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review 2017-04-24 18:44
Sometimes you're just not in the mood for a rabbit romp
Watership Down - Richard Adams

Honestly I just wasn't in the mood so I got to page 30 and decided that this was one I might revisit in the future but for now I'm not interested. :-/

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review 2017-04-16 16:11
Me...Jane - Patrick McDonnell 
Me...Jane - Patrick McDonnell

For such a brief book, McDonnell has done a marvelous thing. He doesn't try to give us the entire life of Jane Goodall, just a glimpse at a child who was fascinated by animals and nature and Africa and how that lead to the adult she became. The art is perfect, incorporating Victorian animal illustrations, a sweet, almost cartoonish style, and memorabilia from Goodall. I expect the child who is like Goodall (albeit with pandas and China) will really love it.<br/><br/>Library copy.

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review 2017-04-15 04:49
Connection Error
Connection Error - Annabeth Albert,Sean Crisden

As with the previous two books in this series, traveling and getting to know each other while trapped together in a confined space plays an important part in the MCs' relationship. Unlike the previous two books, they weren't frenemies beforehand, and the traveling didn't force them to come to terms with their differences and learn to appreciate each other, with that appreciation quickly turning to love. 

 

I said in my review for the second book - Status Update? Or was it Beta Test? I don't really remember which one came first or second. - that they were too similar to each other and I probably would've done better to wait to listen to the second book so I could better appreciate it on its own merits. And that's why I waited so long to finally get around to this one. Well, that's one reason. The other would be Sean Crisden, who is at best a meh narrator for me, so he doesn't exactly inspire me to rush out and get his books. Yet somehow, despite his meh-ness, I still really enjoyed this book. 

 

I was really pleased to see that this book deviated a bit from the previous two. Ryan doesn't work for the video game developer that Josiah works for, so the first time they meet is on their flight, which they're both taking for different reasons. So there's none of that boring frenemy nonsense to bog through. They hit it off immediately and forge a really strong friendship while geeking out over the video game expansion packet Josiah is developing. 

 

And then they land - and Josiah realizes for the first time that Ryan, the super hunky Navy SEAL he's been sitting next to this whole time, is a double amputee, missing both his legs - and in true Josiah fashion he blurts out the most horrible insensitive thing you can say to an amputee. It doesn't matter that he doesn't mean it in a cruel way, that he's just stating the obvious in his shock. It's a bad thing and he knows it and immediately tries to apologize. Thankfully, Ryan's able to forgive him and their friendship continues.

 

A lot of this is told through their various texts and emails as they have a friends with benefits relationship long-distance while Ryan does his rehab in Texas Josiah works on his video expansion pack in Germany and California. We get to see them actually be friends and come to care for and like each other in that capacity. Yes, Ryan knows very early on that he wants more than just friendship, but there's no instalove here. I loved pretty much everything about their relationship and how it developed. Ryan takes longer to get to where Josiah is, but he's actually there a lot sooner than he realizes or admits. 

 

While I did like seeing them chit chat back and forth, these parts did kind of drag a wee bit. I'd have skimmed/skipped right over all those To:s and From:s and Subject:s if I were reading this myself so I could get to the actual messages faster. Crisden naturally had to read all those headers out in full. Also, Crisden does this weird thing with his voice when he's reading their texts and emails, like he's almost trying to make them sound a little robotic or automated. Or maybe he's just being typical Crisden. Hard to tell.

 

All the rehab stuff with Ryan and his goals and ambitions were very well done. I can tell the author did her research, and while I can't validate any of this as authentic, it did seem to be stuff that a double amputee would be reasonably expected to tackle during his recovery.

 

Josiah's issues at work though - I feel like Josiah got shortchanged in his own book. We get to meet Ryan's rehab team and see him doing his rehab and having his setbacks and successes and frustrations. Josiah's issues at work, leading a team for the first time and dealing with his ADHD and how that makes people undermine him, is mostly given lip service. We're told about it, but we don't actually see it. There's only one scene in the entire book at his job. One! Everything else we hear about secondhand, and not even from Josiah some of those times. And for all that we're told his ADHD can make reading social cues difficult, other than that first snafu on the airplane, we're also not really shown that either. There's so much focus on Ryan, that Josiah just got shifted to the side.

 

If there had been a better balance of scenes, I'd have given this four stars easily, but as it is, 3.5 is the best I can do.

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review 2017-04-11 18:26
I really am my mother's daughter. It's another frog book!
I Don't Want to Be Big - Dev Petty,Mike Boldt

I didn't mean for this to happen but somehow I ended up running across another picture book that prominently features a frog. This one is I Don't Want to be Big by Dev Petty with illustrations by Mike Boldt and much like Frog on a Log? it's part of a series. It was the artistic style which originally drew me to this book but it's the humor that had me taking it along to storytime. This is a fantastic book to read to kids since it deals with that all-important topic: 'growing up'. Our main character is adamant that growing up is the absolute worst and he is determined that he's not going to do it. His father (an adorable frog wearing glasses) tries to convince him of the merits (all in the name of eating his dinner I might add) but the little frog has some pretty convincing arguments. I'd say my one niggling criticism is the way that the speech bubbles tend to overlap on the page which can make it a bit confusing at times (especially when you're doing different character voices). Other than that, it's a solid readaloud book that I highly recommend. 9/10

 

Source: Amazon

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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review 2017-04-08 03:45
Charlotte's Web - E.B. White,Garth Williams,Rosemary Wells

Charlotte's Web by E.B. White is one of my favorite books to read growing up. I remember our teacher reading this to us and allowing us to watch the movie afterward. The story takes place of a farm where a piglet (and also the runt of the litter) is saved by a farmers daughter, Fern. Fern raises the piglet into a healthy full grown pig, where is is then sold off to the farm down the street. There, Wilbur the pig meet Charlotte the spider and they become instantly acquainted. Wilbur is getting ready to be slaughtered when Charlotte devises a plan to save Wilbur's life. The story has many events where Charlotte saved Wilbur's life by writing messages in her web above his stall. I would rate this book a four out of five stars and is listed as a 680L on the Lexile scale. an activity I would use for this book would be a cause and effect sheet. i would have a list of causes (events in the story) and ask my students to list the effects of each cause.

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