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review 2019-08-03 03:35
That subtitle seems familiar
Redwall - Brian Jacques

Redwall by Brian Jacques has been touted as a classic but I'm not sure this is one I would recommend. I found it predictable, needlessly long, and frankly pretty boring. This is a difficult book to categorize as either a middle grade or young adult novel as it handles mature themes with a lot of gratuitous violence besides being a brick of a book (somehow this didn't bother me with the Harry Potter series but it did with this one). The story is a coming of age quest/adventure story set in the Middle Ages with rodents and various other wild animals as the main protagonists. Matthias, our hero, is a young mouse who is studying to be a monk at Redwall Abbey when a giant rat named Cluny the Scourge shows up on the scene. Matthias must then embark on a personal journey to seek the sword of a famous mouse warrior in the hopes it will turn the tide in the battle against the forces of evil. This is the first in a rather long series but I must be honest and say that I have no desire to continue with these characters. I really can't figure out what all the fuss is about so it's a 3/10 from me.

 

PS While I was double-checking my spelling of the character names I discovered that there is an actual cartoon of this book series. To say that I am shocked would be putting it mildly. That one is not going on my watch list. 

 

 

What's Up Next: Born to be Posthumous The Eccentric Life and Mysterious Genius of Edward Gorey by Mark Dery

 

What I'm Currently Reading: When the Children Came Home: Stories From Wartime by Julie Summers

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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review 2019-02-16 02:30
Zoey & Sassafras: Dragons and Marshmallows
Dragons and Marshmallows - Asia Citro,Marion Lindsay

Audience: Grades 1-5

Format: Hardcover - Library Copy

 

 

"What is it, Sassafras?" I crouched down and ruffled my cat's fluffy fur.

- first sentence

 

 

This book is a fabulous early chapter book. Zoey and her cat Sassafras both love bugs and science and when Zoey discovers that her mom secretly takes care of magical creatures, she is eager to help. Zoey, a budding scientist, wears her thinking goggles on her head when she needs to concentrate. And when she finds a baby dragon, she uses the scientific method to determine how to help him.

 

So, not only is this book fun, but it also explains the scientific method (including a glossary at the end). It is much more meaningful than I thought it would be. With a strong female lead who happens to be African American, and all the science thrown in, it goes above and beyond what you expect from an early chapter book. The entire series is a must-have for any elementary library collection.

 

Highly recommended.

 

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review 2018-12-28 02:51
Space Chicken sounds like the name of a new wave band
Space Dumplins - Craig Thompson

Space Dumplins by Craig Thompson utilized all of the keywords that normally make me sit up and take notice: space adventure, hi-jinks, talking chickens... I absolutely loved the super colorful illustrations but as far as the story...it didn't completely blow me out of the water. Our main character, Violet, is a little girl living in the Roids which is a space community comprised of members of the working classes (classism is an issue). Her father is employed in a dangerous (and morally suspect) line of work gathering space whale nuggets (poop) which are manufactured to be used as fuel. Things have become increasingly dangerous especially for those living on the fringes as the whales have started to invade populated areas of space and cause massive damage in their wake including Violet's school. So when Violet's mom is offered a swanky job in fashion at the space station (where the extra swanky live) she snaps it up without hesitation and takes Violet with her hoping to earn more money and get her daughter a high class education. But things go from bad to worse in the Roids while they're away and Violet's father is somehow all mixed up in it. With the aid of her friends Zacchaeus (looks like a talking bean) and Elliott (actually is a talking chicken) Violet sets off on a mission to save her father and bring an end to the destruction and terror wrought by the wild space whales. Why are they on a path of devastation and mayhem? And what exactly does her father have to do with all of this? If you're interested in finding out the answers then check out Space Dumplins. My take: 6/10 mostly for the awesome illustrations. 

 

Slightly spoiler-y warning: There are vivid depictions of animal cruelty in this book so if you can't deal with that (and I don't blame you because I had a lot of difficulties) then give this book a pass.

 

An example from the inside of the book. [Source: Craig Thompson Books]

 

What's Up Next: Sanity & Tallulah by Molly Brooks

 

What I'm Currently Reading: Tales from the Inner City by Shaun Tan

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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review 2018-12-06 19:58
Take it or leave it? I'll leave it, thanks.
Tucker Grizzwell's Worst Week Ever - Bill Schorr,Ralph Smith

Tucker Grizzwell's Worst Week Ever by Bill Schorr and Ralph Smith was borne from a comic strip and is (supposedly) aimed at children. However, I found it to be so full of word play and puns that I think it would be better suited to an adult audience. In my opinion, it was a little too densely packed with jokes to the point of being somewhat annoying and obnoxious. This wasn't marketed as a collection of comic strips but it was lacking in a coherent plot beyond the bare bones 'lesson learned' tale of a cub realizing that adults may not necessarily have all of the answers to the world's questions. 

 

Apologies for the shortness of this review but some books don't lend themselves to a lengthy analysis especially when they're so middle of the road like this one. 2/10

 

 

Sorry this isn't clearer and easier to read. :-/ [The Phoenixed Forums]

 

What's Up Next: Peanuts Vol. 9 by Charles Schulz (and others)

 

What I'm Currently Reading: Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond

 

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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review 2018-08-31 19:45
CATS. IN. SPACE. 2 of 2
CatStronauts: Robot Rescue - Drew Brockington

And so I picked up Robot Rescue which is the 4th book in the series and revolves around a secret mission to rescue their friend Cat-Stro-Bot after he is stranded on a planet during a mission that went horribly awry. As they are not authorized to actually be on this mission, they have to leave replacements back on earth to fool their superiors into thinking they never left...and what better solution than building lookalike robots?! For the kids (or adults with childlike wonder) that like quick, funny graphic novels and/or cats and space this is the perfect series. For myself, this is the best "book filler" I've come across in ages to help to combat my book fatigue. 

 

What's Up Next: Dear Madam President: An Open Letter to the Women Who Will Run the World by Jennifer Palmieri

 

What I'm Currently Reading: Star Trek Destiny #1: Gods of Night by David Mack

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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