We read this book as part of our homeschool, following Five In A Row. I doubt I'd have picked it up otherwise as the title and cover seem more like boWe read this book as part of our homeschool, following Five In A Row. I doubt I'd have picked it up otherwise as the title and cover seem more like book-form quinoa than frozen custard. I'm not sorry we read it, though. It's a rather interesting true story. Why not toss the kids a mini-biography and some history in with their giant dogs and dancing mice?
The illustrations don't inspire any passion in me but they fit the story well. Both are very matter of fact and to the point. The 't's will be crossed just so and the 'i's will not be adorned with tiny circles or hearts. It isn't unpleasant, just very (Goudy) old style. You will find no frivolity here.
A pronunciation guide would have bumped this book up a star. A lot of the names are French and the French enjoy snubbing certain letters. Either a guide in the back of the book or parenthetical phonetic guide would have been nice.
However, bonus points for Papa's glorious moustache. It is a thing of beauty....more
This is a sweet story. I could feel the love the Big Nutbrown Hare had for his son, especially how he handled things on the last two pages. You shouldThis is a sweet story. I could feel the love the Big Nutbrown Hare had for his son, especially how he handled things on the last two pages. You should read it to your baby or toddler. Especially if you are a daddy. ...more
This book is adorable. The poetry is on point. I'm always worried when I pick up a children's book that claims to be verse. So many people think poetrThis book is adorable. The poetry is on point. I'm always worried when I pick up a children's book that claims to be verse. So many people think poetry is just slapping a rhyming word on the end of a sentence. Not Mr. Brockett, though. This poetry has meter and rhythm and is quite easy to read aloud.
The story itself is quite cute. A series of disasters befalls this poor theater company which seems to be comprised of small children with one adult as, I don't know, the manager? Guardian? Whatever, the kids are really cute. They also get help in the form of a jolly, fat man. I don't want to spoil the surprise for you of who might show up to save the day in a Christmas book so you'll just have to read it yourself to find out.
As a last note, the illustrations are quite fun. Cute and perfectly suited to the story.
I look forward to rereading this one to the kids next year. (Or knowing my kids, around Independence Day. They are slaves to no calendar.)...more
I should say that my kids have a much more favorable opinion of this book than I do. Probably because they are innocent of the world and its dangers.
TI should say that my kids have a much more favorable opinion of this book than I do. Probably because they are innocent of the world and its dangers.
This is a cute book on the surface. I wanted to pick up that little hedgehog and hug him and beat all the other animals in the book senseless. I think my problem is that Elvis is wearing a diaper. He's a little baby who wants a hug and all these adults are shunning him. That's horrible. They should be ashamed. I also find the ending a bit creepy. Maybe if Colin were also a child. I just... it disturbs me. Sorry. And I am sorry.
My kids have not been exposed to certain evils and therefore love the book. I really wish I could feel the same....more
I can't overstate how much I dislike this book. I get that it is supposed to be comedic, but the misidentification of things is horrible. If it were wI can't overstate how much I dislike this book. I get that it is supposed to be comedic, but the misidentification of things is horrible. If it were written for adults I might feel different. However... this is a book for children. Some children may know that a carrot is not a green bean, but many do not. Labeling the carrots as green beans, and making other such 'mistakes,' is just not something I can endorse. I don't want to have to stop on every page to explain to my kids what the mistake is and that it was made to be funny and how it is supposed to be funny and why people think mistakes are funny and... No.
One thing I do like is the art. It is quite clever and I wish it were attached to a story I could endorse. ...more
This is not a book I would have ever picked up on my own. To be frank, I'm still not sure exactly how I feel about it.
On one hand I'm not much for phThis is not a book I would have ever picked up on my own. To be frank, I'm still not sure exactly how I feel about it.
On one hand I'm not much for philosophy. It just doesn't interest me. This is a bit, I don't even know what word I want to use, but it's too much of it for me.
On another hand the main character is so earnest that I can't help feeling for him. I like Pi much more than the protagonists in books that I have enjoyed more.
On another hand (yes, I'm an octopus/human hybrid) from a Christian perspective, even though I like Pi, he is so wrong about his search for God. I suspect that while the religious leaders in the book had nothing to say during the little confrontation, they would agree. While we can respect the views of other religions, most of them believe that they are the true path and that other paths do not lead to the best afterlife.. As a Christian I don't believe that someone who also worships other Gods can be saved, no matter how honest his search may be. The central component of Christianity is that Jesus is the son of God and if you practice a religion that contradicts that you are on the wrong path.
On another hand, this book has a twist that I didn't see coming, yet totally fit. That is quite rare. I seem to be a plot savant. If a 'twist' makes sense then I usually see it coming. This one shocked me and broke my heart a bit. I find myself still thinking of it at times.
Bottom line: While I wouldn't read it again, I don't regret reading it once....more
Oh my goodness. This book. I just don't know what to say.
I love the lesson. Horace has had a bad day and comes home grumpy. His mother notices and helOh my goodness. This book. I just don't know what to say.
I love the lesson. Horace has had a bad day and comes home grumpy. His mother notices and helps him to purge those negative feelings in a healthy way and everything ends well. (Oh hush about spoilers, it's kids book, it wasn't going to end with him running away from home or killing a puppy.)
The only quarrel I have with the story is that one of the 'bad' things that happens is that he gets a love note from a girl. I'm sure some little boys will understand why that is so horrible but mine did not. DD7 and DS5 both asked me why that upset him. It was hard for me to explain because I don't want to be the one to introduce the idea to them that the opposite sex has cooties, or whatever they have these days. Maybe it'll come, maybe it won't, but at this point they didn't understand why Horace wouldn't like to get a love note.
The book is a little surreal. I don't know if it is in the literary and artistic definition of the term, but that word fits how I feel about it. One example, there is a show-and-tell cow. Dude. If you know what that is you need to comment and explain it to me, because we had nothing like that in my school growing up.
The art. Boy, I gotta admit I hated the art. It made me want to cry so that tears would fill my eyes and blur the images because I just couldn't force myself to look away. It defies explanation but I'll try. Each page has a gaudy border that reminds me of those crappy borders that everyone but me was putting on photos they uploaded to Facebook a couple of years ago. You know, the ones that are so bright that you don't notice the photo itself. The mom looks like her body was made from clothes stuffed with other clothes, like a scarecrow. Everything is so bright and in your face that I felt like a bird in a cloud of butterflies, not knowing where to look next. So horrible. But I can't stop looking at the images. My first thought was that they were repulsive. My second thought was that they were probably worthwhile because they look like nothing, and I mean NOTHING, that my kids will see anywhere outside of a modern art museum. I believe it is worthwhile to look at different styles of art, even if they make my eyes bleed.
I love the message of the book. I love the absurdity of the text. I hate the bizarre images. The message, text and images fit together perfectly. I have no idea how that works. We checked this out from the library, but if we owned it I think it might be the one kid's book I'd keep just because I can't stop looking at it. I wish I could understand why I can't stop looking at it. ...more
First of all, I need to say that it is refreshing to read a stand-alone book. It seems like all books need to be a part of an ongoing series these dayFirst of all, I need to say that it is refreshing to read a stand-alone book. It seems like all books need to be a part of an ongoing series these days. Nothing against series, but stand-alones have a certain charm. I'm also impressed by an author who takes on the job of building a world from scratch each time.
I am, or used to be, a horror fan. I've moved past it a bit in recent years. Perhaps having kids made me soft, but I don't have the taste for it that I once did. This is a book I feel like I would have loved if I'd read it back when I was the age of its intended audience. It has a definite creep factor. Nothing that will make one who sleeps with Stephen King dig out an old Curious George nightlight and matching stuffie to keep safe at night, but if you're at the age that they are still laying around, you might decide to use them.
This is definitely not for children who get scared easily. If one of my precious littles asked me to read it to them I'd say no. It's too scary for them. I'd definitely recommend previewing it before giving it to a sensitive child unless you want some extra cuddles all night long because your child refuses to sleep alone.
This book also mixes in a bit of unpleasant history about the potato famine in Ireland and the main characters face a tiny amount of prejudice about their Irish heritage. The word 'crippled' is also mentioned a time or two. As someone who likes using such things as learning tools it doesn't bother me, but it is there. As a child my interest would have been piqued by the potato famine and I would have looked it up in the encyclopedia (yes, I'm that old) and the details I'd have found there would have bothered me more than the more fantastical horror elements in the book.
It was a quick read, even though I found it didn't catch my interest as quickly as Peter Nimble did. I think Peter Nimble is a better book, but that probably says more about my preferred type of story than it does about the quality of writing. ...more
Anyone who has read my previous reviews should sit down now. Prepare for a shock. I have no complaints. This book is great. It even deserves an exclamAnyone who has read my previous reviews should sit down now. Prepare for a shock. I have no complaints. This book is great. It even deserves an exclamation point for how good it is. !. There it is.
This book is really clever. So many books written for children feel like the author didn't put a lot of effort into it because it is only for kids. Just throw some word down because kids won't get it or be able to appreciate it or whatever other dumb excuse. Well, how else are we supposed to teach children the value of well crafted sentences if we keep reading them junk? Seriously, its like feeding your kids mcnuggets and cheese doodles and expecting them to develop a taste for blackened salmon and roasted asparagus. (Is there such a product as cheese doodles? Should that be capitalized? I don't know. For all my many faults as a parent I have never purchased a product called cheese doodles.)
Anyway, this author uses really clever word play. The character is a little boy who uses a crayon to create the world around him. You get phrases like "made his bed" and "drew up the covers" in there. I just love it.
The art is great, too. Harold is drawn in a different style from the rest, presumably because he didn't draw himself into existence. Everything else in the story is drawn with a thick, purple crayon line and looks like it could have been drawn by a child. A super duper talented child, because I couldn't do that well, but you know what I mean. At least you will after you read the book. Which you simply must do. It's great and I may never read another book that I find no fault with. Read it for that reason if no other.
P.S. If you're a fan of "The Twilight Zone" you might think of the kid with the powers who wished everything and everyone he didn't like into the cornfield. In my opinion this only enhances the enjoyment of the book. Read it before bed for some fun dreams pitting Harold against little Billy Mumy. You're welcome....more
I really loved this book. That's not to say it didn't have some issues. For instance, I'm not sure the author is quite clear on how to describe an apeI really loved this book. That's not to say it didn't have some issues. For instance, I'm not sure the author is quite clear on how to describe an ape, but I don't care. Hopefully any kids reading can tell that his author occasionally takes liberties with the truth while being entirely truthful in other areas.
To be honest I read this without having any idea what I was getting into. A friend I'm going SWF on was reading a different book by the same author and when I looked him up this book popped with an intriguing description, so, having the attention span of a butterfly, I requested it. I didn't realize it was juvenile fiction at first. It isn't limited to that audience, I assure you. It's fun for everyone. Surprisingly I wasn't tipped off to its intended audience by the image on the front of the book, the slightly larger and more readable font or the big "J" on the spine designating in which section the library shelved it. It was the whimsy. This book has a sense of humor that I generally don't encounter in fiction designed for older audiences.
Go ahead and pick it up. It's not that big. Okay, it looks that big, but it's not. It has some sort of space manipulation that makes it look bigger than it is. Like a reverse Tardis. Perhaps it puffs itself up to avoid predators. I don't really know. I do know that even with four children jumping on me every 39.7 seconds I still managed to finish this book in a day. Assuming you have fewer children or are a better parent, you should be able to beat my time. Easily. So just go read it already....more