This is a book for older children (independent readers) and adults.
I think that it’s kind of brilliant.
I read it because of the illustrations and theyThis is a book for older children (independent readers) and adults.
I think that it’s kind of brilliant.
I read it because of the illustrations and they are glorious. Gorgeous. Intricate. Complex. Fun.
As a list maker (my mother was also a list maker) I really appreciated the quirky story. I love what I think is the message too, to leave room for spontaneity and things that aren’t already on the list(s).
So many funny lines (Sundays were listless. ha ha) and I love that the cat makes lists too, including viewing the list from the cat at the beginning of the book.
If you count reading the lists the Lizsts make, the book is text heavy for a picture book.
I loved this one.
If I look at it even remotely realistically, the unexpected thing that does come up is creepy and scary, but I took the entire story as tongue in cheek....more
Thanks to GR friend Crystal for letting me know about this book. I knew about this orchestra. I’d seen the 60 Minutes television story and had heard aThanks to GR friend Crystal for letting me know about this book. I knew about this orchestra. I’d seen the 60 Minutes television story and had heard about the movie and had seen them in the news.
The last 3 pages of this book upped it to 5 stars for me. More information, photos, resources, and I was happy to see that the publisher had made a donation to the orchestra/community.
The true story is 5 stars without question. The way it was told, even though interviews with the founder & conductor and one of the musicians made up the basis for a lot of the text, was good, but something seemed lacking to me. Perhaps I would have liked to read a full length book about these people and this orchestra. What was presented whetted my appetite for more. The illustrations are wonderful in that they perfectly fit the story and their intricacy is interesting. While beautiful and I love how much there is to view, I’m not wild about their style, though I appreciate how they’re more sophisticated than the illustrations in many other children’s picture books.
I’d say this book is best for school aged kids, perhaps 5-10 and then all the way up. It’s a story/book that can be appreciated by both children and adults.
Be prepared for questions and some discussion about poverty, garbage & recycling, musical instruments, etc.
Reading this I felt inspired and uplifted, and a bit sad too.
Highly recommended, especially for musicians and artists & craftspeople, those who like to learn about other cultures, teachers, those who like reading about real life creative solutions to problems, and all who appreciate stories about people who make a difference.
4 ½ stars, rounded up because of the importance of the story...more
It’s interesting to me that JFK books are still popular, and I was happy to find this children’s picture book about JFK’s 1963 trip to Ireland. TheseIt’s interesting to me that JFK books are still popular, and I was happy to find this children’s picture book about JFK’s 1963 trip to Ireland. These events happened just a few months before he was assassinated.
It’s a fictional story but heavily based on fact, and there is a short but informative non-fiction history section at the end of the book.
I was very touched by the story, as told through the eyes of a young boy. I felt his excitement and the excitement of the Irish people and of JFK prior to and during the visit.
The illustrations are wonderful. Big, bold, realistic, with just the subtlest muting of colors, done very effectively.
4 ½ stars
Note: I did find it interesting to read that in one of Kennedy's speeches there he said that Ireland wasn't the land of his birth but the place closest to his heart. (paraphrasing) I don't think a President could get away with that in today's world. ...more
This is a fun and attractive and informative book. It has enough information not part of the internet quiz(zes) to make it worth reading. I liked howThis is a fun and attractive and informative book. It has enough information not part of the internet quiz(zes) to make it worth reading. I liked how it was organized. I love the study of linguistics, and of language use and how it’s different in different places, in different sub-cultures, and over time, so this book’s contents are my cup of tea.
Yes, as usual, I’m mostly west coast, California, San Francisco, but I was gratified to see that with several words & phrases my time spent on the east coast and elsewhere in the U.S. did stick.
This would be a fun book for a group of friends (perhaps college or work friends) to read together and make comparisons. It would make for an enjoyable conversation/party game....more
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