logo
Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: best-of-2017
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-06-18 00:41
Choo Choo by Virginia Lee Burton
Choo Choo - Virginia Lee Burton

Genre:  Trains / Adventure / Classic / Drama


Year Published: 1937


Year Read:  2017

Publisher:  Houghton Mifflin Company

 

 

Choo

I have read at least two books from Virginia Lee Burton when I was younger and they were “The Little House” and “Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel” and I had enjoyed both books immensely! So, I then picked up another book by Virginia Lee Burton called “Choo Choo” which was quite a unique read and is one that I would definitely recommend for children!

The story is about a beautiful little locomotive named Choo Choo who would pull trains from the city to the country and back again every day. She was always accompanied by three workers who were named Jim the Engineer, Oley the Fireman and Archibald the Conductor who would all come together to take care of Choo Choo. One day however, Choo Choo was getting tired of pulling trains in between the cities and the country and she decided to run away from the station and show everyone in town how beautiful she really is!

What sort of adventures will Choo Choo get herself into?

Read this book to find out!


Wow! I never would have thought that I would enjoy this book so much! Just like Virginia Lee Burton’s other works, this book has a classic and old fashioned feel as we get to see how trains look like during the 1930s. I also loved the fact that this story has a different twist to the usual children’s story about trains, as it details the story about a young train running away from its owners, which I rarely read about in previous books about trains. Virginia Lee Burton does a great job at making this book both cute and exciting at the same time as I loved the fact that Choo Choo’s owners really do care about what happened to Choo Choo when she goes missing as it brings in a heartwarming element to the story. I was also sitting on the edge of my seat as I wondered if Choo Choo was ever going to make it back home safely and I liked the way that Virginia Lee Burton detailed the dangers of running away from home as Choo Choo gets into all kinds of danger on her travels and it would help teach kids about the dangers of running away from home by themselves. Virginia Lee Burton’s artwork is quite unique in this book as most of the images are in black and white colorings, giving this book an old fashioned and bold feel and I also enjoyed seeing the images of Choo Choo herself as she is drawn as a cute looking locomotive, which strongly reminds me of the image from “The Little Engine that Could!”

Choo

The only real issue with this book is that there is one image in this book where Choo Choo ends up going through a scary looking forest that might frighten smaller children. The trees are drawn in a much eerier manner compared to the rest of the images and parents might want to go through the images in this scene first to see if their children can handle such scary imagery.

Overall, “Choo Choo” is a truly cute book that children who enjoy reading about trains will definitely get a kick out of! I would recommend this book to children ages five and up since the image of the scary forest might scare some smaller children.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

Banner

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-06-18 00:25
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr.
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? - Bill Martin Jr.,Eric Carle

Genre:  Animals / Colors / Children's / School


Year Published: 1967


Year Read:  2017

Publisher:  Henry Holt and Company

Series: Bill Martin's Bears #1

 

 

Bear

I have been an avid fan of Eric Carle’s works, especially of his well-known children’s book “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” and one of the books that Eric Carle had worked on that I did not get the chance to read when I was little was “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?” which was also written by Bill Martin Jr. All in all, this was one children’s book that children should definitely check out!

Since this story is extremely short, the summary will be brief.
Basically, the plot of this book is about the reader seeing various animals comment on what other beings they are looking at that precise moment, while each animal states a variation of this quote:

“Brown Bear, Brown Bear,
What do you see?
I see a red bird looking at me.

Red Bird, Red Bird,
What do you see?
I see a yellow duck looking at me.”

Wow! I cannot believe that I waited this long to finally pick up this popular children’s book and it was definitely worth reading in the end! I loved the simplistic style that Bill Martin Jr. brought to this book as the plot is basically having readers see various animals in different colors popping up in the book and commenting on other animals they have seen. I loved the fact that each animal is a different color such as having a blue horse and a purple cat as it brings a unique spin to the storytelling of this book and I was quietly anticipating seeing what kind of animals we will see pop up in this book. Eric Carle’s artwork is as always, a delight to look at as all the characters are rendered in paper cut outs which gives the book a creative look and I really loved the images of the different animals that show up in this book, such as the purple cat and the blue horse!

Bear

Even though there is nothing wrong with this book, I have to wonder why it was banned in the first place? Well, it turns out that when it was banned, the person who banned the book made a mistake regarding the author of this book, who is Bill Martin Jr. and the person thought that it was the same Bill Martin who wrote the book “Ethical Marxism: The Categorical Imperative of Liberation.” Now, I have never read any of the “other” Bill Martin’s books, but this was the first instance where a book was mistakenly banned for the wrong reasons and that got me curious yet annoyed.

Overall, “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?” is a truly cute book for children who want to have fun with identifying animals and colors all wrapped up into one book! I would recommend this book to children ages three and up since there is nothing inappropriate in this book.


Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

Banner

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-06-18 00:16
Love You Forever by Robert Munsch
Love You Forever - Robert Munsch,Sheila McGraw

Genre:  Family / Growth / Life / Childhood / Love


Year Published: 1986


Year Read:  2017

Publisher:  Firefly Books

 

 

 

Forever

I have another bookish confession to make: Even though I have been reading many of Robert Munsch’s books when I was little, I had never once read his most highly acclaimed book “Love You Forever” and I am still kicking myself in the rear for not reading this book sooner! “Love You Forever” is a heartwarming story written by Robert Munsch along with artwork by Sheila McGraw that is definitely worth checking out!

The story starts off with a mother holding her newborn baby boy in her arms and as she rocking the baby to sleep, she started singing a little song:

“I’ll love you forever,
I’ll like you for always,
As long as I’m living
My baby you’ll be.”


We are then treated to the little boy growing up throughout the story as he started out as a troublemaking toddler to a teenager who likes to listen to strange music to a full grown adult man who eventually moved out of his mother’s house. One day however, the boy’s mother had gotten ill and…

What will the son do about this predicament and what will happen to the mother?

Read this book to find out!


Oh my gosh! How in the world could I not have read this book when I was little? I mean, I had read many of Robert Munsch’s other books including “The Paper Bag Princess” and “Stephanie’s Ponytail,” but this one seems to have fallen off the radar for me! Robert Munsch did a fantastic job at writing this story as we get to see how a mother witnesses the growth of her son throughout the story and how she still loves her son no matter how different her son becomes through looks and personalities. What made this book extremely unique in my eyes is how we get to see the positive and negative aspects of parenthood as while the boy occasionally got on his mother’s nerves whenever he got into trouble, we also see that the mother still loves her son no matter what the boy does and this aspect of the story made this book a truly heartwarming experience for me. I also loved the message of this book as it proves the importance of love by showing that the mother has always cared about her son no matter how much older she got and I think that children should read books that deals with the true meaning of family and shows that your family will always care about you through thick and thin. Sheila McGraw’s artwork is simply beautiful to look at as all the characters look realistic and I loved the images of both the mother and the little boy growing older with each progressive page. Probably my most favorite image in this book is of the son as a toddler sitting on the bathroom floor with toilet paper littering the floor and the boy holding a watch over the toilet!

[****SPOILER ALERT!!!!****

There is an infamous scene in this book where the mother ends up sneaking into her son’s house, who is at this point a full grown adult living on his own and this scene might be a bit unsettling for some readers to handle. Now, I can understand how this scene would be upsetting to some readers as the idea of a grown woman sneaking inside her adult son’s house without him knowing about it would cause a lot of uncomfortable mental images such as what if the old woman was actually a burglar in disguised and the son had no way of knowing this because he was asleep the whole time? For me personally, I was not really upset by this scene as I thought that it was an exaggerated show of affection that the mother shows her adult son and because these are fictional characters, I did not really take this scene that seriously. Now, if the mother sneaked into an unknown child’s bedroom late at night or someone got hurt in this scene, then I would have felt a bit differently about this scene.

****SPOILER ENDED!!!**** (hide spoiler)]


Forever

Overall, “Love You Forever” is a truly memorable and heartwarming book that children who wants to read books that shows the importance of love and family, will immediately enjoy! 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

Banner
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
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

Banner

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-06-03 17:22
Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers
Dark Triumph - Robin LaFevers

Genre: Historical Romance
Year Published: 2013
Number of Pages: 387 pages
Date Read: 3/19/2017
Series: His Fair Assassin #2  
Publisher:  Houghton Mifflin

 

Dark

“Hate cannot be fought with hate. Evil cannot be conquered by darkness. Only love has the power to conquer them both.”

I must admit that it has been awhile since I had last read Robin LaFevers’ hit novel “Grave Mercy.” However, years later I finally read the sequel of this fantastic series called “Dark Triumph” and I must say that it was even more exciting and personal than “Grave Mercy” was!

When Sybella first arrived at the convent of Mortain, she was mad with grief as she used to live with her monstrous dictator of a father d’Albret and her brothers Julian and Pierre and her life there was full of misery and turmoil. Just as Sybella was enjoying her life at the convent, her life takes a drastic turn as the abbess of the convent forces Sybella to go back to d’Albret’s kingdom in order to find a means to weaken the dictator during Brittany’s war with France. When Sybella founds out about this mission, she becomes truly heartbroken and she starts doubting the existence of Mortain as she wonders to herself about why would Mortain force her to go back to a life of pure misery with d’Albret? It was not until later on when Sybella meets up with one of d’Albret’s prisoners, a huge and ugly man called Beast who is a loyal servant to the duchess of Brittany and a pawn that d’Albret wishes to use against the duchess. When Sybella meets up with the prisoner, she decides to free him in order to prevent d’Albret from using him against the duchess and the two make their way towards the kingdom of Brittany to turn the tides in the war against France and d’Albret himself. But, Sybella will soon realize that she may have feelings for Beast and that might turn the life that she has known all her life upside down.

Wow! Even though I had enjoyed reading Robin LaFevers’ “Grave Mercy” novel, I never would have thought that I would enjoy the sequel “Dark Triumph” even more than “Grave Mercy!” I loved the way that Robin LaFevers made this sequel much darker and more personal than the first book as readers are introduced to Sybella’s side of the story and how her life was full of turmoil and betrayal that made her doubt her existence in the world and how Mortain would allow her life to become so turbulent. I really enjoyed seeing the character development that Sybella goes through in this book as she had an extremely miserable life with her treacherous family and I actually felt bad for her during the moments where she starts doubting her existence in the world due to certain circumstances not going her way. I also enjoyed seeing the relationships that Sybella had developed over the course of the story, especially her relationship with Ismae, as they shared a sisterly bond that kept them close to each other and I like the way that Ismae tries to comfort Sybella during her times of stress. But the character I was the most interested in was Beast himself as he has many similarities to Sybella (both love to fight off the bad guys and both had lost people that they cared about) and yet, he still retains a happy and go lucky attitude during the whole ordeal with d’Abret and the French. But, I cannot leave out one of my most favorite aspects of Beast’s character and that is (seriously) his BODY TYPE! I like the fact that we have a hero who is described as not being handsome looking, but still has an extremely muscular body that is able to take down any forces that come up against him and it is this description of Beast that makes me really fall for him!

Dark

For those of you who do not like suggestive themes and strong violence, there are some surprisingly violent moments in this book which includes many characters getting their throats slit by the assassins that might be uncomfortable for some readers.

***SPOILER WARNING!!!***

Also, the fact that Sybella’s family, her brother Julian and d’Abret included, seem to want to get into a sexual relationship with her, despite the fact that they are “related” to each other and that might be a bit upsetting for some readers to handle, especially since it shows that Sybella clearly does not want to engage in such relationships with her brother Julian and d’Albret and they were basically forcing themselves upon her.

***SPOILER ENDED!!!***


Overall, “Dark Triumph” is a truly fantastic sequel to “Grave Mercy” that fans of historical romance and books that deal with assassins will definitely enjoy for many years! I am definitely looking forward to the third book in the series “Mortal Heart!”

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

Banner

More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?