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review 2017-02-19 20:25
Lila and the Crow by Gabrielle Grimard
Lila and the Crow - Gabrielle Grimard

Genre:  Bullying / Animals / Fantasy /School


Year Published: 2016


Year Read:  2017

Publisher:  Annick Press

 

 

Lila



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


After I finished reading “Lila and the Crow” by Gabrielle Grimard, I noticed that I had just read another bird themed book from the publisher Annick Press and that was “Rosie the Raven,” which I thoroughly enjoyed! “Lila and the Crow” was a truly unique children’s book about the importance of accepting your own individual appearances no matter what other people say!

Lila had just recently moved to a new town and she wanted to make some new friends on her first day of school. But when Lila comes to school, a boy named Nathan ends up making fun of her by saying that she looks like a crow and this causes the rest of the class to make fun of Lila too. The next day, Lila tried to cover her hair since the other kids said that it was as dark as a crow, but then the other kids started saying that Lila has dark skin like a crow’s and they continued bullying her about her “crow” appearance until Lila had nearly covered up her whole body to avoid the bullying. One day however, the school’s autumn festival had arrived and all of Lila’s classmates were excited to be wearing costumes during the event. But Lila was still miserable from all the bullying she has received and when she finally hits her lowest point, a crow suddenly came up to Lila. It turns out that the crow has been following Lila throughout the story and it was trying to tell Lila something, but Lila kept ignoring the crow throughout the story. Now, Lila decides to give her attention to the crow and…

What is the crow trying to tell Lila?

Read this book to find out!


Gabrielle Grimard has done a great job at telling this story as it details the upsetting effects that bullying has on people (especially children), while also teaching the readers about the importance of being yourself no matter what everyone else says about your appearance. Whenever I saw Lila getting bullied at school due to looking different from the other students, I felt a lot of emotion for her as I know how upsetting bullying can be for a child, especially if the child did not do anything that would warrant such cruelty. I was amazed at how Gabrielle Grimard realistically shows the impact that bullying can have on a child as we see scenes of Lila trying to cover herself up to avoid the bullying and getting more miserable as the bullying worsens. I was also intrigued about Lila’s relationship with the crows (even though not much was really explained about the context of their relationship) as it gave the book a supernatural feel as it seems like Lila is connected to the crows somehow and the crows really want to help Lila with her problems at school. Gabrielle Grimard’s artwork is absolutely gorgeous to look at as Lila looks extremely unique from her classmates as she is mostly dressed in solid red colors while her classmates are in more colorful clothing. I really loved the images of the crows and the forest life itself as it looks so exotic and I loved the way that the crows look mysterious on each image as you are wondering what they want to say to Lila throughout the story.

Lila

The reason why I took off half a star from the rating was because I felt that the characters were a bit too flat, especially regarding Lila as we do not know why she moved from her old town or why the crows want to communicate with her. I was also wondering about whether Lila was connected to the crows or not as it seemed a bit bizarre that Lila is the only person who can kind of communicate with the crows and it makes me wonder if Lila had any sort of special power that we should be aware of.

Overall, “Lila and the Crow” is a great read for anyone who wants to read about the negative effects of bullying and for anyone who wants to read about birds (crows, especially)! 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 2017-02-19 19:52
Sootface by Robert D. San Souci
Sootface - Robert D. San Souci,Daniel San Souci

Genre:  Native American / Folktale / Family / Manners / Magic


Year Published: 1994


Year Read:  2010

Publisher:  Doubleday Book for Young Readers

 

 

“Sootface: An Ojibwa Cinderella Story” is a brilliant Native American version of “Cinderella” retold by Robert D. San Souci along with beautiful illustrations by Daniel San Souci. In this version, a young girl named Sootface is mistreated by her two older sisters, but when a mighty warrior wanted to marry a woman who can see him when he is invisible, Sootface realizes that true beauty lies within. “Sootface: An Ojibwa Cinderella Story” is a beautiful retelling of one of the most beloved fairy tales ever created and will be an instant treat for children.

Robert D. San Souci has done a terrific job at retelling this old Native American tale as he makes the story both dramatic and tender at the same time. The audience can easily feel sympathy for Sootface as she has to endure hardship from her sisters and the village because of her appearance, however Sootface teaches children about the importance of having a kind heart as Sootface tries to overcome the cruelness of her sisters to have her dreams come true. Daniel San Souci’s illustrations are just simply beautiful and amazing as it truly captures the true spirit of the Native American culture as the characters wear colorful skin robes to define their personalities. The image that stood out the most was the image of Sootface herself as she definitely does look dirty since her hair is frizzy and her clothes are worn and torn since she has to do all the work at her home. However, Sootface still have an extremely beautiful face which strongly proves the book’s point in how true beauty lies within.

Parents should know that Sootface’s sisters are cruel towards her to the point where they smear ashes on Sootface’s face without a second thought. Parents should tell their children who have brothers and sisters that it is not right to mistreat your sibling and that you should always treat your siblings with respect.

“Sootface: An Ojibwa Cinderella Story” is a beautiful retelling of “Cinderella” that many children who are interested in Native American folktales will enjoy for many years. I would recommend this book to children ages five and up since there are some terms in this book that younger children would have problems with.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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review 2017-02-19 19:45
Rosie the Raven by Helga Bansch
Rosie the Raven - Helga Bansch

Genre:  Animals / Family / Peer Pressure / Self Esteem


Year Published: 2016


Year Read:  2016

Publisher: Annick Press

 

 

 

Rosie


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

Now, I have heard many stories that involve a human character being adopted by an animal family or being born with an animal family. So, when I found this interesting children’s book called “Rosie the Raven” which is written and illustrated by Helga Bansch on NetGalley, I just had to check this book out and it was a pretty sweet and short little read!


The story starts off with a pair of raven parents seeing their five eggs hatching and while the four other eggs had baby ravens hatching out, the fifth egg had a little human girl hatching out! The little girl was named Rosie and at first, Rosie did not notice that she was different from the other ravens. But when the other birds started making insulting comments about Rosie’s strange appearance, Rosie then wanted to be like her brothers and sisters by trying to fly and make caw noises. But Rosie soon finds out that she could not do the things that her brothers and sisters could do and it was then that she discovered that her unique appearance might actually have some benefits…


As I mentioned before, I have seen many stories that has a human character being adopted by an animal family, but I had never read an animal/human family story where the main human character was actually born to a family of animals. Helga Bansch has done an excellent job at conveying the message of the importance of family through a supernatural yet heartwarming way as Rosie is presented as being a human who was somehow born the natural way a baby raven would be born…by hatching through an egg. There was no clear explanation about how this phenomena even happened and Rosie’s raven family did not seem to mind how bizarre this event is, which really made the story truly heartwarming to read as it shows that Rosie’s raven family does not care about how different Rosie looks from the other Raven children, they just care that Rosie is part of the family. Helga Bansch’s artwork is quite unique as the characters are drawn in a scratchy manner and the colorings are a bit of an earthly hue as we mainly see black, white and pink colors in the artwork. I also thought it was quite unique that Rosie’s skin tone is completely white, which makes her look extremely pale and it gives her a sort of unnatural appearance that really makes her stand out in the story.

Rosie


Parents should know that some of the images in this book might be a tad bit scary for some children, especially since most characters look quite unnatural in this book. Probably the images that might scare some children the most would be the close up images of Rosie’s face as her eyes tend to look blank and her eyes seem a bit too misshapen. There were also the images of the other birds as they have newspaper collages as their feathers and that makes them look quite uncanny. Parents might want to read this book first to see if their child would enjoy seeing strange imagery in a book.


Overall, “Rosie the Raven” is a truly beautiful story about the importance of being in a loving family that cares about you no matter how different you are from them. I would recommend this book to children ages five and up since the some of the strange imagery might scare some children.


Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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review 2017-02-11 17:46
D.W. the Picky Eater by Marc Brown
D.W. the Picky Eater - Marc Brown

Genre:  Animals / Manners / Family / Food / Humor


Year Published: 1995


Year Read:  2016

Publisher: Little, Brown and Company

Series: D.W. #5

 

 

D.W.

Now, I have been a huge fan of Marc Brown’s “Arthur” series ever since I was a little girl and I guess I will make it my goal to read up on all of Marc Brown’s “Arthur” series! So, when I found out that Marc Brown had a made a spin off series to his “Arthur” books that stars Arthur’s little sister D.W., of course I was interested to see how D.W. will fare with her own series and for my first read from the “D.W.” series, “D.W. the Picky Eater” was a pretty entertaining read!

D.W. is the world’s pickiest eater as she refuses to eat anything that is new or looks disgusting; but the food that D.W. loathes more than anything in the world is…SPINACH! Because of D.W.’s eating habits, her family has a difficult time trying to get her to eat anything without complaining. But when D.W. throws a tantrum on a family outing, D.W.’s family decides that D.W. should stay home whenever they go out to eat and D.W. starts wondering about what she is really missing out on the family outings. One day, D.W.’s family decided to go out and celebrate Grandma Thora’s birthday at a fancy restaurant and D.W. wanted to go with them.

Will D.W. get over her “picky eater” habits in time for Grandma Thora’s birthday party?

Read this book to find out!


As always whenever I am reading Marc Brown’s “Arthur” books, Marc Brown knows how to bring on the humor with these characters while at the same time, giving these characters experiences that are relatable to any reader. I loved the fact that we get to explore what it is like being a picky eater through D.W.’s perspective as it was entertaining seeing what kind of food D.W. will turn down because it was new and it looked disgusting to her. It was also interesting seeing the consequences that D.W. goes through in being a picky eater as she was not allowed to participate in the family’s restaurant outings due to her misbehavior. To be honest, I can relate to D.W. being a picky eater since I am a picky eater myself as I will eat food that clashes with what my family wants. For example, if my family wants to go to Wendy’s, then I usually want to go to Chick-fil-A or whenever my family wants to go to KFC, I usually want to go to Ruby Tuesday. I also like the fact that Marc Brown was able to produce a book that focuses mostly on D.W. since I wanted to see more adventures from Arthur’s family and this book did an excellent job at giving D.W. the spotlight in the “Arthur” series! Marc Brown’s artwork is as usual adorable and fun to look at as all the characters are drawn as half animal, half human hybrids and yet, it just makes the characters look even more creative than usual! I also loved the images of D.W. always having a disgusted look on her face every time she tries a food product that is new to her as it was hilarious to look at!

Overall, “D.W. the Picky Eater” is a truly entertaining children’s book for fellow picky eaters and anyone who is a huge fan of Marc Brown’s “Arthur” series! I would recommend this book to children’s ages four and up since there is nothing inappropriate in this book, unless D.W.’s bratty behavior might cause concern for some parents.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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review 2017-02-01 00:00
Wiggle (Bccb Blue Ribbon Picture Book Awards (Awards))
Wiggle (Bccb Blue Ribbon Picture Book Awards (Awards)) - Doreen Cronin We liked this book-- it was funny and cute.
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