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review 2018-04-20 17:01
Curious George Builds a Tree House (CGTV... Curious George Builds a Tree House (CGTV Reader) - H. A. Rey

For more reviews, check out my blog: Craft-Cycle

A cute enough story.

Growing up, I never liked Curious George. It always bugged me that George does naughty things (usually unknowingly), but then never gets in trouble (or worse yet, is rewarded). At least use the situation as a teaching moment. No wonder George is always messing things up. Nobody bothers to teach him why he should or shouldn't do anything. Clearly, I was a very mature child.

Anyway, this book was okay. I haven't watched the show, but I'm assuming this comes straight from it. Following the old-school arch of the original George books, George messes up two of his neighbors projects, because they are vague in their speak, then they forgive him (even though he doesn't apologize or thank them in any way) and don't bother to teach him what they meant, once again rewarding George in his behavior.

Side note: what is George? They always call him "little monkey", but he has no tail and the only monkey that doesn't have a tail is the Barbary Macaque, which George looks nothing like. I'm pretty sure he's supposed to be a chimpanzee, which is an ape. Small thing, but it's still annoying we are teaching children that monkeys and apes are the same animals. Clearly, I am overly critical of children's books, but whatever. 

I did like the learning section at the end with suggested building activities. A fun way for kids to learn about building and construction.

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review 2018-03-30 14:22
The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper ★★★☆☆
The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper - Phaedra Patrick

Once in a while, I fall for the “because you read ______” recommendations that shout at me from every book buying and review site. I’ve been trying, unsuccessfully, to think of a time when I wasn’t disappointed. I need to remember this, next time temptation strikes.

 

This book was supposed to please readers who enjoyed A Man Called Ove and The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, and I suppose it is similar in that its main character is an old man who goes on a journey of self discovery. But that’s about it. I found the story charming at first, but it quickly devolved into cutesiness, and neither the writing nor the lessons learned nor the character evolution lifted it above the threshold for suspension of disbelief required for its unlikely events or improbable characters as did the two books that the recommendation was based on. The forward momentum stopped several chapters before the end, and I had to force myself to finish. It was an okay story, I suppose, for people who like glurge.

 

Audiobook, purchased via Audible. The performance by James Langton was excellent, and elevated the book from two stars to three.

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review 2018-03-29 20:32
The Journey That Saved Curious George
The Journey That Saved Curious George : The True Wartime Escape of Margret and H.A. Rey - Louise Borden,Allan Drummond
This was an interesting book looking into the lives of the individuals who brought us, Curious George. This book is a biography on the authors and tells us how Curious George came into being, what part the war played on George’s life, and the authors commitment to put their book into the hands of young children.
 
I have always enjoyed Curious George. His antics and his adventures always put a smile on my face. I remember the book where he folded all the newspapers that he was supposed to be delivering and he made boats out of them and then the book where George is scared to go to the dentist, I liked George’s face in that book as it reminds me of how I feel when I visit that scary place.
 
I think George opens up the world to kids, he shows them its okay to be scared, to not know all the answers and its okay to ask questions. He does things that we might perhaps think about doing but don’t act upon. He is our, what if? The world is a huge, evolving place and George helps children navigate inside it. He makes things funny, he calms our fears and being a cute, little monkey helps.
 
As I read this book, I was surprised at the extreme measures the Rey’s took to put George inside a book. The novel begins talking about the couple as they were young children and time moves quickly along. Their dreams, college years, WWI, have the youngsters enjoying their life and doing what they do best: drawing and writing. Working together, they decide to get married and they share their apartment with a pair of marmosets. I am thinking to myself as I read this, how perfect is this? Hans keeps a daily journal as they try to get their projects into the hands of publishers. WWII begins and the couple’s living conditions are unstable. This couple has quite the miles under their belts when they finally find a place that they can call home. It seemed that they were always on the move, their manuscripts and illustrations tucked safely into their bags. Whether they traveling by ship, by train, or by bike, the Rey’s had to travel light but they knew they had someone special inside their bags. The illustrations were bright, cute and whimsical and they went perfectly with the book. It was an education and enlightening read.

 

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review 2018-03-26 19:27
I've heard of misplacing car keys but losing a head is just plain careless
Rest in Pieces: The Curious Fates of Famous Corpses - Bess Lovejoy

Yes, I'm somewhat fascinated by death culture. No, I don't think it's unhealthy. Yes, I do recognize it makes many people uncomfortable especially when walking around with a book somewhat shaped like a coffin with the title Rest in Pieces emblazoned across the front. (It might have been unwise to read this on an airplane but I'm a risk taker.) The subtitle of Bess Lovejoy's book is a dead (ha!) giveaway as to the substance of what lies within (on a roll here!). This book is full of fascinating histories of what became of famous people's corpses. She covers everyone from Presidents and political leaders to outlaws, radicals, and artists. No matter their designation, the dead were rarely left to rest peacefully and with all of their pieces together. There was a lot of ground to cover and I honestly felt like I learned quite a bit (I'm going to be a hit at my next dinner party if I ever get invited to another one). If you have a strong stomach, an interest in the unconventional, and some time on your hands then this is one you definitely shouldn't pass up. 10/10

 

Inside art from the illustrator Mark Stutzman

 

What's Up Next: I've Got This Round: More Tales of Debauchery by Mamrie Hart

 

What I'm Currently Reading: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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review 2017-12-01 01:35
good book and characters
The Curious Affair of the Witch at Waysi... The Curious Affair of the Witch at Wayside Cross: (From the Casebooks of Jesperson & Lane) - Lisa Tuttle

Miss Di Lane was a small non-threatening woman that the stranger yelled witch at then he fell over and died. His face froze in terror. Jasper Jespersen was her partner P I. Their office was in Jasper's home and Lane lived there also with Jasper and his mother.  The man had pounded on the door a couple minutes before. The man’s name was Charles Manning.  Jespersen was not satisfied with the natural cause ruling on Mr, Manning’s death. So then they found Charles brother Alexander and Jespersen and Lane both went to Alexander’s home explained why they were not satisfied with the cause of death and why. Alexander hired them to find out what really  happened to Charles. Alexander told them his brother Charles had an obsession  with what he called “ the old religion”, witchcraft, pagan mumbo jumbo, the supposed  ancient mysteries of Britain. Alexander said his brother Charles was a poet, a dreamer whose soul yearned for mystery and adventure Charles couldn’t find in the workday world. Alexander also told Jespersen Charles had quit his job at the bank and moved to Aylmerton. Charles had become an obsessed follower of Felix Ott who promoted the ancient religion - a mishmash of superstition and sorcery , everything a civilized person would find abhorrent - black magic, devil worship, and human sacrifice.  Jaspersen and Lane went to Aylmerton and stayed at the Vicar’s where Charles had lived. Dr. Ringer was the Vicar informs Jasper they had  three other mysterious deaths in the parish. Charles had become engaged to Ann who was rumored to be a witch as were her sisters Bella and Alys. Bella is responsible for her half sisters Ann and Alys. In Bella's library is a grimoire with magical attributes ascribed to it. And a number of people want it. With the possibility of Charles having been poisoned - as everyone said Charles was a healthy young man. There were a lot of suspects including a male witch. Then the baby of the maid comes up missing.

This was a very good read. I like Lane and Jespersen as a team of P I they do complement each other.  I also liked how the team went to Alexander about their doubts on the natural causes ruling and Alexander hired them. This did drag for me at times. This book included : fairies, deaths, a missing baby, witches, witchcraft, magic, spells elves, mystery, intrigue, suspense, and so much more. I did love the characters and the twists and turns and I recommend.

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