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Search tags: childrens-lit
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review 2017-11-18 19:24
A Different Pond
A Different Pond (Fiction Picture Books) - Bao Phi,Thi Bui

It’s early in the morning on a Saturday, yet his father has been up a while getting ready for the day. The streets are empty as the father and his young son set out for the fishing trip, stopping off to get bait, at a business that his father frequently visited. The boy is squeamish about the procedures for fishing, his father is patient and loving with him as he assists his son with the tasks. As the two fishermen patiently wait for a tug on their lines, father tells his son stories about life before coming to America, an emotional subject not frequently visited. As they arrive back home, the sun rising, the father must now get ready for work. It has been a successful morning, they will now have food on the table tonight. Living in America has been hard for this family. As mother and father leave for work, they know that coming home tonight will be special.

 

This story was a relaxing, calm read yet I knew about the hardships that this family was enduring on a daily basis and the ones that they had lived through. This story is about endurance, strength, and family. You could feel the love that lived within this family in the way that they communicated with each other and the way they interacted with each other. I enjoyed this children’s novel.

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text 2017-11-08 19:31
Square 6 task: Read a book involving children
Children's book: Moshe Comes to Visit: Fun Rhyming book about Overcoming fears and positive thinking - Tehila Sade Moyal,Fatima Pires

This was a cute-ish story told in verse. The rhythm wasn't quite right and the rhymes didn't always work, but the story idea was that a mother berated her son for being afraid of monsters under the bed, then got scared when he made a pet of a cockroach! I'm vetting beginning reading books for a 5-year-old relative, so this worked into my reading.

 

Any suggestions from parents, teachers, etc for beginning readers that are more interesting then Dick and Jane for a girl who like Disney princesses?

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review 2017-11-07 21:27
Classics of Childhood, Volume 3: A Christmas Collection ★☆☆☆☆
Classics of Childhood, Volume 3: A Christmas Collection - Various,Celebrity Narrators

Terrible collection, terribly produced. The only worthwhile story was The Gift of the Magi, but the stilted performance could only just barely be distinguished from the thunderingly loud background music – a problem that affected every story except Miracle on 34th Street, which featured the only good reading performance (Carl Reiner). Unfortunately, it couldn’t overcome the terrible writing, because this is *not* the 1947 Valentine Davies story.

 

I could go on enumerating the flaws, but will direct you instead to this much better review.

 

Audiobook, borrowed from my public library via Overdrive.

 

I read this for The 16 Tasks of the Festive Season, Square 16: December 26th-31st - Hogmanay / New year’s eve / Watch night / St. Sylvester’s Day: a book where miracles of any sort are performed (the unexplainable - but good - kind).

 

 

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review 2017-11-06 17:46
Dragonfly Song - Wendy Orr

This was kind of a hard book to review, mostly because it almost falls between genres. It's classed as an upper Middle-Grade historical fantasy, which, that's not wrong . . .

 

I felt like it had more of a classic children's fiction feel to it. It's coming-of-age, and also a sort of epic hero's journey, straddling children's lit and YA in a way that's often done more by adult literary works. It touches on many 'big ideas': deformity, religion/society, acceptance, adoption, trauma, bullying, disability, purpose/identity, fate . . . The format is creative and unique. The story arc stretches from the MC's birth to age 14 and is told in omniscient third person varying with passages in verse.

 

I'm not sure if there was a meaning to the alternating styles; at some points, I thought the dreamlike verse passages were meant to show the MC's perspective in a closer, almost experiential or sensory format as an infant, a toddler, a mute child . . . but then that didn't necessarily carry through, so perhaps it was more to craft an atmosphere for the story.

 

The setting is the ancient Mediterranean, and the story picks up on legends of bull dancing. The world feels distinct, grounded and natural, without heavy-handed world-building. It's a world of gods and priestesses, sacrifice and death and surrender. Humans seem very small within it, and as a children's book, it's challenging rather than comforting. There's death and violence and loss, handled in a very matter-of-fact manner, so I'd recommend it for maybe ages 10+, depending on the child. It's not gratuitously violent or graphic, but it's a raw-edged ancient world where killing a deformed child, having pets eaten by wild animals, beating slaves - including children - and sacrificing people as well as animals to the gods is just part of life. 

 

I was very kindly sent a hardcover edition via the Goodreads Giveaways program, and the book production is lovely. It has a bold, graphic cover with some nice foil accents, a printed board cover (which I prefer for kids books due to the durability), fully illustrated internal section pages, and pleasant, spacious typesetting.

 

Confident, mature young readers will find this an engaging, challenging and meaningful read with an inspiring story arc and some lovely writing. Hesitant readers and very young readers will probably find it a struggle. I'd give it 5/5 as a product, 4/5 as a literary work and 3/5 as kid's entertainment.

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review 2017-10-21 14:37
Book 68/100: The Perfect Pumpkin by Lyn Fletcher
The Perfect Pumpkin - Nora Pelizzari,Lyn Fletcher

In this book, the central conflict arises from two ponies wanting the same pumpkin from a pumpkin patch. Rather than fight over it, they go all Minnesota nice and are like, "No, no, YOU take it, I insist!!" Only in MLP would the tension derive from both parties being too generous! Don't worry -- it all works out in the end.

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