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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-06-23 20:50
NOS4R2 by Joe Hill
NOS4R2 by Joe Hill (6-Nov-2014) Paperback - Joe Hill

NOS4R2 by Joe Hill
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Victoria McQueen discovers her mind can do something very special - it can summon a bridge that can transport her anywhere she wants to go. One day, in a fit of dangerous thinking, she finds herself within the vicinity of a very unstable child abductor; Charlie Manx. Escaping Manx was a turning point in her life, and now, years later, she has a son of her own, and Manx seeks revenge on the one that got away.

(WARNING: This review contains minor spoilers.)

Imaginative would be one word I’d use to describe this; crazy would be another. Not only does it implement so many different things, it does it exceptionally well. If I were to list off the elements that Hill includes, I’m sure you would (if you haven’t already read it) raise an eyebrow or two - I certainly did at first. I had no idea just what I was getting myself into, until it was too late and I was swept up into the mind blowing and twisted biography of Victoria McQueen. It started when she was just eight years old; a child that had a mind filled with fantasy, seeking some semblance of freedom upon her Raleigh Tuff Burner. I do favour tales than span a character’s life, from a young to adult age, as it truly highlights development and progression. The journey of Victoria was a rollercoaster of tragedy, and at times I deeply felt for her. This isn’t to say I particularly liked her throughout the entire book, because there were moments she was depicted as a very selfish individual, but over time, I came to love and accept her. Due to her trauma, life shaped her into a broken soul, and none of it was fair.

As for the numerous other characters, there were an interesting mix of personalities. Lou was a hero in his own right, and seriously a lovely person, whilst Bing was quite the opposite. He was the primary source of sexual violence, even if it was mostly glossed over rather quickly. Child molestation in fact didn't play a part at all in this book, thank goodness, so when I mention sexual violence, it relates purely to the abuse of adults. I just wanted to get that out of the way.

Moving on to Manx himself, he wasn’t my most favourite antagonist. I prefer the charming, deceptive sort of bad guy, instead of the Joker-esque insanity, however he was most assuredly entertaining. The version of his inscape, “Christmasland”, had an undeniable, nightmarish vibe to it, and every time more and more of it was revealed, I became increasingly more fascinated. He truly had lost his mind, and I often wondered about his origins and how he came to be. I'm going to come outright and state that he wasn't a vampire, but the play on the title was pretty much summed up in the book itself. Needless to say, I'm sure there's a significant amount of history pertaining to Manx, that Hill could delve into, if he ever wanted to.

Despite Christmas being a prominent theme, it in no way diminished the bleakness that radiated off every page. I found there to be a particular beauty in the dark atmosphere coupled with Charlie Manx’s eternally joyful outlook. I even appreciated the occasional sprinkle of humour, as Manx and his partner in crime truly weren’t the most coordinated of villains. The plot itself was padded out with unnecessary information, yet it’s something I’ve come to associate with works similar to King - and of course the son would be inspired by the father. Sometimes I don’t really mind the veering off; it’s dependant upon the overall story, and if I feel the distractions are worth the outcome. With NOS4R2, it was definitely worth it.

I expected nothing less from the bittersweet ending. I got an idea of what would transpire, and I can't say my prediction was wrong.

In conclusion: A masterpiece of weird. Vic "The Brat" McQueen was a star, in all her tattooed glory. I can't say just how much I loved it, and since it was my first experience with Hill's storytelling, I can't wait for more.

Notable Quote:

She had said she could bring her bridge into this world but that in some way it also existed only in her mind. It sounded like delusion until you remembered that people made the imaginary real all the time: taking the music they heard in their head and recording it, seeing a house in their imagination and building it. Fantasy was always only a reality waiting to be switched on.

© Red Lace 2018


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Source: redlace.reviews/2018/06/23/nos4r2-by-joe-hill
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review 2018-06-23 19:38
The Caboose Who Got Loose by Bill Peet
The Caboose Who Got Loose - Bill Peet

Title:  The Caboose Who Got Loose

Author:  Bill Peet

Genre:  Trains / Traveling / Children's / Adventure


Year Published: 1971


Year Read:  2009

Publisher:  
Houghton Mifflin Company

Source:  Library

Content Rating:  Ages 4+  (Nothing Objectionable)

 

 

Caboose

“The Caboose Who Got Loose” is a great story from the creative mind of Bill Peet about a small caboose named Katy who wants to escape her life as a caboose and live happily in a peaceful place. “The Caboose Who Got Loose” may be a bit tedious for some children, but it is still a cute little story nonetheless. 

Bill Peet’s story about a caboose who wants to live a peaceful life in the countryside is a great tale for many children. Children will feel for Katy’s sadness at being a mere caboose and not having a peaceful life of her own. Bill Peet’s writing is highly creative as he narrates the story in a rhyming prose that fits the mood of the story perfectly. Bill Peet’s illustrations are always the highlights in his books and this is certainly no exception. The characters are drawn in a similar fashion as “The Brave Little Toaster” as the cabooses and the houses have windows for eyes. 

Caboose

“The Caboose Who Got Loose” is a cute story about how one must be satisfied with what life brings us and will definitely interest many children who love books about trains and how to love life. I would recommend this book to children ages four and up since there is nothing inappropriate about the story.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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review 2018-06-23 19:31
Cyrus the Unsinkable Sea Serpent by Bill Peet
Cyrus the Unsinkable Sea Serpent - Bill Peet

Title:  Cyrus the Unsinkable Sea Serpent

Author:  Bill Peet

Genre:  Animals / Children's / Sea / Adventure / Pirates / Traveling


Year Published: 1975


Year Read:  1994

Publisher:  
Houghton Mifflin Company

Source:  Purchased

Content Rating:  Ages 7+  (Some Intense Scenes)

 

 

Sea

“Cyrus the Unsinkable Sea Serpent” is an adventurous book from Bill Peet about how a friendly sea serpent who at first wanted to wreck a ship to have fun, ends up trying to protect a ship full of passengers looking for a new land. “Cyrus the Unsinkable Sea Serpent” may be tough for smaller children to read but older children would most likely enjoy the adventurous scenes contained in this book. 

Bill Peet’s writing is extremely inventive and exciting as he writes the story about a sea serpent that is willing to risk his life to protect the people on a voyage for a new life. Bill Peet is extremely inventive whenever he uses various words such as “doldrums” and “bedraggled” to make the story more clever and dramatic. Also, the idea that Cyrus is more like a friendly sea serpent rather than a vicious one makes the story more creative as people usually believe that sea monsters are meant to be scary. Bill Peet’s illustrations are beautiful and colorful, especially of the scenes where he illustrates the sea as a calm ocean for the water is beautifully blue and during the storm scenes, he makes the sky dark and the ocean smashing viciously at the Primrose. 

Sea

Parents should know that there are many advanced words in this book and that this book may be a bit too long for younger children to handle. Some of the advanced words mentioned are “pilings,” “doldrums,” and “bedraggled” and young children may not understand what those words mean. Parents should write down the advanced words down on a piece of paper and define them so that the younger children would understand what the word means and therefore, it would make it easier for them to read this book. Also, the length of this book is a bit too long than any normal children’s book and that may be a bit too tiresome for some small children to handle, so parents should read at least a few pages a day so that children would not get too tired of this book. 

“Cyrus the Unsinkable Sea Serpent” is a wonderful story about the power of friendship and how it is better to help people rather than be cruel towards them and children would easily enjoy this book for ages. I would recommend this book to children ages seven and up since the advanced words and the length of the book may be a bit too challenging for smaller children.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-06-23 19:23
Encore for Eleanor by Bill Peet
Encore for Eleanor - Bill Peet

Title:  Encore for Eleanor

Author:  Bill Peet

Genre:  Animals / Children's / Circus / Artist


Year Published: 1981


Year Read:  2010

Publisher:  
Houghton Mifflin Company

Source:  Library

Content Rating:  Ages 4+  (Nothing Objectionable)

 

 

Eleanor

“Encore for Eleanor” is a cute story by Bill about an old elephant named Eleanor who was once a great circus performer, but was moved to the zoo when she got too old to play her part. It was then at the zoo that Eleanor learns a new special ability that might jumpstart her career again. “Encore for Eleanor” is a great book for children who want to discover new talents for themselves and realize that everyone is special in their own way.

Eleanor the elephant was once a great circus star who would stand on stilts and impressed the audience to no end. One day however, since Eleanor has been performing in the circus for forty years, Eleanor’s knees were weak and suddenly, she fell off the stilts and landed on the floor with a hard crash! Eleanor began to worry that her boss, Colonel T.J. Tinglehoffer was going to send her away because of her ruining her act by falling off the stilts. Sure enough, Colonel Tinglehoffer did send Eleanor away to the zoo and Eleanor bade a tearful goodbye to her friends at the circus. 
Even though Eleanor had plenty to eat and good home to stay in, she still missed the circus life and was miserable because she felt like she could not do anything extraordinary like she used to do in the circus. One day, however Eleanor awoke to find a teenage girl trying to draw a rhinoceros on her canvas. Of course, when the rhinoceros moved and girl could not draw the rhinoceros, the girl became angry and threw her charcoal to the ground. Eleanor was so interested in what the girl was doing, that she wanted to learn how to draw also. So, when the girl went off to see some ducks in the pond, Eleanor slyly picked up the charcoal and she decided to draw one of the clowns from the circus. However, Eleanor was soon discovered drawing the picture by the teenage girl and the teenage girl was so impressed by the drawing that she decided to show the picture to everyone. Everyone was impressed except for Mr. McJunkens, who did not believe that Eleanor drew the clown. Eleanor was so mad that she grabbed the charcoal and… 

What does Eleanor draw and will she able to convince Mr. McJunkens that she can really draw? 

Read the rest of the book to find out! 


Bill Peet’s story of an old elephant who wants to be special again is extremely cute and brilliant for children to read. The scene that stood out the most for me was the scene where Eleanor learns how to draw after she witnesses the teenage girl drawing the rhinoceros. That scene was so amazing because you would have never imagined an elephant drawing such a great picture and drew the picture in a matter of seconds. Bill Peet’s illustrations are beautiful and detailed, especially of the image of Eleanor herself as she looks beautiful in her circus outfit and yet, she maintains wise appearance throughout the story telling the audience that she has indeed aged after performing in the circus for forty years.

“Encore for Eleanor” is a great book about the importance of trying out new activities in life to keep your life going and will surely encourage many children to follow what they believe in and do many new things in their lives. 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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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-06-23 19:13
The Spooky Tail of Prewitt Peacock by Bill Peet
The Spooky Tail of Prewitt Peacock - Bill Peet

Title:  The Spooky Tail of Prewitt Peacock

Author:  Bill Peet

Genre:  Animals / Bullying / Children's / Individuality


Year Published: 1973


Year Read:  2009

Publisher:  
Houghton Mifflin Company

Source:  Library

Content Rating:  Ages 6+  (Bullying)

 

 

Peacock

“The Spooky Tail of Prewitt Peacock” is a children’s book about self-confidence from the popular children’s author, Bill Peet. This book details Prewitt’s, a peacock, dilemma when his tail, at first was scrawny, becomes a horrifying looking tail over a matter of days! This children’s book is truly a unique treat to read as you would never imagine a tail forming into a scary face over time and that will definitely catch any child’s attention. 

Bill Peet does an excellent job with both the illustrations and the writing for the story. Bill Peet’s illustrations are vibrant and beautiful as he effectively draws the trees in the jungle in a scraggly way. The image that is the highlight in this book is the image of Prewitt’s tail. Prewitt’s tail is certainly a sight to see as Bill Peet draws Prewitt’s tail with two angry looking blue eyes and a frightening looking jagged mouth with sharp looking greenish teeth. Also, I thought that the clutching feathery claws added an even spookier effect as they really look like they are going to grab you real quick. Bill Peet’s writing is excellent as he tells the story of a peacock named Prewitt who at first lost confidence in himself because of his tail, but then gains it back when he realizes that his scary looking tail makes him unique from the other peacocks. I also loved the way that Prewitt defended his tail against the other peacocks stating that he would rather have a tai that is scary-looking than to have no tail. 

Peacock

Parents should know that the way that the other peacocks mistreated Prewitt because of his tail might concern young children. Even after Prewitt’s tail had grown, the other peacocks still mistreated Prewitt because his tail was different from the others. But, the story does have a happy ending as the other peacocks learn to accept Prewitt’s “special” tail after it saves their lives. Parents should discuss to their children about the importance of individuality as Prewitt expresses his individuality by standing up for his tail.

“The Spooky Tail of Prewitt Peacock” is probably one of Bill Peet’s most lovable books as it expresses the value of individuality. I would recommend this book to children ages six and up since this book would be a tad bit too long for smaller children to get through.


Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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