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review 2017-02-09 09:29
Encyclopedia Prehistorica: Mega Beasts
Encyclopedia Prehistorica - Robert Sabuda,Matthew Reinhart

The last of my pop-up book splurge, Mega Beasts is almost every bit as good as the Dinosaurs edition created by the same pop up artist team.


The same incredible level of paper art, the same solid writing; my only complaint is sometimes the spectacular paper art actually blocks the text, making it difficult to read without some maneuvering.  Otherwise, an awesome example of its kind.


Once again, MT provided a hand (or two) for the picture taking portion of this review:


King Kong wasn't just a myth y'all!


It was depressing to learn just how many creatures lived for ages without natural predators... until man came along.


My personal favourite spread.  Of course.  :)



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review 2017-01-27 06:00
Oranges and Lemons: Rhymes from Past Times
Oranges and Lemons: Rhymes from Past Times - Karen Dolby

I'm going to start by saying this is an excellent collection of nursery rhymes.  All the rhymes from my childhood, both remembered and forgotten were here (I totally forgot that London Bridges falling down was also a game until I read it here), as well as many that were new to me.


Where I thought the book stumbled, was the author's attempt to include a bit of history for each one.  Some of the rhymes are well documented, and these are interesting.  Some of them just don't have any known origins and to the author's credit, she's forthright when no history is to be had, or what is is purely speculative.  But the vast majority of the rhymes fall in between with several theories, a bit of scant information, and far too much speculating.  And all that speculating can be summed up by saying "when in doubt, blame it on the aristocracy".  


It seems 90% of the rhymes children grew up with are subversive pokes at royalty throughout the ages.  Which would be interesting, if there were any documentation to back the assertions up, but if there is, the author wasn't privy it.  I find it hard to believe myself, that anyone would spend their time and creativity writing up clever little ditties about kings and queens for children that weren't going to get it - or care about it if they did.


About half way through I started to have a similar reaction to these attempts at historical context as I do about people trying to explain art.  Sometimes it's just a water-lily, or in this case, Little Boy Blue just needed a nap.


The book is a keeper for the collection it contains and the index it has in the back, making them easy to find.  But if you're looking for the historical angle, I think it's a bit disappointing.

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review 2017-01-19 05:00
Leonardo Da Vinci: The Artist, Inventor, Scientist in Three Dimensional Movable Pictures
Leonardo da Vinci - Alice Provensen,Martin Provensen

Which is a very fancy way of saying "Pop-up Book".


Chalk it up to a pop-up deprived childhood if you'd like but I'm a grown woman who loves pop up books.  I've also had life long fascination with Da Vinci because he was a genius artistically and scientifically, putting him in a class of his own.


So, a Da Vinci pop-up book?  Yes, please!  I heard about this one years ago and have been on the lookout for it ever since.  I lucked out and it arrived earlier this week and I can't stop looking at it. 



I finally actually read all 12 pages today; the writing is skewed towards 10 year olds, if I had to guess, but who cares?  It's beautiful!  It pops up!





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review 2017-01-17 07:04
Freckle Juice!!
Freckle Juice - Judy Blume,Sonia O. Lisker

I've been giving into nostalgia the last few months and picking up copies of Blume's adolescent books for myself, but stopped short of the children's books.  Until one day my sister in law was looking for kids books with a chemistry bent and Freckle Juice popped into my head.  It's not chemistry, exactly, but it does involve kitchen chemistry.  Once it was in my head I had to find a copy.


It's even better than I remember!  It's going to be fun reading this to my nieces; I'd almost swear Judy Blume wrote it for the express purpose of reading it aloud.  As always she captures what it was to be a kid and think what you don't have is cooler than what you do.


A fun read for younger kids and with the exception of the affects of inflation (10 cents a week allowance anyone?), the book is pretty timeless.

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review 2017-01-01 23:24
A Spy Called James: The True Story of James Lafayette, Revolutionary War Double Agent - Anne Rockwell,Floyd Cooper

I very much appreciate this book for existing in the first place — it’s a wonderful idea to introduce children to stories like these at a young age, especially stories like James’s are hardly ever told in schools. At least, they weren’t very often told in my schools when I was younger, but I hope that’s changing. As the description says, James Lafayette was a spy for George Washington’s Army during the American Revolution, and had to fight to obtain the rights that were given to other former slaves who served in the army because “spies” were not generally covered under the agreement that was made between slaves and the newly formed American government.


The story itself is simply told in a language that children will understand, but covers all the details. And I love the illustrations. They’re soft water-color type illustrations with a lot of blended colors and soft lines. It’s very child-friendly and I know I enjoyed looking at the pictures, so I think they might, too.


I could see this being in a classroom for children to enjoy during free reading time, or even have it being read aloud to children as part of a history lesson. And, of course, it’s a nice addition to the home library, especially for a history-lover.

Source: www.purplereaders.com/?p=2192
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