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review 2017-01-08 21:19
Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein
Where the Sidewalk Ends - Shel Silverstein

Genre: Poetry / Comedy / Children

Year Published: 1974

Year Read:  2010

Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers



“Where the Sidewalk Ends” is another book of poems from the creative mind of Shel Silverstein, who is the popular author of “A Light in the Attic.” This book details poems about silly people and animals doing crazy activities. Even though this book has some suggestive content, children will easily be delighted in this book for many years.

Shel Silverstein has done an awesome job with both illustrating and writing this book of poems. Shel Silverstein’s writing is witty and creative as uses bizarre creatures and humans to summarize each poem in a humorous way. The poem that I thought stood out the most was the poem about Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout who refused to take the garbage out and meets a grisly end (even though he never mentions what happened to her) and that poem expresses the moral that it is important to take the garbage out when it is needed and how one must listen to their parents when doing chores. Shel Silverstein’s illustrations are hilarious and crude as he illustrates each character with long limbs and exaggerated expressions and I also love the way that Shel Silverstein puts the illustrations in black and white format which is mostly found in chapters books for both children and adults.


Parents should know that there is a great deal of suggestive content in this book mainly revolving around the topic of morbid humor and the topic of God. The two poems that might be the most controversial would be “Ma and God” and “Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout would not take the Garbage Out.” In “Ma and God,” the poem talks about how Ma always tells her child to not do bad things, even though God has created the bad things for the child to do. For instance, one passage mentions that mother tells their children to eat their vegetables, but God creates sweets for children to eat. This poem might give children the wrong message about God and parents might want to teach their children about religion before they read them this poem. In “Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout would not take the Garbage out,” the garbage overflows the house and eventually the city when Sarah refused to take the garbage out. This poem might worry small children who think that if the garbage overflows their house, then they will meet a tragic fate too. However, the poem merely tries to teach children to obey their parents and parents should try to comfort their children about this poem and the importance of taking the trash out.

“Where the Sidewalk Ends” is another great classic book of poems from Shel Silverstein and it will surely help engage children into the world of poetry. I would recommend this book for children ages six and up due to the suggestive themes of God and some morbid humor that younger children might not understand.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog


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review 2016-11-28 22:57
And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell
And Tango Makes Three - Justin Richardson,Henry Cole,Peter Parnell

Genre:  Family / LGBT / Animals

Year Published: 2005

Year Read:  2010

Publisher:  Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers



“And Tango Makes Three” is an Aspca Henry Bergh Book award winning book about how two male penguins, Roy and Silo, try to have a child together. Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell along with illustrations by Henry Cole makes “And Tango Makes Three” a truly touching story about what it takes to make a true family.

Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell have done a great job at discussing one of the major issues in our society in a lighthearted and comforting way. Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell makes this story extremely heartwarming and cute as Roy and Silo try so hard to build a family no matter how different they were from the other families. This story brilliantly talks about embracing the differences of certain families and the way that Silo and Roy want to be parents even though they are both boys is portrayed in a positive way and this book will help children embrace diversity extremely easily. Henry Cole’s illustrations are fluid and cute as the penguins look somewhat realistic and are drawn in fluid colors that help give the book a more upbeat mood and Henry Cole’s illustrations always show Roy and Silo having happy and comfortable expressions which shows that they take pleasure in being a couple no matter how different they are from the other couples.

Parents should know that the theme of homosexuality in this book might upset some readers which caused this book to be banned and challenged in many states, even though this book is trying to point out that even the most unlikely couple can create a beautiful family. Parents might want to talk to their children about how homosexuality is one of the most controversial issues discussed in society, but also discuss how the book was trying to promote a safe message about having a true family.

“And Tango Makes Three” is a truly beautiful and engaging book about accepting different families of different cultures. I would recommend this book to children ages five and up since the theme of homosexuality might upset some parents.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog


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review 2016-11-28 22:47
Scary Stories 3: More Tales to Chill Your Bones by Alvin Schwartz
Scary Stories 3: More Tales to Chill Your Bones - Alvin Schwartz,Stephen Gammell
 Genre: Horror / Short Story / Monsters

Year Published: 1991

Year Read: 2016

Series: Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark #3

Publisher: HarperCollins  




Finally, I got the chance to read the final set of stories from Alvin Schwartz and Stephen Gammell’s controversial yet popular series, “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark” called “Scary Stories 3: More Tales to Chill Your Bones!” In celebration of Halloween, I have decided to revisit this little gem of a series again and I was seriously not disappointed!

This book mostly has a set of scary stories that will haunt you in your sleep, so here are a couple of stories out of this collection:


The story starts off with two guys named Thomas and Alfred who decided to make a man sized doll that looked exactly like the farmer they hated named Harold and they decided to put the doll outside the pasture to scare off the birds. Occasionally, Thomas and Alfred would make fun of the Harold doll and sometimes violently hit the doll for no reason at all. One night however, Thomas and Alfred start to notice strange things about the Harold doll as the doll began to make grunting noises and started moving around by itself. This starts to creep out both Alfred and Thomas and they decided to leave the pasture to get away from Harold. But when Thomas decided to go back to the pasture to get the milking stools…

The Red Spot


One night when Ruth was sleeping, she noticed a spider crawling on her face and afterwards, she discovered that she had a big red spot on her left cheek. She showed the red spot to her mother and her mother kept telling her that the red spot will go away soon enough. But later on, the red spot got bigger and bigger and soon it began to burst and….

Is Something Wrong?


The story started off with a man spending the night at an empty house due to his car breaking down. As soon as the man tried to go to sleep, he heard a loud crash and something large and heavy fell through the chimney and went after the man. The man then started running away from the strange creature, but when he came to the road, the creature tapped him on the shoulder and…

Just like the previous two books in the “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark” series, Alvin Schwartz has done an excellent job at narrating these spooky tales that range from being deeply disturbing (“Harold” and “Just Delicious”) to being slightly scary but having a somewhat humorous twist towards the end (“Is Something Wrong)? I like the fact that Alvin Schwartz is able to juggle between horror and humor in this collection as it made the stories interesting to read through (even though I have always preferred the more straight-forward horror themed stories since I love reading genuinely terrifying tales, especially in October)! But, probably the best part about this book was the illustrations done by none other than Stephen Gammell! Now, while I understand that Stephen Gammell’s artwork was highly controversial when this series first came out, I honestly love how horrifying these illustrations are as they make the horror aspects in each of the stories even more effective to read through and I was seriously creeped out by some of the illustrations! Some of my favorite images in this book were from “Is Something Wrong?” “The Dead Hand,” “Sam’s New Pet,” and “The Red Spot!”

The reason why I took off half a star from the rating was because the pacing in some of the stories were a bit too slow, especially in the story “The Trouble,” where I wished that the story would have gotten to the main point much quicker. Also, the reason why this book series was so controversial was due to Stephen Gammell’s frightening artwork. There are some genuinely horrifying artworks in this book, most notably in stories like “Sam’s New Pet,” “The Dead Hand” and “Is Something Wrong?” and some of the artwork would feature grotesque and creepy characters and characters that are covered in blood. Parents might want to read this book first before showing it to their children to see if their children can handle the scary content of this book series.

Overall, “Scary Stories 3: More Tales to Chill Your Bones” is a truly great finale to Alvin Schwartz and Stephen Gammell’s legendary “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark” series and even though this series has come to an end, I will probably still re read this series down the line once more! I would recommend this book to children ages six and up since the frightening imagery and scary stories might terrify younger children.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog


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text 2016-10-20 18:45
Flowers for Algernon - progress: 172/311 pg
Flowers for Algernon - Daniel Keyes

It always surprises me, when I re-read a favorite story from my youth, when I find it is more (or less!) than it was. It shouldn't. I am not the girl I was at 15. Of course I experience the story through the lenses of my accumulated life experience. 


But oh my, this is a very different book than it was when I was a teenager. 

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review 2016-10-11 21:30
Coraline - Neil Gaiman

I think that this book would work best for older grades. 5th or 6th grade would be what I would recommend it for.

I would use this book if I was doing a study of banned books with my students.

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