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review 2017-09-21 15:03
THE BFG by Roald Dahl
Bfg;The (Pb) - ROALD DAHL

This is a re-read for me - I had to replace my read-to-death copy of the book recently and decided to read it again.

 

This is an amusing (non-politically correct) children's book about the fascinating adventures of a quirky, lovable giant, his not-so-lovable neighbours, and a little girl.  The illustrations by Quentin Blake also add to the enjoyment of this book.  The text is easy enough for a novice reader to understand (with the occasional big word) but the made-up words might prove a bit difficult, if somewhat amusing when read aloud.  The story itself is also interesting enough to keep an adults attention while he/she is reading it to the kiddies.  There are also bits of morality issues which can be discussed with the children. 

 

My edition of the book has black and white sketches, but I've seen some lovely full colour editions of Roald Dahl's books.

 

 

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review 2017-09-12 02:05
Is a Worry Worrying You? by Harriet May Savitz and Ferida Wolff
Is a Worry Worrying You? - Marie LeTourneau,Ferida Wolff,Harriet May Savitz

Genre:  Inspiration / Horror / Humor / Monsters


Year Published: 2005


Year Read:  2017

Publisher:  Tanglewood Publishing Inc

 

Source: eARC (NetGalley)

 

 

Worry

I would like to thank NetGalley and Tanglewood for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Now, I have read many children’s books that is usually either a straight up horror story or a straight up morality tale. But, I had never come across a children’s book that had both horror and life lessons for children all combined into one story until I had requested another children’s book from NetGalley called “Is a Worry Worrying You?” “Is a Worry Worrying You?” is a children’s book written by Ferida Wolff and Harriet May Savitz along with illustrations by Marie Letourneau and it is definitely one of the most creative and haunting children’s books I had ever read!

This book is basically about helping children deal with being worried about certain situations by showing their worries in the form of a monster that is constantly hounding the characters in the book. The book would put the characters in certain situations such as worrying about a hundred elephants coming for tea and you realize that you ran out of tea for the elephants to drink. So, the solution to the problem would be to offer the elephants lemonade instead, helping you not to worry so much during that situation and finding a reasonable solution to your problem.

Wow! I cannot believe that I just got around to reading this book (it was published in 2005, and I just discovered it on NetGalley)! Ferida Wolff and Harriet May Savitz both did a fantastic job at writing this book as I loved the idea about the concept of worry being portrayed as a scary monster that invades the characters’ homes every time the character in the story is dealing with a problem that causes them to worry! I also loved the fact that the story helps give out advice to young children about how to deal with worrisome situations such as finding a solution to take when dealing with such a situation. Probably my most favorite problem-solving situation that was shown in this book was the one where you have a group of elephants in your home who all want to have some tea and you do not have any tea left to give them. Instead, you decided to give the elephants some lemonade in place of the tea to solve the problem! Marie Letourneau’s artwork is surprisingly creepy in this book, which is much different from her work in “Argyle Fox.” I loved the fact that Marie Letourneau’s artwork is highly reminiscent of the character designs from the Tim Burton films with the characters having large rounded eyes with dark shadings underneath the eyes and also having tall and lanky bodies that make them look unnatural. I also loved the image of the worry monster itself as it is drawn as a blue monster with a mischievous evil grin on its face and it was quite entertaining seeing the monster pop up on each page whenever someone faces a situation that worries them.

Worry

Parents should know that the illustrations in this book might be a bit too creepy for some small children to handle, especially the images of the worry monster as it looks pretty threatening in the pages it appears in; especially whenever it is stalking the characters in the book. Parents might want to read this book first to see if their children can handle such creepy images.

Overall, “Is a Worry Worrying You?” is a truly fantastic and unique children’s book that would greatly help children overcome their worries in life and find reasonable solutions in conquering their worries! I would recommend this book to children ages five and up since the imagery might scare some small children.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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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 2017-09-12 01:33
Superman and the Miserable, Rotten, No Fun, Really Bad Day by Dave Croatto
Superman and the Miserable, Rotten, No Fun, Really Bad Day - Dave Croatto,Tom Richmond

Genre:  Parody / Children's / Superheroes / Humor


Year Published: 2017


Year Read:  2017

Publisher:  Mad Books

Source: eARC (Edelweiss)

 

Superman

I would like to thank Edelweiss and Mad Books for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

I remembered I used to watch Mad TV when I was little and I was a bit curious about this new parody book involving Superman that Mad Books had created and I managed to request it from Edelweiss. Since I was familiar with Mad TV, I was wondering if this was going to be a vulgar parody of Superman. BUT, I WAS WRONG! “Superman and the Miserable, Rotten, No Fun, Really Bad Day” which is written by Dave Croatto along with artwork by Tom Richmond is a clever and hilarious parody on the popular children’s classic “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” and it is definitely one parody that will have you rolling on the floor laughing!

The story starts off with Superman having trouble getting up in the morning as he accidentally stepped on his glasses and also realized at that moment that he may have sleep walked during the night. It was then that Superman found out that he was going to have a very bad day and man was he right! When Superman was on his way to work, he had to fight Doomsday, but in doing so, he ended up coming to work late and his boss Perry ended up yelling at him in front of everyone. Then, when Superman went to the Justice League, he was forced to do monitor duty, which was a job he really hated doing. Superman then thinks about moving to the Fortress of Solitude.

Will Superman’s day get even worse from here? 

Read this book to find out!
 


Wow! This…was…so…amazing!!! I have always loved parodies of my favorite franchises (provided that they are done right) and this was one parody that I felt was done right! Dave Croatto has done a fantastic job at writing this book as it not only greatly parodies “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day,” but it also sticks closely to the Superman mythos such as mentioning characters like Lois Lane, Jimmy and Perry White, the Fortress of Solitude and Superman’s time in the Justice League. I also loved the way that Dave Croatto weaved these two worlds together and manages to create a unique and hilarious take on the everyday life of Superman. Probably, some of my favorite parts in this book was the part where Superman busted up his shampoo bottle when he let loose his heat vision by accident and the part where Superman did not get the chance to ride in Wonder Woman’s invisible jet! Tom Richmond’s artwork was truly creative and greatly captures the feel of the artwork in “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.” I especially loved the fact that Superman is the only character in color while all the other characters are in black and white as it shows that Superman is the main focus of this story and it shows how he views each bad situation he gets into.

Superman

Overall, “Superman and the Miserable, Rotten, No Fun, Really Bad Day” is a truly fantastic read for children who enjoyed reading “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” and who enjoyed reading “Superman” comics! I would recommend this book to children ages five and up since there is nothing inappropriate in this book.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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review 2017-09-12 01:05
The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle
The Grouchy Ladybug - Eric Carle

Title:  The Grouchy Ladybug

Author:  Eric Carle

Genre:  Animals / Bullying / Children's / Humor


Year Published: 1977


Year Read:  2010

Publisher:  HarperCollins Publishers

Source:  Library

Content Rating:  Ages 4+  (Bullying)

 

 

Ladybug

After I had read “The Very Hungry Caterpillar,” I really wanted to read more books by Eric Carle. “The Grouchy Ladybug” is definitely no exception in reading some of Eric Carle’s great works! “The Grouchy Ladybug” is a book by Eric Carle and it is about how a grouchy ladybug tries to pick a fight with the other animals no matter how large they are. “The Grouchy Ladybug” is truly one of the most hilarious books about the consequences of bullying that every child will definitely enjoy!

The book starts off with a friendly ladybug seeing some aphids on a leaf and wanted to have them for breakfast but then a grouchy ladybug comes in and refused to share the aphids with the friendly ladybug and challenged the friendly ladybug to a fight. When the friendly ladybug agreed to the challenged, the grouchy ladybug suddenly back down and it goes to find a much larger animal to fight with. After the grouchy ladybug meets up with a praying mantis, a sparrow, a skunk and other animals, it finally meets up with the biggest animal of all…

What animal does the grouchy ladybug meet up with the end?

Read the book to find out!
 


Seriously, this is one creative and hilarious book from the great mind of Eric Carle and both the story and the illustrations contribute greatly to this cautionary tale about bullying. Eric Carle makes this story extremely as the grouchy ladybug is shown as your average bully as he bullies the other animals into trying to fight with it and I loved the way that the grouchy ladybug encounters one large animal and then moves on to a larger animal than the last and what was so hilarious about this was how the grouchy ladybug always stated whenever it meets an animal larger than itself:

“Oh, you’re not big enough!” 

And that statement always makes me laugh because I always wondered about why the ladybug would want to pick a fight with someone who is much bigger than it is. It was also hilarious that the moment that the ladybug notices the larger animal’s special ability to defend itself, such as the skunk using its stink and the sparrow having a sharp beak, the grouchy ladybug just immediately runs off to find another animal. Eric Carle’s illustrations are simply beautiful and creative as the images are extremely colorful and keep the story running smoothly. The images that really stood out the most for me were the images of the grouchy ladybug itself as it always has a grouchy look on its face and looks so small when it flies up against the larger animals. My most favorite part of this book was whenever the grouchy ladybug meets the larger animals, the pages are sort of cut up to indicate each animal the ladybug passes and the larger the animal is, the longer the pages are. I also loved the way that there are clocks displayed at the top of the pages of each animal the ladybug meets as it indicates the time that the ladybug shows up to meet up with the animals.

Overall, “The Grouchy Ladybug” is a truly hilarious book that teaches a thing or two about the consequences of being a bully and any child who is a huge fan of Eric Carle’s will definitely get a kick out of this book. I would recommend this book to children ages four and up since there is nothing inappropriate in this book.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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