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review 2017-11-18 10:30
Ivy in Bloom (A Picture Book) by Vanita Oelschlager & Kristin Blackwood (Artwork)

 

I've got a tiny review for you today. It is for this adorable picture book!

--

 

Well, that was just cute. I enjoyed the little poem and the artwork that went along with the story. I feel like it would be a stunning book for anyone to own in person and think the bright colors would entice younger minds who are not quite at reading level.

 

*Netgally provided my copy*

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review 2017-11-08 01:34
Zorgamazoo by Robert Paul Weston

I did it! I read this book.

Now you're thinking that it isn't such a big deal to read a children's book. It could take most readers a day or two, but I had the nuttiest inspiration to read this book out loud to myself. I do not live alone and I could only read this when there was nobody around. Plus I could not read for very long periods of times because my throat would start to hurt. Needless to say, it took me a while to read this. I could have pushed myself and read every day, but I didn't, plus I was reading other things too.

I did not expect so much feeling from this book. It really does remind me of Dr. Seuss and Raold Dahl like the blurb on the book says. It also has A Series of Unfortunate vibe in the sense that it is a children's book that doesn't sugar coat words. It is very dark and morbid at times. I love this about children books. People do not give kids enough credit and they can handle a bunch more than sickly sweet stories where nothing bad happens, so it is nice to have a series like Lemony Snicket's or this book.

There were times in the book were I got choked up while reading and that came out of the blue. The characters were really well written and I felt close to them.

The only reason it did not get a five star is two bits. There was a point where one of the characters was mean to another character and it irked me quite a lot because I thought she would know better than treat someone that way, considering how her guardian was toward her. This only happened once, so I wasn't bothered enough to stop reading, which I could have been if it continued to happen.

The other bit is some of the writing did not flow as well as a verse should flow. This might be because I'm reading it out loud, but it should roll off the tongue, I believe and be like a song or epic poem. (The rhyming kind.)

Other than that I loved this book and the characters. Even the villains were done so bad that they were good, you know what I mean. Same as the parents in a lot of children books, I disliked the guardian figure in this story, but you are meant to. The author wrote her so creepily well.

Side note, this is the first book I have wrote in, marked up, highlighted since I was a child and that wasn't seen as so taboo in the book community. I don't know if I will continue to annotate my books, but the experience, though frightening, was very fun.

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review 2017-11-07 07:47
The Gingerbread Man by Rana Giglio
Harcourt School Publishers Signatures: Rdr: The Gingerbman K the Gingerbread Man - Harcourt Brace

Title:  The Gingerbread Man

Author:  Rana Giglio

Artist: Henrik Drescher

Genre:  Fantasy / Humor / Retelling / Fairy Tale

Year Published: 1997

Year Read: 2017

Publisher:   Harcourt Brace & Company

Source:  Purchased

Content Rating:  Ages 4+  (Some Mischievous Behavior and Scary Imagery)

 

Gingerbread

I have this weird confession to make: I once had a dream about a book that was illustrated by Henrik Drescher that was obscured and in my dream, I ended up buying the book since I am a huge fan of Henrik Drescher’s works. Well, I have to say that that dream actually came TRUE since I just recently bought this rare and obscure book called “The Gingerbread Man” which was retold by Rana Giglio along with artwork by Henrik Drescher and I have to admit that this book was a blast to read!

This book is basically a short version of the original fairy tale “The Gingerbread Man” and it pretty much retells the story about how an old couple bakes a gingerbread man and the gingerbread man ends up coming to life and running away from the couple, while yelling out:

“Run, run,
As fast as you can.
You can’t catch me.
I’m the gingerbread man!”


Will the gingerbread man escape the couple, the horse, the cow and the fox?

Read this book to find out!
 


Wow…just wow...this had to be the weirdest yet most creative version of “The Gingerbread Man” I had ever read! I have to warn you though that this little children’s book is only EIGHT PAGES LONG! Not the usual 63 pages you get from most children’s books…EIGHT!!! So, I was quite surprised at how much of the original “Gingerbread Man” story they were able to get in such a short book, but it eventually worked out alright as this book serves to be an outline of sorts about how the “Gingerbread Man” story is told. Rana Giglio did a great job at retelling this classic fairy tale as the narrative is short and simple enough to read through and it really conveys the true story of the Gingerbread Man through just a few words on each page. But, the true highlight of this book is none other than Henrik Drescher’s colorful and bizarre illustrations as they bring this book to life and we are treated to a livelier version of the “Gingerbread Man” than ever before! I was intrigued with the artwork of the gingerbread man itself as it is drawn much more differently than the average look for the character as the gingerbread man is much more human like in appearance and it has wobbly limbs instead of short and thick limbs like it usually does in most adaptations.

I will admit that I was a bit disappointed that this book was a bit too short since I wanted to see more of Henrik Drescher’s artwork through a much more extended version of the story. I also will admit that I was a bit freaked out by the gingerbread man itself as while it is quite a unique design for the character, the fact that it has such wobbly limbs and oddly shaped eyes just put me on edge. I mean, just look at this thing!

Gingerbread

Overall, “The Gingerbread Man” is an instant treat for anyone who wants to read a more obscure version of the classic fairy tale! I would recommend this book to children ages four and up since the images of the gingerbread man might scare some small children.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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review 2017-11-07 07:26
The Tooth That's on the Loose! by Chris Robertson
The Tooth That's On the Loose! - Chris Robertson

Title:  The Tooth That's on the Loose!

Author:  Chris Robertson

Genre:  Teeth / Humor / Western / Parody

Year Published: 2017

Year Read: 2017

Publisher:  Xist Publishing

Source:  eARC (NetGalley)

Content Rating:  Ages 4+  (Some Mischievous Behavior)

 

Tooth

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

4.5 stars
 


I will admit that I had only read a few children’s books that dealt with the theme of children losing their baby teeth (mainly Marc Brown’s “Arthur’s Tooth”). So, when NetGalley offered a children’s book called “The Tooth that’s on the Loose!” by Chris Robertson that has a creative take on children losing their baby teeth, I knew that I had to get this book as soon as possible!

Who is that toothy and wiggly varmint who is running around town, causing mayhem wherever he goes? Tooth Be Wiggly (T.B. Wiggly, for short) that’s who! This outlaw goes around leaving holes in people’s mouths (in other words, taking people’s teeth and causing a hole in their mouths where the teeth used to be) and Sheriff Tex is trying to recruit some kids to help him bring down this outlaw!

Can the kids bring down T.B. Wiggly?

Read this book to find out!
 


I must admit that I was quite impressed with this creative and odd little book! Chris Robertson has done a great job at making a dilemma that kids would have, which is losing their baby teeth at a young age and turn that dilemma into an outlaw villain named T.B. Wiggly, which made this book truly creative and interesting to read! I also liked the fact that Sheriff Tex was the one narrating the story and telling the audience who T.B. Wiggly is and why he has to be stopped as it allows us to explore the world through the characters’ point of view. I really like the way that Chris Robertson is able to incorporate so much humor in this book as I cannot help but laugh at the idea about a living tooth going around causing mayhem wherever he goes! Chris Robertson’s artwork is hilarious and exaggerated to look at, especially of the image of T.B. Wiggly himself as he is a tooth that has a large black mustache and tiny beady eyes that portrays his rugged personality. I also loved the mischievous looks that T.B. Wiggly gives to the audience as it helps lets the audience know that T.B. Wiggly is up to no good! 

Tooth

The reason why I took off half a point from the rating was because I felt that more could have been done with T. B. Wiggly himself as he felt like a one-sided villain of the story whose only purpose of being in this story is to be the generic bad guy who steals people’s teeth. While I understand that T.B. Wiggly is representing the dilemma that young children go through, which is losing their baby teeth, I sort of wished that there was more development to his character besides being the bad guy that would make him stand out more in the story.

Overall, “The Tooth that’s on the Loose!” is a truly creative story for children who are going through losing their baby teeth and want to read a story that tackles this issue in a humorous and creative way! 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! 2017-11-07 07:09
Madeline and the Bad Hat by Ludwig Bemelmans
Madeline and the Bad Hat - Ludwig Bemelmans

Title:  Madeline and the Bad Hat

Author:  Ludwig Bemelmans

Genre:  France / Friendship / Manners 

Year Published: 1956

Year Read: 1993

Series:  Madeline #3

Publisher: The Viking Press

Source:  Library

Content Rating:  Ages 5+  (Some Mild Violence and Mischievous Behavior)

 

Bad

“Madeline and the Bad Hat” is another book created by Ludwig Bemelmans’ famous “Madeline” collection (and was also transformed into an episode for the “Madeline” cartoon series) that details Madeline’s adventures in France. This time, Madeline meets up with Pepito, the Bad Hat, who causes trouble for Madeline and the other girls. This book might be the darkest of all the “Madeline” books, but its exciting storyline and cute illustrations make up for that. 

Ludwig Bemelmans does an excellent job on both illustrations and writing Madeline’s newest adventure. Ludwig Bemelmans writes the story in a rhyming text, the most memorable lines being: 

“And lo and behold, the former Barbarian, 
turned into a vegetarian.” 


Ludwig Bemelmans chooses his words carefully to make sure that the story moves along smoothly without making the rhyming text sound like nonsense. Ludwig Bemelmans’ illustrations are also highlighted in this book as he draws the characters in simplistic yet colorful images. I especially like the way that he makes some of the images be shown in yellow and white coloring and some images where he uses all types of colors such as the image where he shows the landscape of Paris. 

Bad

Parents should know that there are some violent and sad scenes in this book. Children might see the scenes where Pepito cuts off the chickens’ heads and eats them (even though we do not see the chickens’ heads being cut off but we do see a guillotine and chickens being dragged by their necks towards the guillotine) and the scene where he is attacked by dogs (this is more graphic as we see dogs jumping on top of Pepito) as both sad and violent. Parents who do not want their children to be exposed to this type of violence might want to skip these pages to avoid any discomfort from the children. 

“Madeline and the Bad Hat” is one of the most deep and darkest of all the “Madeline” books, but is also a cute story about the consequences of being bad and how one can redeem his or herself if they have done horrible things to other people such as Pepito trying to make things right after his bad behavior. I would strongly recommend this book to children ages five and up due to the smaller children being a bit worried about the violent and sad scenes displayed in this book.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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