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review 2017-02-28 16:20
Using mixed media to perfection
Wonderful, Wicked, and Whizzpopping: The Stories, Characters, and Inventions of Roald Dahl - Roald Dahl

I think it's been well-established that Roald Dahl is my favorite author of all time (with Charles Dickens at a close second). If you were in doubt about my love of Dahl's works you can check out this masterpost that I wrote last year with no less than 5 reviews. XD It should come as no surprise that I fangirled pretty hard over Wonderful, Wicked, and Whizzpopping: The stories, characters, and inventions of Roald Dahl by Stela Caldwell with (of course) illustrations by the incomparable Quentin Blake. From the very first page (the front-matter section), it is apparent that this is a special book. There are little snippets which look like yellow, lined notebook paper which denote actual notes that Dahl wrote to himself about the books which made him famous. (He always wrote his books on yellow, lined notebook paper by the way.) Did you know it was nearly James and the Giant Cherry instead of James and the Giant Peach? That somehow doesn't have quite the same ring to it. This entire book is like getting a glimpse behind the scenes PLUS reading condensed versions of some of his more famous children's books. The mixed media used in this book complements the subject matter perfectly. I'd go so far as to say this is a visually stunning book and you'd be silly not to check it out for yourselves...especially if you're a fan of Quentin Blake. You might have guessed already but this is a 10/10 in my books (pun totally intended).

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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review 2016-08-16 20:59
5 for 1 Special: Roald Dahl Edition
The Twits - Roald Dahl,Quentin Blake
The Magic Finger - Quentin Blake,Roald Dahl
The Minpins - Roald Dahl
The Great Mouse Plot and Other Tales of Childhood - Roald Dahl
The Vicar of Nibbleswicke - Quentin Blake,Roald Dahl

I don't think I've spent nearly enough time waxing poetic about one of my all-time favorite authors so that's what today's post is all about. Roald Dahl was introduced to me by my best friend roughly 15 years ago. You might know him best as the author of Matilda, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Witches, and James and the Giant Peach. I mention these because the film adaptations are fairly popular (as they should be because they're excellent). Today I'm going to discuss 5 more that you may or may not have heard of and which I binge read quite recently.


The Twits is the story of two horrible, nasty individuals by the name of Mr. and Mrs. Twit. Their favorite occupation (besides being absolutely horrendous in increasingly vile ways to one another) is to torment their 4 trained monkeys and the birds which roost in their tree. As with most of Dahl's writing, there is a most satisfying conclusion at the end of this book which I just can't in good conscience spoil. Just know that Mr. Dahl certainly doesn't shrink from ghastly topics. ;-)


The story of The Magic Finger begins with a little girl playing with her two friends, the Gregg brothers. These two little boys share a singular passion with their father: hunting. Despite the little girls repeated pleas for them to stop this beastly sport, they decide to go ahead with their plan to go duck hunting. The little girl is made so angry by this that she unleashes the power of her Magic Finger and the results are truly horrifying. Let's just say that they shouldn't have dismissed her advice as being for the birds.


Perhaps my favorite of the lot was The Minpins which is a large sized picture book with beautiful color illustrations. The artwork alone makes this a fantastic piece of children's literature. This was posthumously published and is very different from the other books which I've read by him (and illustrated by Patrick Benson instead of Quentin Blake). It is the story of Little Billy (a human child) who escapes from his family home into the woods where he has been expressly forbidden to enter. There he comes into contact with a ferocious beast...and tiny little people called the Minpins who live high up in the trees. A marvelous adventure unfolds among these disparate characters which is both beautifully told and fantastically illustrated. It's a must read.


Now The Great Mouse Plot is a true story from Dahl's childhood which had me equal parts chuckling and shocked. It is the story of a singular event which occurred when he was a little boy. He and a few of his friends from school decide to exact revenge against a nasty old lady that runs a sweets shop...and that's all you should know going into this one. Prepare yourself.


And finally The Vicar of Nibbleswicke which was written for the Dyslexia Institute in London. (Dahl and Blake donated their rights to the Institute and it was actually published after Dahl's death.) This is a quick little book about a vicar who just happens to be dyslexic. However, he has conquered the normal form of dyslexia and contracted a new (and fictional) type called Back-to-Front Dyslexia which causes much of what he says to come out backwards. Conversations with his new parishioners, sermons, etc all are said as almost complete gibberish. Much hilarity ensues.


And there's my rundown of 5 Roald Dahl books which you may or may have heard of but which you most definitely should read.

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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text 2016-02-01 00:27
Rilla of Ingleside - L.M. Montgomery

Though commendable for exposing children to the effects of war upon families within a small town, the novel reads like wartime propaganda. Even though Montgomery hints at a character’s fate in her earlier novels, the way it is achieved is rather idealistic and unnatural. This “ending” can be rather disappointing for a modern reader who has been exposed to many examples of realistic portrayals of the effects of World War I upon individuals and families. As well, the constant reinforcement of how the character’s fate is achieved is unrealistic as well, given the circumstances. 


Also, the romantic elements of the story pale in comparison to the development of Anne and Gilbert’s relationship in the preceding novels. Like many wartime romances, the romance here somehow spontaneously manifests itself. While this inclusion is warranted, a few looks and brief exchanges over a handful of meetings and letters is simply not enough to convey to the reader a true meeting of kindred spirits.

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text 2015-12-29 12:59
Bookhaul #22

This is just a short bookhaul (only two books) but my plan is to not to buy any anytime soon, so I just wanted to show you these two.

First I got the Vintage Children's edition of The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas. I read this book two years ago for school and absolutely loved (well...) it, but I never owned a copy. I came across this one and because I also want to re-read it, I decided to buy it, This cover is absolutely beautiful! Oh and I also realised that this book only excists 10 years (in 2016) and it's already classified as a classic... what?! I thought it was written in the '70 or something.


Another Country is one of those books that I wanted for so long, but never bought it because there was that issue with this edition. Everywhere online I saw the same isbn with a different cover and I only wanted this one. Last week I decided to mail the company (site) that showed this cover because I wanted to be sure that if I order it, I really would receive this edition and I did! I'm so happy you guys.


I also received thos character cards from Victoria Schwab. These cards match with the characters from Vicious and they are so beautiful!


This will be the last bookhaul for a while (lol, lie!) so yea.


What is your latest book purchase?

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review 2015-12-12 02:40
A trip to Narnia
The Chronicles of Narnia - C.S. Lewis,Pauline Baynes

Depending upon who you ask, the series begins with The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe OR it begins with The Magician's Nephew. I prefer to begin with The Magician's Nephew as it's technically the prequel (although written second to last) and sets up the creation of Narnia (the lamppost!). It follows Digory and Polly as they are forcefully transported to Narnia by Digory's not-so-nice aka totally evil uncle, Before they reach Narnia, however, the reach other lands in other realms and on one of these they meet Jadis who is Evil. (The capitalization is definitely warranted and she's worth mentioning as you'll see later in the series.) This is also the book that introduces the reader to Aslan, the lion. 


Next is the one I think most people are familiar with: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. In this book, we are introduced to the Pevensie children: Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy. We're also meeting Digory again except now he's much older and a Professor. We travel to Narnia which is now fully formed (and through a rather unique portal which I don't want to spoil for the uninitiated) and a battle of good vs evil ensues against the White Witch (hello Jadis!). The children discover that they are worth sterner stuff than they had imagined and Aslan rewards them with something a little snazzier than a plaque. This should definitely be categorized as coming-of-age.


I bet you think that Prince Caspian is the next book in the series. Well, you're wrong! It's The Horse and His Boy. This book follows two Narnians (the horses) on a journey back to their homeland with outsiders (two children) who are running away from their lives. This story is quite different from the rest of the series as it takes place during the Golden Age of Narnia (it is difficult not to be spoiler-y isn't it?). It focuses on Shasta, Bree, Aravis, and Hwin. If nothing else, C.S. Lewis was a master at names. 


Following The Horse and His Boy is Prince Caspian. By this time, the Pevensie children have returned to our world and a short time has passed. They often think of Narnia but for Peter and Susan it is less and less like a real place. Then BOOM they are suddenly thrust back into Narnia as a cry for help is sounded by Caspian. 1000 years have passed in Narnia and Aslan is missing. The people are in dire need of help and it's up to the Pevensies and their new friend, Caspian, to save everyone.


The Voyage of the Dawn Treader is a favorite of mine because it introduces a character which goes through such a transformation that to meet him at the start is to hardly recognize him by the finish. This is Eustace Scrubb. Eustace and his two cousins, Edmund and Lucy Pevensie, find themselves in Narnia and on a boat in the ocean. There's a surprise awaiting them aboard the ship in the form of an old friend (hello spoiler, my old friend) and it's discovered that he and his crew are on an epic quest. It's very nearly a pirate's tale, ya'll. The ending still manages to bring me to tears.


We are again on an adventure with Eustace in The Silver Chair but this time he's accompanied by his new friend, Jill Pole. They are called to Narnia by Aslan to help Caspian, now an old man, find his son. They are aided by Puddleglum who is a Marsh-Wiggle and if you don't grit your teeth he might drive you crazy.


Here we are at the end with The Last Battle which is just as the name suggests. There is a final battle of good vs evil. Jill and Eustace return to help Narnia which is under seige by Shift, an ape, who tricks a donkey into impersonating Aslan (I just read that back and trust me it makes sense if you read the book). By the end of the book you see the true meaning behind everything that has gone before and Aslan is revealed as his true self.

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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