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review 2017-09-12 01:50
Swimmy by Leo Lionni
Swimmy - Leo Lionni

Title:  Swimmy

Author:  Leo Lionni

Genre:  Animals / Drama / Family / Danger


Year Published: 1963


Year Read:  2010

Publisher:  Alfred A. Knopf

Source:  Library

Content Rating:  Ages 5+ (Some Scary Scenes and Death of a Family Member)

 

 

Swimmy

I have have heard works from Dr. Seuss, Maurice Sendak, Marc Brown and David Wiesner, but I have finally stumbled upon some works that came from my childhood a long time ago and those works consist of Leo Lionni! “Swimmy” is a Caldecott Honor book by Leo Lionni and it is about how an unusual little fish named Swimmy, who survives a giant fish attack, tries to find another family to live with. “Swimmy” may have an intense scene with the big fish that might frighten small children, but I am pretty sure that most children will easily enjoy this book!

Once there lived a happy school of small fish who were all red except for one fish was black and his name was Swimmy. One terrible day however, a huge tuna fish came by and swallowed up all of the red fish except for Swimmy who had escape from the huge tuna. Swimmy, now the sole survivor of a tuna attack, then swims around in the deep watery world by himself in order to find a new family to be in.

Will Swimmy find a new family?

Read this book to find out!
 


Never have I read a children's book that has both effective drawings and a heartwarming story at the same time as Leo Lionni has made this book! Leo Lionni has done an excellent job at both illustrating and writing this book as it details the adventures of a unique black fish named Swimmy. Leo Lionni's illustrations might look a little bit simplistic, however, they are extremely effective and colorful, especially of the images of the underwater world where it seems that Leo Lionni took a piece of sponge and patted the background with the painted sponge, which really brings out the creativity of the images of the underwater world. The image that truly stood out the most for me was the image of Swimmy himself as he is shown to be the only black fish among a group of red fishes, who merely look like red outlines of fish. Leo Lionni has certainly made this book extremely intense yet heartwarming at the same time as I have felt sympathy for Swimmy after he lost his family to a tuna fish and I can understand how many children and adults will also sympathize with Swimmy's predicament, especially if they lost loved ones to an accident.

Swimmy

Parents should know that at the beginning of this book, Swimmy's family is eaten by a giant tuna fish and that might be too upsetting for smaller children to handle. On a side note, this scene strongly reminds me of a scene in “Finding Nemo” where Marlon's family except Nemo is also eaten by a huge fish and how Marlon has to cope with protecting his only son from anymore danger. Parents might want to discuss about death of a family member with their children before they read them this book.

Overall, “Swimmy” is a highly emotional and heartwarming book for children who have also lost their family members and how they can still find love among friends and other family members. I personally would recommend this book to anyone who loves Leo Lionni's works and learning about what it takes to be a true family. I would recommend this book to children ages five and up since the scene where the big fish eats all the other fish might scare smaller children.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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review 2017-09-02 12:46
Arrow to the Sun by Gerald McDermott
Arrow to the Sun - Gerald McDermott

Genre:  Native American / Parental Issues / Folktale / Fantasy


Year Published: 1974


Year Read:  2010

Publisher: The Viking Press

Source:  Library

 

 

Arrow

“Arrow to the Sun” is a Caldecott Medal Award winning book by Gerald McDermott that relates an old Pueblo Indian tale about a boy who tries to find his father, the Lord of the Sun and prove himself worthy to be his son. “Arrow to the Sun” is a fun and creative book that many children who love Native American folktales, will easily get into!

Gerald McDermott has done many wonders with both the illustrations and the writing. Gerald McDermott makes the story dramatic and simple at the same time as the writing is often shown on one side of the page and the other side of the page contains mainly images and many children who are adopted can easily relate to the boy as he tries to find his real father and many children can sympathize with the boy as some children might feel like they have to find their real parents to find out about their real heritage, so this story is similar to an adoption story for children who were often adopted and they want to learn more about their real parents. Gerald McDermott’s are extremely colorful as they show all the colorful vibes that you would find in a 70s show as this book was made during the 70s and the illustrations are also highly creative as the characters are all block shaped and there is no real figure to the characters to identify them as human beings as they look like blocks rather than human beings. The image that stood out the most was the image of the boy being turned into an arrow and being shot out into the heavens towards the sun and you can see that the stars also look block shaped but are also done in rainbow colors making the illustration look truly magnificent.

Arrow

“Arrow to the Sun” is a brilliant folktale about the power of courage and determination and many children who love hearing various folktales from the around the world will definitely love this book. I would recommend this book to children ages four and up since there is nothing inappropriate in this book unless smaller children might worry about the boy’s misfortune with the other boys for not having a father in his life.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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review 2017-08-13 06:42
Cinderella or the Little Glass Slipper by Marcia Brown
Cinderella - Marcia Brown

Genre: Fairy Tale / Fantasy / Royalty

Year Published: 1954

Year Read: 2010

Publisher:   Charles Scribner's Sons

 

 

Cinderella

“Cinderella or the Little Glass Slipper” is the winner of the Caldecott Medal and is one of the earlier books by Marcia Brown that retells the French fairy tale “Cinderella” about how a miserable girl named Cinderella tries to go to the grand ball with the help of her fairy godmother. “Cinderella or the Little Glass Slipper” is clearly one of Marcia Brown’s most memorable books yet!

Marcia Brown has indeed created many children’s books throughout her life. Imagine my surprise and excitement when I read her first children’s book! Marcia Brown has made this version of Cinderella much more tame than in the other versions of “Cinderella” I have seen as Cinderella’s stepsisters in this version seem a bit nicer to Cinderella by easily telling Cinderella about their time at the ball, although they still maintained their cruel nature by teasing Cinderella about not going to the ball, which is a bit unusual for in most versions that I have read of “Cinderella,” the stepsisters were always mean to Cinderella regardless of the situation that Cinderella was in. Marcia Brown’s illustrations are truly beautiful and simplistic in this version of the classic fairy tale as Cinderella truly looks beautiful with her wavy golden hair and beautiful black eyes. Also, the illustrations are a bit simplistic due to the fact that there is barely any color in the background, but the color is mainly focused on the characters, which allows the characters to stand out more, which I have never seen done in any other book that have simplistic illustrations.

Cinderella

“Cinderella or the Little Glass Slipper” is a brilliant retelling of the classic fairy tale that I think will be more suitable to children who want to read the more tame version of the fairy tale and will be a great hit for children everywhere. I would recommend this book to children ages four and up since there is nothing inappropriate in this book other than the stepsisters’ poor behavior towards Cinderella.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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review 2017-08-13 06:41
Cinderella or the Little Glass Slipper by Marcia Brown
Cinderella - Marcia Brown

Genre: Fairy Tale / Fantasy / Royalty

Year Published: 1954

Year Read: 2010

Publisher:   Charles Scribner's Sons

 

 

Cinderella

“Cinderella or the Little Glass Slipper” is the winner of the Caldecott Medal and is one of the earlier books by Marcia Brown that retells the French fairy tale “Cinderella” about how a miserable girl named Cinderella tries to go to the grand ball with the help of her fairy godmother. “Cinderella or the Little Glass Slipper” is clearly one of Marcia Brown’s most memorable books yet!

Marcia Brown has indeed created many children’s books throughout her life. Imagine my surprise and excitement when I read her first children’s book! Marcia Brown has made this version of Cinderella much more tame than in the other versions of “Cinderella” I have seen as Cinderella’s stepsisters in this version seem a bit nicer to Cinderella by easily telling Cinderella about their time at the ball, although they still maintained their cruel nature by teasing Cinderella about not going to the ball, which is a bit unusual for in most versions that I have read of “Cinderella,” the stepsisters were always mean to Cinderella regardless of the situation that Cinderella was in. Marcia Brown’s illustrations are truly beautiful and simplistic in this version of the classic fairy tale as Cinderella truly looks beautiful with her wavy golden hair and beautiful black eyes. Also, the illustrations are a bit simplistic due to the fact that there is barely any color in the background, but the color is mainly focused on the characters, which allows the characters to stand out more, which I have never seen done in any other book that have simplistic illustrations.

Cinderella

“Cinderella or the Little Glass Slipper” is a brilliant retelling of the classic fairy tale that I think will be more suitable to children who want to read the more tame version of the fairy tale and will be a great hit for children everywhere. I would recommend this book to children ages four and up since there is nothing inappropriate in this book other than the stepsisters’ poor behavior towards Cinderella.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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review 2017-08-13 05:01
There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly by Simms Taback
There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly - Simms Taback

Genre:  Surreal / Humor / Chain Reaction / Food / Animals


Year Published: 1997


Year Read:  2009

Publisher:  Viking

 

 

Lady

“There was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly” is a silly lyrical book rewritten from a 1940s American folk poem by Simms Taback and is a Caldecott Honor Book. This book is about how an old lady manages to swallow every animal that comes in her path for no reason, until she goes a bit too far towards the end. This book is full of silly fun, but smaller children might want to watch out for the disturbing ending. 

Simms Taback has done an excellent job at writing this story as it sounds upbeat and is creative, especially when he states about why the old lady swallow one animal after the other. Simms Taback also brings some attitude to the story as he makes it seem like what the old lady is doing is absurd, such as how he stated that it was absurd how the old lady swallowed a bird. Simms Taback also does a superb job at illustrating this book as he makes each character look surreal. The image that stood out the most was the image of the old lady herself as she is the most surrealistic looking character in the entire book. The old lady has bloodshot eyes throughout the book indicating she is crazy and her dress is black and has colorful dots painted all over her dress. I also love the way that Simms Taback made die cuts in this book when she shows the animals that the old lady has swallowed in her belly and the die cut gets larger the larger the animal she swallows gets. 


Lady

Parents should know that the ending might be too disturbing for smaller children. I will not spoil the ending for you, but it does deal with the subject of death and children might worry about the concept of death. Parents might want to explain to their children about how death is apart of life and be careful into how they are explaining this theme since smaller children might not understand the full concept of death. Also, parents might want to talk to their children about he difference between reality and fantasy, especially since this book was not meant to be taken seriously and the things that the old lady has done does not really happen like that in real life.

There was an Old Lady who swallowed a fly” is certainly one silly book that children will love for many years. I would recommend this book for children ages five and up since the format is simple for children to read, but the ending will definitely disturb smaller children since they do not understand about death in real life.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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