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review 2018-10-11 03:22
How the Mighty Have Fallen
Imagine. . .The Fall of Jericho - Matt Koceich

This third installment in Matt Koceich’s Imagine series is my favorite so far. It handles issues pertinent to both Biblical and contemporary society, such as child exploitation and not fitting in, with grace, adding in just enough detail to make sure that young readers understand the situation without it being overwhelming or too frightening. Jake Henry makes a laudable role model, and his situation of feeling alone and unwanted resonates with readers of all ages. His experience in the world of the Biblical Jericho vividly demonstrates a lesson from which we can all benefit: “It’s like God is using this to show me I’m never alone, and I always have a job to do no matter what I feel inside or how crazy the situation is on the outside.” Undeniably, such an outlook on life helps all of us to face our fears and to fully rely on God even when our walls—literal or figurative—are crumbling down around us.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.

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review 2018-10-09 00:09
The Bad Beginning ★☆☆☆☆
A Series of Unfortunate Events 1: The Bad Beginning - Lemony Snicket

I have no idea why this book/series is so popular. I can see, sort of, why children may love it. Many of the books I loved as a kid were no better, and this has brave, clever orphans (boy AND girl), a cute baby sister, mean ugly villains, disbelieving adults, and a horrible house. The only thing it’s missing is a dog.

 

But this just doesn’t seem well-written to me. The characters are just caricatures. There’s nothing especially clever about the setup or the world the characters are placed in. There are none of the clever observations about human nature or winking humor or enjoyably silly word games that made Rowling’s books so appealing. I suppose some might find the little asides (by the way, that word means _______) funny and were obviously meant in jest, but I found them annoying. And the forced marriage device plot involving a 14 year old child, with the adult characters’ innuendos about how pretty she is and about the marriage night, was just plain disturbing, not to mention the implication that marriage, once committed to, even under duress, is a lifetime trap.

 

Hardcover version, picked up at a church rummage sale. I ought to put it in the library donation box, but I'm honestly considering dropping it in the recycle bin instead. 

 

 

I read this for the 2018 Halloween Bingo square Thirteen: any book that relates to bad luck, superstitions, including (but not limited to) black cats, ravens or crows, or the unlucky number 13, either in the title, series, book cover or page count.

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text 2018-10-08 11:50
The Bad Beginning - 80/162pg
A Series of Unfortunate Events 1: The Bad Beginning - Lemony Snicket

I am puzzled, which as you probably know, means unable to understand, as to why this book is so popular. 

 

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review 2018-10-07 18:18
Grimm’s Fairy Tales ★★☆☆☆
Grimm's Fairy Tales: Household Stories from the Collection of the Bros. Grimm - Lucy Crane,Crane Walter,Jacob Grimm,Wilhelm Grimm

I think my only exposure to the Grimm brothers’ stories has been the Disney-fied version. I think I prefer Disney’s.

 

Stories:

  1. Hans in Luck – Hans is a fool who wouldn’t know a good bargain if it punched him in the face.
  2. The Goose Girl – Trickery and ambition get you thrown naked into a barrel of nails and dragged to your death.
  3. The Frog Prince – He’s the original “nice guy”. Accept help from a nasty toad and you will wind up with a Prince who feels he has the right to your time, your food, and your bed
  4. The Wolf and the Seven Goslings – “If you don’t do it,” cried the wolf, “I’ll eat you up!” And the miller was afraid and did as he was told. And that just shows what men are.
  5. Faithful John – Abducted princess suffers Stockholm Syndrome, parents willingly decapitate their own children to save their faithful servant, wtf is this story?
  6. Rapunzel – If the prince loved her so much, why didn’t he just bring a ladder to help her escape, instead of visiting every night to have sex with her in prison?
  7. Hansel and Grethel – For once in these stories a girl takes action and saves herself and her brother.
  8. The White Snake – A princess has fun setting impossible tasks for her suitors and killing them when they fail. Until a servant boy’s animal friends help him pass all the tasks, and he and the princess live HEA. Yay?
  9. Mother Hulda – Helpful and industrious girls are rewarded. Lazy and mean-spirited girls are tarred and feathered.
  10. Tom Thumb – He’s a tiny psychopath.
  11. The Elves - oooookaaaayyy
  12. The Robber Bridegroom – Girl keeps her head, brings justice to man who chops up and eats women.
  13. The Almond Tree – Wicked woman decapitates and dismembers her stepson and feeds him to his father. All is HEA when stepmother is crushed by a millstone and the boy is resurrected by the almond tree.
  14. The Six Swans – More wicked stepmothers and abducted girls “willingly” married to their captors
  15. The Sleeping Beauty – Two beautiful privileged youth find each other and live HEA without a thought of the many boys with poor timing who died an agonized death impaled in the thorn hedge. This may be the best one, with the wonderful imagery of the kingdom asleep in suspended animation.
  16. Snow White – Snow White is TSTL but is such a beautiful corpse that a prince marries her, and the evil queen is an incompetent murderess, but gets death by red-hot iron shoes.
  17. Rumpelstiltsken – I think Rumpelstiltsken got a raw deal here. The greedy 1% stole his gold and welshed on the trade.
  18. The Golden Bird – Another story where some dolt gets to own a beautiful princess as a contest prize.
  19. The Golden Goose – I’d be a sourpuss too, if my father announced he’d give me away as a contest prize.

 

Illustrations: They are wonderfully intricate, but the style doesn’t really appeal to me.

 

Hardcover copy with the text translated from the original German and with intricately detailed illustrations.

 

I read this for the 2018 Halloween Bingo square A Grimm Tale: any fairy tale or retelling of fairy tales, folklore, legends, etc.

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text 2018-10-05 09:18
5 Reasons To Get Your Kids Singing At Home

You’d be amazed how much good getting your little bundle of joy to sing regularly achieves. As the maker of the best children’s karaoke machine in the country – I know, we’re modest too – we get to see firsthand the incredible transformative effects that the joy of song can have on kids. Don’t believe us? Check out these proven benefits...

 

1) It’s good for the body

 

The physical benefits to your child’s body that singing encourages are ludicrously extensive. It – deep breath (coincidentally something that singing encourages, leading to increased oxygen in the blood and subsequently to the brain) – strengthens the lips and tongue helping children speak and communicate more clearly; strengthens the immune system; improves posture; burns calories; helps with sleep; releases endorphins; and increases lung capacity.

 

2) It’s good for the mind

 

At a young age, singing aids cognitive development on a number of fronts. It causes the brain to perform multiple tasks at once, helping to develop memory. It also helps teach opposites – like fast and slow, quiet and loud – helping a child to learn to differentiate between opposite tasks. Singing also helps a child learn rhythm and rhyme, as well as the importance of listening in order to learn.

 

3) It’s good for the soul

 

Repeated scientific studies have shown singing to bolster happiness and mental wellbeing in children. Singing improves self-confidence and the ability to communicate with others. It can also prove a valuable social tool to help children make friends. Finally, singing has been proven to increase creativity.

 

4) It’s good for the parents

 

Singing is a great way to bond with your kids and it’s something that you can share together at almost any age, meaning the entire family can get involved. It creates a loving environment of shared joy that develops lasting bonds. The most common bit of feedback we get from parents is astonishment at how when their kids grab a karaoke machine for kids, they transform from a moody Netflixated bundle of nerves in to a responsive and happy disco diva.

 

5) It’s good for the bank balance

 

When we sat down to design our karaoke kits we had two core aims: simplicity and affordability. We couldn’t be happier with the result: our at-home karaoke machines start from £60 and are so easy to use they are, in our humble opinion, both the best children’s karaoke machines and best value for money kits on the market. We also offer a selection of different color mics for our karaoke machines that are perfect for adding a touch of personality to your kids karaoke mic. One of the most popular choices is our pretty in pink karaoke microphone, but we’ve also got brilliant blue, working-it white and glorious gold.

 

To grab a karaoke kit and get your child singing, head to: Shop.luckyvoice.com

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