjoy the illustrations.
I should probably have thought more carefully and waited at least a short time before I wrote a review, given that I’ve already waited nearly a half century, but I felt like writing a bit down when the reading experience was fresh in my mind.
I’m in danger of waxing rhapsodic. It’s not my favorite book/children’s book, but it’s a comfort read for me and I enjoyed it enough for it to make my favorites shelf.
Despite some anachronisms, a last chapter that doesn’t impress me as much as I would have hoped, this remains an almost perfect book for me, and therefore I’m ill equipped to write a decent review.
It’s a very well written story.
I feel great fondness for Mary, for Colin, for Dickon, for Susan Sowerby (Dickon’s mother), Martha, Ben Weatherstaff, and even Dr. Craven. I don’t think I appreciated any of them as a child as much as I do now.
I particularly loved the robin, and I did also when young. I was used to seeing them from my bedroom window and around the neighborhood and liked them at least as much as I did the hummingbirds.
I’d forgotten how there is not just flora therapy but fauna therapy too, and I was smitten with all the animals. Vivid memories from childhood came to mind as I was reading; I think most children who have access to it (I did) are often attuned to the natural world.
While it’s not unique to tell a story of healing (emotional and physical) through nature or through tending to and caring for others/plants/animals, this story does so in such a lovely way, with such immediacy I sometimes felt as though I was right there, within its pages.
What’s not to love, at least for me?! Secrets, gardens, nature, animals, friendship, hope, self-determination, nurturing, and some intangible qualities, so much that seems to leap off the pages of this book.
It’s funny but during this reading I noticed some of what could be considered current new age thinking and beliefs, and those usually drive me up the wall, but here, it’s believable and soothing and exhilarating and magical. I love how Colin uses the word “Magic” and how it’s understood and accepted by those around him. I appreciate how this book shows that the most simple things and joys are extraordinarily ordinary, and necessary for humans to flourish.
I think I appreciated the whole book even more now that I am an adult. It touched me enough that I put it on my favorites shelf. It doesn’t surprise me a bit that this classic has survived and thrived....more
This is the 5th book in the Spellman series, all 5 star books for me, most of them (why not all?!: Do I have to rectify that?!) on my favorites shelf.This is the 5th book in the Spellman series, all 5 star books for me, most of them (why not all?!: Do I have to rectify that?!) on my favorites shelf. (I assigned 5 stars for Lutz’s standalone book too.) (And, there is a new children’s book that will be out in 2013, and readers of this book get a teaser about it, illustrations included.)
I literally laughed out loud, numerous times. The story is hilarious, delightful, and a perfect comfort read for me, warped sense of humor that I have.
The relationships between family members and with others too and (most of) the plot resolutions were deliciously satisfying, and I am eager to read the next book. There had better be a book 6!
This book, of all so far, does San Francisco best, although perhaps I noticed one or two errors, and one or more typos at the footnotes. Maybe. The footnotes are definitely worth a bit of effort because as usual they are great.
In addition to some wonderful San Francisco locations and tours, there are a couple quotes that really resonated:
“You don’t drive much in San Francisco unless you have to. Once you find a parking space you keep your car there until circumstances warrant driving.”
“…a common phenomenon in San Francisco. Unless you carry luggage with you at all times, you’ll never be appropriately attired.”
But mostly I love romping with the members of the Spellman family, and there were some wonderful new(ish) characters too. D. in particular is a wonderful addition, but there are many others, some brand new. The “new David” is even funnier than the “old David” and I enjoyed seeing how everyone is evolving. The Spellmans are very endearing, I think. And they make me laugh. And their idea of an “afternoon pick me up” is so entertaining.
The author dedicated the book to two Morgans, and one is Morgan Freeman, and it happens that he’s frequently mentioned in the book. Which is fine because I like Morgan Freeman, as does (pretty much) everybody. I did get a kick out of the repeated references and I hope and assume that he did as well.
Oh, and bananas have never ever been so funny, and not at all in a lewd way.
I also appreciated that there are two serious non-fiction topics mentioned: The Innocence Project (http://www.innocenceproject.org/) and a heartfelt message about giving business to (spending money!) at independent bookstores, and she has a message on her blog about that issue too: http://lisalutz.com/blog/respect-your.... Now, I will reluctantly return my copy of this book to the library, which will make some other library patron very, very happy; the reserve queue is long, understandably. Oh, and another sobering topic is part of the plot, one that I guessed before Izzy did, and I assume that was the point. These are books where the included mysteries are not the crux of the stories, just fun parts of them.
I’ll toast Lisa Lutz with some ginger ale! (Read the book and you’ll understand that.)...more
Oh, the illustrations of Captain the cat are fabulous. I loved them. The cat is depicted so accurately, well, except for a couple of the flights of faOh, the illustrations of Captain the cat are fabulous. I loved them. The cat is depicted so accurately, well, except for a couple of the flights of fancy activities toward the end of the story. And I just loved the illustrations of everything in the story.
I’m thinking the narrator is a child, talking about the family cat, Captain. Captain sleeps, and washes himself, and eats, and purrs, and in the evening when he goes out and is not with the narrator, the narrator also says a couple more things that Captain does before he goes home to sleep on the narrator’s bed. Delightful!
There are very few words and the story is appropriate for the youngest child, but older children and cat lovers of all ages are likely to enjoy this book.
The illustrations: 5 stars, the story: 3 stars, at least for the very young, perhaps 2 stars for someone who wants a more complex story, but the illustrations are outstanding....more
I just recently learned that Fred Gwynne wrote picture books for children. I really wanted to read The King Who Rained but I’m unable to borrow a copyI just recently learned that Fred Gwynne wrote picture books for children. I really wanted to read The King Who Rained but I’m unable to borrow a copy so I started with this book.
The idioms and homonyms are what make the book so humorous so it’s best enjoyed by readers who know how to read and spell and know the various meanings of words. If they’re pre-readers, the illustrations will definitely help with understanding, but I think independent readers will get the most out of this book.
I think I’d have laughed until I cried if I’d read this as a kid. I’d have found it hilarious, and I think I’d have given it 5 stars. I think it’s probably best appreciated by people still learning the intricacies of language and can get a kick out of being in the know. This is not a storybook. Each page is complete on its own. Mommy says or daddy says and then a humorous phrase, amusing because of the mistake in it.
Now, there’s something to be said about the illustrations: I loved them. They worked with the silly phrases so perfectly and are appealing to view. At this point, as an adult, I enjoyed them as much as I did the text. They’re really wonderful, and definitely contribute significantly in making this book as funny as it is....more
I was smiling throughout this adorable book because the illustrations, particularly of Rocket the dog, are so expressive. Rocket’s facial expressionsI was smiling throughout this adorable book because the illustrations, particularly of Rocket the dog, are so expressive. Rocket’s facial expressions are a hoot; they are so cute.
If the story is read to kids who love books and/or are eager to learn to read, I think this is a fabulous book. (If the book is used to try to coerce or entice reluctant readers or reluctant listeners, I’m not as big of a fan of it.) But, I’ve always loved books and reading, and dogs, and I’d have always loved this book.
The story is so funny and sweet, Rocket is an endearing character, and it’s a book about learning to love learning and books/stories and learning ABCs and reading. I loved Rocket’s journey from wanting to play and be left alone to eager student to independent learner and more advanced student, and got a kick out of how he continued his studies even after his teacher, a bird, has flown south for the winter.
This is my first Tad Hills book but I see he’s written many other books, and I’m now eager to check them out. I loved this book.
Great extra!: On the back inside cover, in the author’s bio section, there’s a photo of the author-illustrator with the real Rocket, who the reader is informed has not yet learned how to read.
I kept thinking of Snoopy and Woodstock; I liked them too., and also Harry the Dirty Dog and other beloved by me fictional canines....more
Wow! I’m surprised that this book doesn’t show as having higher ratings. Right now the average is 3.64 stars. I loved it.
This is the perfect book forWow! I’m surprised that this book doesn’t show as having higher ratings. Right now the average is 3.64 stars. I loved it.
This is the perfect book for families with a child and expecting another child or where there is a younger/baby sibling in the family.
I have really liked at least two other Lola books but this one might be my favorite so far. Lola has a loving mother and father and she gets a bedtime story every night. Starting with Lola’s mommy’s pregnancy, Lola starts planning for and giving books to the new baby. When Lola’s brother Leo is born she reads to him and tries to help in other ways. The whole family is busy with Leo but not too busy for Lola’s bedtime story. This is a sweet story about family love. I like that both parents are involved in both children’s care. I love how Lola picks out books to fit the occasion, trying to help Leo feel better when he cries.
I love the illustrations. I was thrilled to see a picture of Leo nursing. “It turns out he is just hungry. Lola holds her best bear story while Mommy feeds him. She and Mommy read it together.” It is obvious that Lola is still a very young child. As Leo gets his diaper changed, Lola is sitting on a potty chair, and reading “him her best potty book.” It’s so cute.
Family love. Book and reading love. Wonderful!
Highly recommended for 2 to 6 year olds who are older siblings, and some older children too. This is designed as a read aloud book but will also be enjoyed by young independent readers.
Now, the only negative, as I see it, is that it’s ALL positive. Lola seems to feel absolutely no jealousy and doesn’t seem to have any ambivalent feelings about her new baby brother and her new place in the family. But I guess not every single book with this theme has to address these aspects. There are plenty of books about new babies in the family. I would suggest this be paired with a book that shows the child/children having a wider range of feelings. Kids read this book and no other might think any negative feelings they have are aberrant. With that caveat, this is now on my list of books to give as gifts to children about to be big sisters/big brothers.
Completely charming! Because the bear does hibernate at the end of the story, this is a perfect bedtime book. Because of all the fun with words, it’sCompletely charming! Because the bear does hibernate at the end of the story, this is a perfect bedtime book. Because of all the fun with words, it’s wonderful for reading aloud and also fun for independent readers.
The very hairy bear (except for his “no-hair nose”) goes through the year from spring to winter. The pictures and story are just so endearing. Not scary and fine for the youngest child, and this adult enjoyed it too. It’s one of those (many) books that is fun for adults to read to children. I love that this bear is so cute and yet is portrayed as an actual bear, without any human or magical qualities....more
I didn’t have high expectations for this book because I wasn’t wild about the cover illustration. But, I ended up being pleasantly surprised.
The illusI didn’t have high expectations for this book because I wasn’t wild about the cover illustration. But, I ended up being pleasantly surprised.
The illustrations are a hoot. They are so cute. A sheep with a teddy bear, one with dentures in a cup, one with a newspaper, and much more, and Russell’s companion on nearly every page, a frog. Most of the pages have much to view, and much of it is amusing. I also ended up liking the art style, at least in conjunction with the story. I love the blues and greens and other colors and the way they’re used. It’s enjoyable to look for everything shown on every page.
The story is of Russell the sheep who cannot sleep. No, the story is not told in rhyme. Russell tries all sorts of things to try to fall asleep, and adults and children who know about the counting sheep technique will probably guess what’s coming. But, it’s still quite funny when that part comes. Russell is a very endearing character. And, as an almost lifelong insomniac, I was particularly tickled by this storyline. I enjoyed Russell and the frog character was a great inclusion.
This is a fun bedtime storybook, and a just for fun anytime book, and it can also work as a 1 to 10 counting book!...more
I feel like a yo-yo: I went back and forth from loving it, hating it, loving it, hating it, and I ended up really liking it, or did I just sort of likI feel like a yo-yo: I went back and forth from loving it, hating it, loving it, hating it, and I ended up really liking it, or did I just sort of like it? Obviously, I’m ambivalent.
I was predisposed to like this book because I first learned about the polar bears of Churchill in one of my very favorite books, Never Cry Wolf, a book I first read 35 years ago.
So, the positives: I smiled a lot, from the inside front covers viewing the signs the polar bears were holding and all the way through, good basic introductory climate change information, and information about Churchill and its polar bears and tourists, mostly very cute illustrations, some good messages, information that cigars are bad, the additional information in the back of the book, and the humor.
And, the negatives: Very message heavy, a bit jarring to go from picture book to slightly more advanced educational language, the fact that the cigar was there at all, and the Winston the polar bear compared to Winston Churchill, well it was a bit too much of a teachable moment for me, and it’s very message heavy. Yes, really, really message heavy. And the fact that the cigar was in this children’s picture book at all, even with the plotline and caveats that went with it.
But, it is a cute book and I like the messages, so I guess I really like it, or like it, or??? 3 ½ stars, and now I’ll spend a few moments obsessing whether to round that up or down. It’s so very adorable. I’ll give it 4 stars but I’m leaving the recommended to field blank because I’m really not sure what I’d put there....more
So, I’m desperately hoping that this author and/or other authors (I’d love a few books) take this material, greatly expand on it, and write a compreheSo, I’m desperately hoping that this author and/or other authors (I’d love a few books) take this material, greatly expand on it, and write a comprehensive book or books about the history of veganism.
I bought this ebook, which was advertised correctly as a mini-book, and I even learned a few things, although I already knew almost everything included in it. It was easy to read on my iPhone, thankfully, because I do not own a Kindle. This short ebook was reasonably priced and I don’t regret purchasing it.
This is very well written but it seems more like a magazine article than a book, or a sketchy outline for a book, and given its short length, too much is included that is only tangentially related to veganism. That was somewhat disappointing. There are many links (an advantage of an ebook!) and I haven’t clicked on any of them, but I might at a later time.
I’d love a book that covered the history of veganism from the beginning, not just from 1944 when Donald Watson coined the term. And, while it would be impossible to include all activists, organizations, books, legal cases, and everything about the evolution of veganism, I’d love as much detail as possible.
Now, I’m even hungrier for a book that covers a comprehensive history of veganism. However many might be published, unless they look poorly reported, I’ll eat up any and all of them. Reading this just whetted my appetite. Every time a really special vegan book comes out I wish I’d written it, and I wish I would take the effort to tackle a project such as a vegan history book but, given that I’m unlikely to take on such a project, I hope someone else does this.
For what this is, I liked it well enough, and it might be a good introductory piece to read for those just learning this material. For myself, it left me unfulfilled....more
I saw this on the library shelf, and was interested because I’ve enjoyed reading about traditions around baby teeth loss in other books, including ThrI saw this on the library shelf, and was interested because I’ve enjoyed reading about traditions around baby teeth loss in other books, including Throw Your Tooth on the Roof: Tooth Traditions from Around the World and several others, but if I’d read the inside cover carefully I’d never have read it. The tradition here is if you lose a tooth, you then get your own chicken. Definitely offends my vegan sensibilities. However, I couldn’t help enjoying this book.
For one thing, it’s basically a true story based on the author’s sister’s experience. Also, the illustrator is the author’s father.
Most importantly, it’s told first person by Amina, who’s really the author’s little sister (photo included at the end of the book!) and I love her voice. It’s the story of a family who lives in Portland, Oregon, U.S.A. and travels to visit relatives in Bamako, Mali, Africa. Every step of the journey, seeing the different traditions in this other culture, all of it is interesting.
The illustrations are vibrant, colorful, appealing. As a squeamish person, the lost tooth was depicted a little too realistically. At least there was no blood or thread left. As a kid, I’d have just been excited to see that tooth on the ground and finally lost as its owner had hoped for.
The author and illustrator’s notes have convinced me to shelve this as non-fiction biography. At the end of the book there is a short glossary, a good night song the Mali grandma sings, in Bambara (I think) with an English translation, and, unfortunately for vegan and vegetarian children, a Mali recipe for Djaba Dji. It includes chicken and chicken broth for which I guess plant based food substitutes could easily be used; it looks pretty good if you like the taste of meat; I don’t like vegan meats myself.
This is a warmhearted family and inter-cultural story well worth reading....more