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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 23:16
One Morning in Maine by Robert McCloskey
One Morning in Maine (Picture Puffins) - Robert McCloskey

Genre:  Family / Childhood / Growing Up / Travel


Year Published: 1952


Year Read:  2010

Publisher: The Viking Press

 

Maine

“One Morning in Maine” is a Caldecott Honor Book from the great mind of Robert McCloskey and it is about how a young girl named Sal learns about the wonders of growing up after she loses her first baby tooth. “One Morning in Maine” is a truly inspiring story about growing up that many children will easily love.

Robert McCloskey has done an excellent job at both illustrating and writing this book. Robert McCloskey’s illustrations are much more beautiful in this book than in his other books as the characters look so realistic and Sal’s expressions as she realizes that she has a loose tooth are extremely realistic as she expresses shock and pure excitement, like any child who has a loose tooth and they are sometimes scared because they are worried about the pain if their baby tooth comes loose and the pure excitement they exhibit as they see their baby tooth come out. Robert McCloskey’s illustrations are also in black and white, giving this story an old fashioned feeling while also making this book more effective in displaying the characters’ emotions, as the characters expressions are realistic. Robert McCloskey makes this story extremely cute and inspiring a the same time as Sal tries to figure out the meaning of growing up after she looses her tooth and many children will easily relate to Sal’s emotions about her loose tooth as many children have often lose their baby teeth and they usually have feelings of fear and excitement as they fear that they will feel pain when their baby teeth will fall out and feel excitement as they experienced the joys of growing up.

Parents should know that this book might be a tad bit too long for smaller children to handle as the book is about sixty-pages long and parents might want to read the first thirty pages one night and then the next thirty pages the next night so that children would not be easily bored by this book.


“One Morning in Maine” is a fantastic book about the wonders of growing up and will be an instant classic for many children who also experience the wonders of a loose baby tooth. I would recommend this book to children ages five and up since smaller children might become bored with the length of this book.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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review 2017-03-08 00:32
The Girl Who Drank the Moon
The Girl Who Drank the Moon - Kelly Barnhill

Never have I read a book that so succinctly turns every trope on it's head. I absolutely loved it!

The story is put together fantastically. Each character is amazing in their own right. No one does quite what I expect, even when I thought I had a handle on the way the story was breaking the rules. The family that Luna, Xan, Glerk, and Fyrian make is just adorable. All the people in the Protectorate are dealing with their own issues and making their way through life in ways that are not entirely opposite the norm that I would expectn or entirely the norm either. There's a part of me that feels like it's the way all the old stories should have been written, so that everyone has a little agenda and not all converge nor diverge. History isn't that neat and stories shouldn't be either. At the same time, it was loads of fun to watch the way these characters were like characters we were already a bit familiar with.

Basically, Barnhill did a fantastic job of "making familiar things new and new things familiar" as are the two great powers of a writer according to William Makepeace Thackery or Samuel Johnson. It's been attributed to both on different sites, not sure which is accurate. I listened to it on Audible, read by Christina Moore, who was great. I loved her voices for everyone, especially Fyrian.

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review 2017-01-15 20:14
Books for Kids: Should I Share My Toys?: (Children's book about a Little Boy Who Learns How To be Generous) by Michael Gordon
Books for Kids: Should I Share My Toys?... Books for Kids: Should I Share My Toys?: (Children's book about a Little Boy Who Learns How To be Generous, Picture Books, Preschool Books, Ages 3-5, Baby Books, Kids Book, Bedtime Story) - Michael Gordon

Books for Kids: Should I Share My Toys?: (Children's book about a Little Boy Who Learns How To be Generous) by Michael Gordon is a children's book for ages three to five. Finn was a little boy who had a pet bear called Chad.

 

"There was a problem with Finn's pet bear:
He really didn't like to share.
After days of trying, Finn said aloud,
'You're not a pet who makes me proud.'"

 

It has some good lessons. The illustrations were delightful and my favorite little boy loved it. I gave it five stars.

 

Link to purchase: https://www.amazon.com/Books-Kids-Childrens-Generous-Preschool-ebook/dp/B01N5KOEQ0

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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

 

Sidewalk

“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.

Sidewalk

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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