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review 2018-01-13 02:52
Don't dismiss children's literature just because you're an adult
Wild Things: The Joy of Reading Children’s Literature as an Adult - Bruce Handy

Wild Things: The Joy of Reading Children's Literature as an Adult by Bruce Handy showed up on my radar through a footnote in another book that I read last year. (Just one more reminder that I am 100% a nerd especially in regards to children's literature.) Handy splits the chapters into different books considered 'classics' of children's literature and he explains why they've had a lasting effect and endured as long as they have. He makes an argument that there is a reason books become classics but there is also a clarity in realizing that a difference of opinion will most certainly occur. A good example is Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown. I know this is a classic and it is still read by kids and parents now but I have never (and probably never will) consider this one a favorite. In that same vein, there were quite a few books that he mentioned that I had not heard of or had never read and I promptly added them to my TRL. (You may recognize some of the titles if you decide to read this book.) One of the best things about Wild Things was the organization of the chapters. It's quite obvious that Handy has not only done thorough research on the topic but has a real passion for the topic. This made it have an academic feel which I really appreciated. Interspersed throughout the book are personal anecdotes about the books he loved as a child as well as his experience introducing books to his children. (Get those tissues out, parents with small children. It's fairly sentimental.) I doubt this would be of as much interest to someone not in the field of children's literature but if you're looking for inspiration about what books to read to your kids at night then this would be an excellent source for you. 9/10

 

What's Up Next: The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde

 

What I'm Currently Reading: The Killings at Badger's Drift by Caroline Graham (Coincidentally, I'm watching Midsomer Murders which is based off of the book series.)

 

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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review 2018-01-10 05:38
Twizzlers and Puppy Dog Eyes
The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl - Stacy McAnulty

Lightning Girl is 12 year-old Lucy Callahan’s screen name in the math forum she loves. Ever since she was hit by lightning at 8 years old, she’s been a math genius. She’s also been homeschooled due to her academic differences and her OCD tendencies. When Lucy’s beloved uncle visits, he and Lucy’s Nana realize that, as smart as Lucy is, she’s missed out on part of her childhood. And so Nana insists that Lucy drag herself away from her computer and experience normal life for 1 year. Lucy’s germ phobia and repetitive sitting behavior don’t make fitting into middle school easy, but luckily, she quickly makes one friend who doesn’t seem to mind her oddities. As Lucy navigates the tricky middle school social world of cafeteria tables and group projects, she will eventually learn the meaning of true friendship, and find out just how far out of her comfort zone she’s willing to go for a friend.

 

This books greatest strength is in the main character’s voice, which, along with the snide, age-appropriate humor, quickly endears the reader to a character that might otherwise be a little hard to like.

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review 2018-01-09 18:31
The Widow's Broom by Chris Van Allsburg
The Widow's Broom - Chris Van Allsburg

Title:  The Widow's Broom

Author:  Chris Van Allsburg

Genre:  Horror / Witches / Halloween 

Year Published: 1992

Year Read: 2010

Publisher:   Houghton Mifflin Company

Source:  Library

Content Rating:  Ages 5+  (Intense Themes of Witchcraft)

 

Widow

“The Widow’s Broom” is a haunting story from the great mind of Chris Van Allsburg and it is about how a lonely widow named Minna Shaw finds a friend in a witch’s broom, but is threatened by the villagers to get rid of the broom because the know that it is witch crafted. “The Widow’s Broom” may have some controversial material about witchcraft, but it is a brilliant read for children who love haunting stories.

Chris Van Allsburg makes this story haunting yet memorable at the same time as it details the story of friendship between a widow and her broom and the bond that Minna Shaw and the broom share together will definitely show children about the importance of friendship even in the worse of times such as when the broom was being harassed by the villagers because it was witch crafted. Chris Van Allsburg’s illustrations are highly beautiful and haunting at the same time as the images are mainly in black and white giving the story a haunting and old fashioned feel since this story probably took place during the 1700s and the image that stood out the most was the image of the broom itself as its handle actually curves when it is doing the work for Minna and because the broom looks so innocent and friendly, many children would actually like the broom instead of fear it.

Widow

Parents should know that the theme of witchcraft in this book might be too sensitive to readers who do not approve of witchcraft, even though personally, this subject does not bother me so much since I am a huge fan of Harry Potter, but the broom in this book was friendly and he only threw up the Spivey boys and the dog because they were harassing the broom. Depending on your views on the subject on witchcraft, parents should talk about this book with their children and see how they handle the witchcraft theme.

“The Widow’s Broom” is a brilliant book about the importance of true friendship and will be an instant treat for children who love reading haunting books. I would recommend this book to children ages five and up due to the witchcraft theme might be scary for smaller children.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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review 2018-01-09 18:16
Nightmares: Poems to Trouble Your Sleep by Jack Prelutsky
Nightmares: Poems to Trouble Your Sleep by Jack Prelutsky (1976-08-01) - Jack Prelutsky

Title:  Nightmares:  Poems to Trouble Your Sleep

Author:  Jack Prelutsky

Artist: Arnold Lobel

Genre:  Horror / Poetry / Halloween / Monsters

Year Published: 1976

Year Read: 2009

Publisher:   Greenwillow Books

Source:  Library

Content Rating:  Ages 7+  (Some Scary Imagery and Graphic Dialogue)

 

Nightmares

Nightmares” is a book of poems written by Jack Prelutsky along with illustrations by Arnold Lobel. This book contains poems about various monsters, wizards and ghosts doing horrible things to unsuspecting people. “Nightmares” might be too scary for smaller children, but older children will love the macabre content of this book. 

Jack Prelutsky’s writing is dramatic and intense as he brings true horror to these poems. Each poem describes a monster doing horrible acts towards their victims and Jack Prelutsky brings great detail to how these victims are tortured, such as in “The Vampire” where Jack Prelutsky describes how the Vampire bites down on its victim and licks the blood off its lips. Arnold Lobel’s illustrations are the center of attention here as they are in black and white coloring, giving the story a gothic feel to it. The image that stood out the most was the image of the Dragon of Death having seven heads and vicious looking eyes in the poem “The Dragon of Death.” 

Nightmares

“Nightmares” is surely one of Jack Prelutsky’s most haunting books he ever created since it talks about how monsters torture their victims to death. I would recommend this book to children ages seven and up since there are too many advanced words that young children might not understand and because of the macabre content displayed vividly in this book.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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review 2018-01-09 18:16
Nightmares: Poems to Trouble Your Sleep by Jack Prelutsky
Nightmares: Poems to Trouble Your Sleep by Jack Prelutsky (1976-08-01) - Jack Prelutsky

Title:  Nightmares:  Poems to Trouble Your Sleep

Author:  Jack Prelutsky

Artist: Arnold Lobel

Genre:  Horror / Poetry / Halloween / Monsters

Year Published: 1976

Year Read: 2009

Publisher:   Greenwillow Books

Source:  Library

Content Rating:  Ages 7+  (Some Scary Imagery and Graphic Dialogue)

 

Nightmares

Nightmares” is a book of poems written by Jack Prelutsky along with illustrations by Arnold Lobel. This book contains poems about various monsters, wizards and ghosts doing horrible things to unsuspecting people. “Nightmares” might be too scary for smaller children, but older children will love the macabre content of this book. 

Jack Prelutsky’s writing is dramatic and intense as he brings true horror to these poems. Each poem describes a monster doing horrible acts towards their victims and Jack Prelutsky brings great detail to how these victims are tortured, such as in “The Vampire” where Jack Prelutsky describes how the Vampire bites down on its victim and licks the blood off its lips. Arnold Lobel’s illustrations are the center of attention here as they are in black and white coloring, giving the story a gothic feel to it. The image that stood out the most was the image of the Dragon of Death having seven heads and vicious looking eyes in the poem “The Dragon of Death.” 

Nightmares

“Nightmares” is surely one of Jack Prelutsky’s most haunting books he ever created since it talks about how monsters torture their victims to death. I would recommend this book to children ages seven and up since there are too many advanced words that young children might not understand and because of the macabre content displayed vividly in this book.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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