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review 2017-06-18 01:00
The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch
The Paper Bag Princess - Robert Munsch,Michael Martchenko

Genre:  Comedy / Royalty / Dragons / Feminism / Fantasy


Year Published: 1980


Year Read:  1994

Publisher:  Annick Press

 

 

Princess

I have been reading most of Robert Munsch and Michael Martchenko’s works ever since I was a child and I have enjoyed most of their works! I have recently re-read a book from the popular duo that I had enjoyed during my childhood called “The Paper Bag Princess” and it is about how a princess is stripped down to wearing a plain paper bag when a dragon attacks her castle and she has to go rescue Prince Ronald, who has been kidnapped by the dragon. “The Paper Bag Princess” is definitely one of Robert Munsch’s and Michael Martchenko’s most hilarious books ever written!

Elizabeth was a beautiful princess who was going to marry Prince Ronald. One day, however, a dragon comes by and burns her castle to the ground and kidnaps Prince Ronald. With nothing left to wear except for a paper bag, Elizabeth decides to go after the dragon and save Ronald.

If you think that “Stephanie’s Ponytail” was one hilarious and creative book, you should really check this book out! Robert Munsch has truly done an awesome job at writing this story about how a princess loses everything but still wanted to save the love of her life. Robert Munsch’s writing is simple yet sassy and hilarious at the same time and what I really loved about this book was that Robert Munsch made the heroine, Elizabeth into a clever and brave girl and I loved the way that she tries to go and rescue the prince by herself even though she lost everything that she owned and the way that she beats the dragon at its own game is just truly hilarious! Michael Martchenko’s illustrations are creative and hilarious in this book, especially of the images of Elizabeth being in a paper bag throughout the book. The images in this book are a bit more simplistic in this book than in Robert Munsch’s and Michael Martchenko’s later books as the black outlines of the characters make the characters stand out much more. I also loved the images of the dragon itself as it is green, have red spikes down its back and always look more suave than terrifying to the readers.

Princess

All in all, “The Paper Bag Princess” is a brilliant book from the famous Munsch/Martchenko duo as it shows that true courage will always win the day. Although I would have preferred the ending to be a little longer so that way it would be more satisfying just knowing what happened to each character after the adventure is over, this was not a major con for me, so I would still recommend this book to children ages four and up, but because of the dragon scenes, I think children ages five and older might stand those scenes better and the children ages four and up will like the simplistic writing of this book.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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review 2017-06-03 19:03
Shrek! by William Steig
Shrek! - William Steig

Genre:  Monsters / Manners / Fantasy / Romance


Year Published: 1990


Year Read:  2010

Publisher:  Farrar Straus Giroux

 

 

Shrek

“Shrek!” is another memorable classic book from the great mind of William Steig and it is about how Shrek, a repulsive ogre, tries to find the princess to marry after he leaves his parents’ home. “Shrek!” is a great book for children who love reading books about monsters.

William Steig has done a great job at both illustrating and writing this modern day fairy tale that is full of attitude. William Steig’s illustrations are truly beautiful and hilarious especially of the images of Shrek himself as he has a green and warty face, a purple shirt and yellow and green striped pants, which make him, look more hilarious than menacing. I also love the images of the trees in this book as they look simplistic yet beautiful, giving this book a somewhat simplistic tone. William Steig makes this story extremely hilarious and full of attitude as Shrek is a character who loves being repulsive and scaring off innocent bystanders, but at the same time, he gives a powerful message to the audience about loving yourself as Shrek loves his own repulsiveness, even if other people do not like his repulsiveness. William Steig makes this book extremely unique as it was one of the few books to have a repulsive character as the main character of the story.

Shrek

Parents should know that this book does contain the word jack--- and that might offend many parents who do not want their children learning such a word. Even though jack--- is used to describe a donkey in this book, the way that the “a” word is being used now might confuse smaller children and might even entice them to say the word so often. Also, another con of this book is that, in my opinion, it was not as memorable as the movie which is why I gave it a four star rating. Shrek seem more repulsive in this book than he was in the movie and that aspect of his character sort of made him a less likable character in the book, while in the movie, Shrek was a more benevolent ogre who was upset at the way that people treated him and that made him a very likable character in the movie. Also, I felt like the character development was not as strong in this book as it was in the movie and the audience might not feel any kind of bond towards the characters in this book.

“Shrek!” is a great book for children about the importance of being yourself no matter what other people think, but the movie might be a better choice about learning this message since the movie developed the characters much better than this book could. I would recommend this book to children ages six and up due to the use of the word jack---.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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review 2017-06-03 18:34
Good Night, Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann
Good Night, Gorilla - Peggy Rathmann

Genre:  Bedtime / Animals / Zoo / Humor / Children's


Year Published: 1994


Year Read:  2017

Publisher:  G.P. Putnam's Sons

 

 

Gorilla

Now, I have a confession to make: I have often seen the book “Good Night, Gorilla” by Peggy Rathmann around many times when I was little and yet, I had never bothered to pick up the book despite the adorable looking cover. It was not until years later (way into my adulthood) that I finally got the chance to pick up this book and I have to say that I cannot believe that I waited this long to pick up this charming little picture book!

The story starts off with a zookeeper saying goodnight to a gorilla in his cage and as soon as the zookeeper goes off to say goodnight to the other zoo animals, the gorilla slyly take the keys from the zookeeper’s pockets and unlocks himself out of the cage. As the zookeeper goes around saying goodnight to the other animals, the gorilla quietly follows the zookeeper around, while freeing the other animals, which includes an elephant, a lion, a hyena, a giraffe and an armadillo, from their cages without the zookeeper noticing anything wrong. When the zookeeper finally goes back to his home to get a good night’s rest, the zoo animals ended up following him inside his house and…

Will the zookeeper discover that the animals are out of their cages?

Read this book to find out!


I cannot believe that I waited for years to actually read this book and it was definitely worth the wait! Peggy Rathmann had done an excellent job at writing and illustrating this book as I found this story to be extremely hilarious and cute! I really loved the way that Peggy Rathmann made the zookeeper and the gorilla’s adventures so cute and interesting at the same time as I was smiling the whole time during the scenes where the gorilla used the zookeeper’s keys to free the other animals from their cages. I also thought that it was cute about how the animals followed the zookeeper to his home as it added a unique twist to the usual children’s story about animals and the zoo as we have the animals actually break out of the zoo to follow the zookeeper home. Peggy Rathmann’s artwork was cute and gorgeous to look at as all the zoo animals are adorable looking, especially the small mouse and the armadillo and I also loved the fact that the majority of the story takes place during the night as it gives the artwork a soothing feel. I also loved the way that Peggy Rathmann made the backgrounds so luscious as it gives the artwork a beautiful feel to the story.

Gorilla

Overall, “Good Night, Gorilla” is a truly cute and hilarious story that children who love reading books that take place in the zoo and bedtime stories will definitely enjoy for many years! 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 2017-06-03 18:19
Argyle Fox by Marie Letourneau
Argyle Fox - Marie Letourneau

Genre:  Childhood / Family / Humor / Animals


Year Published: 2017


Year Read:  2017

Publisher:  Tanglewood Publishing Inc

 

 

Fox

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

It was time that I read more children’s books from NetGalley and I happened to pick up another children’s book from NetGalley called “Argyle Fox” by Marie Letourneau and I actually found this book to be quite cute!

The story starts off with a young fox named Argyle Fox who wanted to go outside and play, but his mother warns him that it is very windy outside and that he might not be able to play the games that he wanted to play. But, Argyle Fox went outside to play with his cards anyway and while Argyle was playing with his cards, the wind blows his cards away and Argyle had to go back home to find something else to play with. Argyle then finds an old spider costume and decided to play as a spider in the trees outside. But the squirrels warned Argyle that it is too windy outside to play as a spider. But Argyle ignored the squirrels’ warnings and continued playing outside, but then the wind comes up and blows at Argyle, which causes him to get tangled in his homemade webs. Argyle then goes back home and tried to find another game to play outside and every time Argyle tries to find a new game to play on this windy day, the wind just keeps on messing up his games. Just as Argyle was going to give up playing games outside, his mother quietly encourages to think of another game to play on a windy day.

What game can Argyle play on a windy day?

Read this book to find out!


I have been reading many children’s books that deal with the main characters (usually children) trying to find a fun game to play whether they are inside or outside and it has been awhile since I had read such as book as this. Marie Letourneau has done a great job at telling a story about a young fox’s determination to play outside, despite it being a windy day and I enjoyed seeing the various games that Argyle tries out on the windy day such as playing as a spider and playing as a pirate. I also like the fact that Argyle never gave up on trying to find the right game to play on the windy day as it shows that he has a lot of determination in trying out various games, no matter how windy the day got. I really loved the fact that Argyle’s mother was supportive of Argyle’s determination in finding the perfect game to play on a windy day as it was great seeing a parent support their child during their time of need and I liked the fact that Argyle’s mother encouraged Argyle to find a different game that would be more suitable to play in the wind. Marie Letourneau’s artwork is adorable and colorful to look at as I loved the images of Argyle Fox doing different activities such as playing as a spider and playing as a pirate and I also loved the images of the wind coming in with the words “WHOOSH” accompanying it as it gives it a huge presence in the story.

Fox

The reason why I gave this story a four-star rating was because even though I found the story to be really cute, I have already read plenty of children’s books where the main character is trying to find a new game to play either outside or inside the house and I just found this story to be a bit repetitive at this point.

Overall, “Argyle Fox” is a truly cute story about encouraging children to find good games to play on a windy day and 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! 2017-06-03 18:09
Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig
Sylvester and the Magic Pebble - William Steig

Genre: Family / Drama / Magic / Animals


Year Published: 1969


Year Read:  2008

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

 

 

Pebble

“Sylvester and the Magic Pebble” is one of William Steig’s earlier books and has proven to be the most emotional and heartwarming of all of his books. Also, this was William Steig’s first controversial book due to the image of the police being portrayed as pigs, even though I do not think that it is an issue because all the characters are animals, but it depends on how you view this issue. Anyway, William Steig’s dramatic storyline and illustrations has won this book a Caldecott Book Award and will surely be a treat to read.

William Steig has done an excellent job at beautifully detailing a young donkey’s attempts to change back to normal after a wish goes awry. Both children and adults will feel for Sylvester’s great sadness at not being able to tell his parents that he is still alive and his parents’ misery as they thought that their darling son was dead. William Steig’s illustrations are beautiful and detailed as he vividly draws the sad and happy emotions on Sylvester’s parents’ faces when they worried about their son, Sylvester. Also, the illustrations of the flowers and the trees and even the snow during the winter scene are memorizing as they provide a calm background the images.

***Small Rant:***

Alright, so everyone who has been browsing through various banned books knows that the reason why this book was banned was because of the image of the policemen being portrayed as pigs. First of all, I have an issue with this book being banned because of that reason. I mean, this is a book about TALKING ANIMALS, so what is wrong with the police being portrayed as pigs in a book about talking animals? Also, the main character is a DONKEY! So, that means that if the characters were switched and the main character was a pig and the policemen were donkeys, would that still be an issue? There were a couple of banned books where I do not agree with the reasons of it being banned (although, I never agree with any book being banned), but this was one of those books where I think the reason for it being banned was COMPLETELY unjustified.

***Rant Ended***

Pebble

Also, the scenes where Sylvester's parents worry about Sylvester's whereabouts might worry smaller children who might worry about whether or not Sylvester will ever transform back into himself again. Parents should reassure their children about the importance of staying safe if they wonder out into an unknown area.

“Sylvester and the Magic Pebble” is William Steig’s milestone children’s book as it discusses the love that Mr. and Mrs. Duncan have for their child, Sylvester, when he turns up missing and [how the spell of the magic pebble is broken when Mr. and Mrs. Duncan wished for their child’s return. (hide spoiler)] This book will be a cult favorite for both children and adults and is suitable for children ages five and up, even though it discusses the loss of a child.


Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

 

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