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review 2017-05-14 00:10
The Full Moon at the Napping House by Audrey Wood
The Full Moon at the Napping House - Audrey Wood,Don Wood

Genre:  Bedtime / Humor / Family / Sequel


Year Published: 2015

 

Year Read:  2017

 

Publisher:   Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Series: The Napping House #2

 

 

Napping

Did you know that it has been over thirty years since “The Napping House” by Audrey Wood along with artwork by Don Wood had been published? Well, did you know that Audrey Wood and Don Wood made a companion book to the “Napping House” called “The Full Moon at the Napping House” in 2015? Well, I did not know this either until I just recently picked up the book and I must say that it certainly lives up to the original book’s expectations!

The story starts off with the full moon coming over the Napping House and its residents (a grandmother, a young boy, a dog, a cat and a mouse) are trying to go to sleep. But, the family has become restless during the night and it seems like they will never go to sleep until an unlikely visitor comes by the house…

Wow! I never would have thought that the day would come when I would see a companion book to Audrey Wood and Don Wood’s classic children’s book “The Napping House!” “The Napping House” has always been one of my most favorite reads during my childhood, especially during bedtime. So, imagine my surprise and delight when I found out that a companion book was being made for one of my most favorite childhood reads and I must admit that I was pleasantly surprised by this companion book! I like the fact that Audrey Wood managed to keep the narrative of this story faithful to the narrative of the original book, while telling a different story in this companion book (such as the fact that in this story, the residents of the Napping House are actually having trouble falling asleep while in the original book, it focuses on them sleeping through the night). It seems like a reverse storytelling method of the original book and I found that approach to this companion book to be extremely creative as I am still reading the narrative of the original book, but from a different perspective. Don Wood’s artwork is as beautiful as ever before as the characters look exactly as they did in the original “The Napping House” book. I really enjoyed the humorous images of the boy, the dog and the cat playing around during the night while the grandmother is trying so hard to go to sleep as I found myself giggling at this display. I also enjoyed the more beautiful aspect of the artwork as we see the full moon shining through the house and making everything in the house glow in such beauty.

Napping

Overall, “The Full Moon at the Napping House” is a fantastic follow up to “The Napping House” that fans of the original book will certainly fall in love with! 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 2017-05-14 00:03
Shadow by Marcia Brown
Shadow - Blaise Cendrars,Marcia Brown

Genre:  Fantasy / Africa ./ Folktale / Horror


Year Published: 1982

 

Year Read:  2010

 

Publisher:   Charles Scribner's Sons

 

 

Shadow

“Shadow” is a Caldecott Medal award winning book by Marcia Brown and it is about what shadows do around people and what they do when they are not looking. “Shadow” may be a bit scary for smaller children, but it is truly a mesmerizing book that children would enjoy for many years.

Marcia Brown has wonderfully given a vivid description of what shadows do and what they are like and put the description of shadows in a poetic format and Marcia Brown does a great job at making shadows seem so mysterious as they constantly follow people around in ghostly figures. Marcia Brown’s illustrations are truly eerie yet creative as the people in the book are drawn as black shadows while the shadows themselves are drawn as white ghostly figures following the shadowed characters, however, there are some shadows that are dark figures such as the shadow coming out of the ash from the fire. The images perfectly blend color and black and white to bring out a more effective look at the world of shadows such as putting shadowed figures against colorful mountainsides or forests.

Shadow

Parents should know that there are some scary images in this book which involves images of the shadows taking frightening shapes such as one shadow wearing a very frightening mask and another large shadow that has ash for eyes and is walking on four wobbly legs. Many small children would also be frighten about the idea that shadows can come to life when they least expect it and it might cause many small children to not go to sleep at night because they might be afraid of their shadows coming to life to get them. Parents need to explain to their children that shadows do not come alive and they are apart of people.

“Shadow” is a brilliant book that takes on the views of the mysterious world of shadows and it will have many children mesmerized for many years. I would recommend this book to children ages six and up since the images are truly frightening and smaller children might be frightened at the idea that shadows come to life in this book.


Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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review 2017-05-13 23:56
The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper
The Little Engine That Could - Watty Piper,Doris Hauman,George Hauman

Genre:  Toys / Travel / Perseverance / Classic


Year Published: 1930

 

Year Read:  2017

 

Publisher:   Platt & Munk Publishers

Series: The Little Engine that Could #1

 

 

Engine

Now I have a bit of a confession to make: I actually was introduced to this classic children’s story through an animated special that premiered on TV way back in the early 1990s and I have only just recently decided to pick up the book that the animated special was based off of. “The Little Engine that Could” by Watty Piper along with artwork by George and Doris Hauman is truly a cute classic that children will read for years to come!

The story starts off with a little train carrying good things for the little boys and girls on the other side of the mountain such as teddy bears, dolls, books for the children to play with. The little train also carried good food for the children to eat such as apples, oranges, milk and peppermint drops. Just as the little train was heading towards the mountains with all of these good things for the little boys and girls, it suddenly stopped on the train tracks and it could not budge. The toys then began to lament this predicament and they tried to receive help from various trains that stopped by. Unfortunately, none of the trains wanted anything to do with taking the toys to the other side of the mountain and they just left the toys on the side of the tracks. Finally, a little blue engine came along and…

Will the little blue engine help the toys get to their destination and will the toys make it over the mountain in time to give the little girls and boys their gifts?

Read this book to find out!


Watty Piper (which is actually a pseudonym for the Platt & Munk Publishing House) had done an excellent job at writing this cute little story as it details the importance of perseverance through the actions of the little blue engine as she tries to get the toys to their destination despite being so small. I like the fact that this story teaches children about the importance of never giving up in the face of a difficult situation and that they just need to do the best they can when they are dealing with situations that might be impossible for them. I also like the idea about the story being mainly about the toys and the train trying to get to the other side of the mountain to deliver toys and food to the little boys and girls since it reminds me a bit of how Santa Claus usually has to deliver toys and goodies to many children of the world, except in this case, this story does not take place during Christmas. George and Doris Hauman’s artwork is truly adorable to look at as all the toys are so cute to look at and I especially loved the image of the little engine herself as she is colored in blue, which is quite a unique color for a train, and she constantly has a smile on her face that makes me root for her.

Engine

The reason why I gave this book a four-star rating is because I felt that the pacing for this story was a bit slow and I wished that they trimmed off a bit of the toys’ conversations with the trains in order to get to the main point of the story.

Overall, “The Little Engine that Could” is a cute story about the importance of perseverance in the face of hardship that children will easily relate to! 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

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review 2017-05-13 23:48
The King's Stilts by Dr. Seuss
The King's Stilts - Dr. Seuss

Genre:  Royalty / Responsibility / Drama / Surrealism / Fantasy


Year Published: 1939

 

Year Read:  2017

 

Publisher:   Random House

 

King

Now, anyone who has been reading Dr. Seuss’ books are probably more familiar with his books “The Cat in the Hat,” “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” and “The Lorax.” But, did you know that Dr. Seuss had created some earlier books that dealt with the days of old where kings and kingdoms still existed? Well, “The King’s Stilts” by Dr. Seuss is such a book and it was a truly wonderful experience to behold!

Once upon a time, there lived a King named King Birtram who ruled the kingdom of Binn. Every day, the King would sign important papers of state, while taking a bath and his page boy Eric would hold up the papers while his other servant Lord Droon would give the King the papers to sign. But, probably the most important duty that the King has to do is to take care of a group of cats called the Patrol Cats, who protect the Kingdom of Binn from a group birds called Nizzards. The reason why the Patrol Cats are needed to protect the kingdom is because the kingdom is surrounded by the sea and only a set of trees that surround the kingdom called the Dike Trees can prevent the sea from flooding the kingdom. Unfortunately, the Nizzards are constantly pecking at the roots of the Dike Trees and the Patrol Cats have to chase them away. After the King finishes all the hard work he has to do for the kingdom, he takes a well-earned break by playing with his trusty stilts and everyone in the kingdom like the fact that the King is able to take some time off from his work. Unfortunately, the only person in the kingdom who does not like the King having fun on his stilts is Lord Droon since he believes that the King should never have any fun and he goes to the King’s private quarters and steals his stilts and forced Eric to dig up the stilts near the sea. Now with the stilts gone, the King became depressed and neglected his duties for the kingdom. This caused the Patrol Cats to get fat and lazy and they could not chase away the Nizzards, who started pecking away at the trees. Only Eric the Page Boy knows about the stilts, but Lord Droon threatened Eric to not tell the King about the stilts.

Will Eric be able to get the stilts back to the king before it is too late for the Kingdom of Binn?

Read this book to find out!


You know, even though I had read some Dr. Seuss books that were pretty dark in tone such as the “Bartholomew” books, “The Lorax” and “The Butter Battle Book,” it was still surprising to see another early Dr. Seuss book that takes place during the medieval times while still having dark situations happen to the characters. I like the way that Dr. Seuss wrote this story, as it was quite unique from most of his other works as the story is not told in Dr. Seuss’ usual cheerful rhyming scheme, but told in a straightforward narrative, which makes the story much more serious to read through. I also like the theme that Dr. Seuss presents in the story about how it is important to take a break once in a while after working hard and the fact that the King can function in his work activities extremely well after he goes out for a spin on his stilts really reinforce this idea. I like the fact that the King has a pretty good relationship with Eric the page boy, even though I would have liked to see more scenes of Eric and the King together to get a full grasp on their relationship with each other. Dr. Seuss’ artwork is as usual, highly creative to look at as the artwork is mostly presented in black and white colors, but there are certain objects in the artwork that are colored in red to show their significance to the story, such as the King’s cape and stilts, Eric the Page Boy’s pants and the Patrol Cats’ badges.

King

Parents should know that unlike most of Dr. Seuss’ later works, the tone of this story is much darker as the scenes where the Kingdom of Binn is in danger of being flooded by the sea because of the Nizzard birds nibbling on the dike trees might scare some small children.

Overall, “The King’s Stilts” is a truly remarkable read from Dr. Seuss’ earlier works and one I would definitely recommend you check out! I would recommend this book to children ages five and up since the intense scenes involving the Nizzards would scare some smaller children.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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review 2017-05-13 23:36
My Little Sister Ate One Hare by Bill Grossman
My Little Sister Ate One Hare (Dragonfly Books) - Bill Grossman,Kevin Hawkes

Genre:  Humor / Animals / Surrealism / Numbers


Year Published: 1996

 

Year Read:  2017

 

Publisher:   Crown Publishers, Inc

 

 

Hare

Now I have read a couple of children’s books where the characters in question for some bizarre reason want to eat strange things such as in “There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly” where the old lady spent most of the book eating various animals she comes across to. Well, “My Little Sister Ate One Hare” which is written by Bill Grossman along with illustrations by Kevin Hawkes is pretty much a similar story that is just as crazy as “There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly!”

This story is basically about a young girl who is the titular “little sister” being able to eat various animals which includes one hare, two snakes, three ants, four shrews, five bats, six mice, seven polliwogs and so on and so forth. Then, when the little sister tried to eat ten peas…

Can the little sister eat the ten peas and what will happen once she does?

Read this book to find out!


Now, when I first saw this book, I will admit that I was a little curious to see what this book was all about (especially with the image of a little girl eating the hare on the cover grabbing my attention). So, when I finally picked this book up, I was having a great time reading this really bizarre yet hilarious story! Bill Grossman has done an excellent job at writing this story as the story is both hilarious and creative to read and I really enjoyed the scenes where we see the little sister eating various animals such as shrews, bats, polliwogs, and ants while performing these acts on a theater stage. I like the fact that the little sister dressing up as various characters such as a magician and a snake charmer while she is eating the animals added a certain flair to the story as it makes seem like the little sister is in a stage performance while she is performing these tricks to the audience. Kevin Hawkes’ artwork is extremely comedic and exaggerated as we see various shots of the little sister’s mouth going extremely wide as she is about to eat an animal character and it was entertaining seeing these images pop out towards the audience in an unconventional way! Probably my most favorite images in this book are of the little sister dressing up in different costumes such as a magician, a snake charmer, a pirate and a cat while she is performing on stage as they give her performances even more creativity!

Hare

Parents should know that the scenes where the little sister eats up the animals alive might either be too disturbing or too gross for some small children to handle and they might want to read this book first to see if their child can handle a book where the main character eats animals alive.

Overall, “My Little Sister Ate One Hare” is a hilarious and bizarre story that children who love reading about characters who do weird activities will surely enjoy for many years to follow! I would recommend this book to children ages five and up since the scenes where the little sister eats various animals alive might either scare or gross out some children.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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