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review 2017-09-12 01:57
Fowl Language: The Struggle is Real by Brian Gordon
Fowl Language: The Struggle Is Real - Brian Gordon

Genre:  Humor / Parenting / Parody / Animals

 

Year Published: 2017


Year Read:  8/12/2017 

Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing, LLC 

Series: Fowl Language #2

Source: eARC (NetGalley)

 

Fowl

I would like to thank NetGalley and Andrews McMeel Publishing for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Introduction: 

A couple of years ago, I had read a graphic novel called “Tales from the Crib” which was written by Henrik Drescher and it detailed the struggles of parenting in a humorous way. Several years later, I came across this interesting new graphic novel that I received from NetGalley called “Fowl Language: The Struggle is Real” which is by Brian Gordon and it also details the struggles of being a parent in a humorous way and I enjoyed this graphic novel as much as I enjoyed “Tales from the Crib!” 

What is this story about? 

This graphic novel is basically about the main character, who is a male fowl, trying to deal with his two children and the graphic novel goes into the ups and downs of being a parent such as; trying to get some peace and quiet while the kids are gone, trying to find other adults to talk to after spending so much time with your own children and trying to get your child to go to sleep. Also, this graphic novel shows that despite all the craziness that you are put through when dealing with your children, you still love them in the end!

What I loved about this story: 

Brian Gordon’s writing: Oh my gosh! I still cannot stop laughing after reading this graphic novel! Brian Gordon has done a fantastic job at writing this graphic novel as I really enjoyed the harsh trials of being a parent being shown in a humorous and satirical way! I loved seeing the scenes where the father duck is trying so hard to deal with his children, while trying to get some peace and quiet, whenever his kids are away as it does hit home for many parents who have to cope with dealing with their children’s demands. But at the same time, this graphic novel shows the struggles that parents have to go through with their children in such a hilarious way that I cannot help but laugh at the father duck’s misfortune at dealing with his kids! Probably two of my most favorite moments in this graphic novel was one where the father duck is imagining a parody for the TV series “24” by titling it “21” and the joke here is that the father duck has to find a TV program that his kids would sit down and watch so he can have time to do the chores around the house (luckily, the program that the kids are watching is ninety minutes long, giving him even more time to do his chores). The other moment I enjoyed was the one where the father duck is trying to explain to his kids about what a record player and a CD is since the kids are only familiar with YouTube and it reminded me of the few times where I try to explain to some little kids about what a CD player is since some of them grew up listening to music on an iPhone or through YouTube.

Brian Gordon’s artwork: Brian Gordon’s artwork is both cute and hilarious to look at as are all the ducks in this graphic novel are drawn in a cute squat style and I especially loved the images of the father duck having wide popped out eyes whenever he gets shocked or annoyed by his kids’ hijinks. The simplistic style of the artwork also brings out the humor in the situations that the characters get into as the highlight of the artwork is seeing the ducks’ reactions to whatever hilarious situations they all get into.

Fowl

What made me feel uncomfortable about this story: 

For anyone who does not like strong language, there is some usage of the “f” and “s” words respectively and some readers might be taken aback by the coarse language clashing with the cute artwork displayed in this graphic novel.

Final Thoughts: 

Overall, “Fowl Language: The Struggle is Real” is a hilarious read for adults who are parents or are becoming parents and want to find a book that pokes fun at the tough trials of parenting! I am definitely going to be reading the rest of this series pretty soon!

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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review 2017-09-12 01:50
Swimmy by Leo Lionni
Swimmy - Leo Lionni

Title:  Swimmy

Author:  Leo Lionni

Genre:  Animals / Drama / Family / Danger


Year Published: 1963


Year Read:  2010

Publisher:  Alfred A. Knopf

Source:  Library

Content Rating:  Ages 5+ (Some Scary Scenes and Death of a Family Member)

 

 

Swimmy

I have have heard works from Dr. Seuss, Maurice Sendak, Marc Brown and David Wiesner, but I have finally stumbled upon some works that came from my childhood a long time ago and those works consist of Leo Lionni! “Swimmy” is a Caldecott Honor book by Leo Lionni and it is about how an unusual little fish named Swimmy, who survives a giant fish attack, tries to find another family to live with. “Swimmy” may have an intense scene with the big fish that might frighten small children, but I am pretty sure that most children will easily enjoy this book!

Once there lived a happy school of small fish who were all red except for one fish was black and his name was Swimmy. One terrible day however, a huge tuna fish came by and swallowed up all of the red fish except for Swimmy who had escape from the huge tuna. Swimmy, now the sole survivor of a tuna attack, then swims around in the deep watery world by himself in order to find a new family to be in.

Will Swimmy find a new family?

Read this book to find out!
 


Never have I read a children's book that has both effective drawings and a heartwarming story at the same time as Leo Lionni has made this book! Leo Lionni has done an excellent job at both illustrating and writing this book as it details the adventures of a unique black fish named Swimmy. Leo Lionni's illustrations might look a little bit simplistic, however, they are extremely effective and colorful, especially of the images of the underwater world where it seems that Leo Lionni took a piece of sponge and patted the background with the painted sponge, which really brings out the creativity of the images of the underwater world. The image that truly stood out the most for me was the image of Swimmy himself as he is shown to be the only black fish among a group of red fishes, who merely look like red outlines of fish. Leo Lionni has certainly made this book extremely intense yet heartwarming at the same time as I have felt sympathy for Swimmy after he lost his family to a tuna fish and I can understand how many children and adults will also sympathize with Swimmy's predicament, especially if they lost loved ones to an accident.

Swimmy

Parents should know that at the beginning of this book, Swimmy's family is eaten by a giant tuna fish and that might be too upsetting for smaller children to handle. On a side note, this scene strongly reminds me of a scene in “Finding Nemo” where Marlon's family except Nemo is also eaten by a huge fish and how Marlon has to cope with protecting his only son from anymore danger. Parents might want to discuss about death of a family member with their children before they read them this book.

Overall, “Swimmy” is a highly emotional and heartwarming book for children who have also lost their family members and how they can still find love among friends and other family members. I personally would recommend this book to anyone who loves Leo Lionni's works and learning about what it takes to be a true family. I would recommend this book to children ages five and up since the scene where the big fish eats all the other fish might scare smaller children.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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review 2017-09-12 01:45
The Little Red Wolf by Amelie Flechais
The Little Red Wolf - Amélie Fléchais,Andrea Colvin

Genre:  Drama / Fairy Tale / Retelling / Animals / Horror / France


Year Published: 2017


Year Read:  8/9/2017 

Publisher: Lion Forge

Source: eARC (NetGalley)

 

Red

I would like to thank NetGalley and Lion Forge for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Introduction: 

Now, I have been reading fairy tale retellings for many years and I had read retellings of stories like “Cinderella,” “The Three Little Pigs,” “Sleeping Beauty” and “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.” So, imagine my surprise and delight in seeing this new retelling of “Little Red Riding Hood” from NetGalley called “The Little Red Wolf” by Amélie Fléchais and I just had to pick this book up! After I read this book, I have to say that this was one of the most creative and heartbreaking retellings of “Little Red Riding Hood” I had ever read!

What is this story about? 

The story starts off with a family of wolves living in the roots of a tree and the smallest wolf in the family was called Little Red Wolf because he would wear a red cape all the time. One day, Little Red Wolf’s mother wanted him to take a nice plump rabbit to his grandmother, since his grandmother cannot hunt anymore due to her losing her teeth. But just before Little Red Wolf made his journey to his grandmother’s house, his mother warned him about a human hunter and his daughter and that he should stay away from them at all costs. As Little Red Wolf journeyed through the forest, he began to feel hungry and he started eating the rabbit that he was supposed to give to his grandmother piece by piece. When Little Red Wolf ate all of the rabbit, he began to cry since he was supposed to give that rabbit to his grandmother and he had no idea how he will get another rabbit to give to his grandmother. It was then that a little girl came up to Little Red Wolf and said that she could give him a rabbit if he followed her to her home.

Will this girl help Little Red Wolf get another rabbit for his grandmother or does she have some kind of malicious agenda for Little Red Wolf?

Read this book to find out!
 


What I loved about this story: 

Amélie Fléchais’ writing: Wow! Just…wow! I never would have thought that I would ever read a “Little Red Riding Hood” retelling told from the wolf’s perspective (even though I had read a parody book of the “Three Little Pigs” told from the wolf’s perspective called “The True Story of the Three Little Pigs”). Amélie Fléchais has done a fantastic job at retelling the classic “Little Red Riding Hood” story from the wolf’s point of view as the wolf presented here is shown as being more sympathetic than the hunter and the young girl compared to the original story and that is what made this such a unique and creative read for me! I like the fact that the wolf here is presented as a young cub who does not know about the dangers of being around a hunter and is actually innocent of any wrongdoing in this story (well, except for accidentally eating all of the rabbit he was supposed to give to his grandmother). I also loved the mysterious and intense atmosphere that Amélie Fléchais provided in this story as I was sitting on the edge of my seat trying to see if any horrible disaster will befall Little Red Wolf and how he would be able to handle himself (or who would help him out) if he got into such a scary and dangerous situation.

Amélie Fléchais’ artwork: Amélie Fléchais’ artwork is probably the highlight of this book as all the images are drawn in watercolor paintings, which makes the imagery so gorgeous to look at. I also loved the haunting feel that Amélie Fléchais shows in the artwork as the illustrations are mostly in dark colors and it gives the story a mysterious and eerie feel, especially during the scenes where Little Red Wolf gets lost in the forest. But, probably my most favorite image in this book was the image of Little Red Wolf himself as he is drawn in an extremely adorable manner as he has large puppy dog eyes and a small cute nose that really brings out his innocent and adorable nature.

Red

What made me feel uncomfortable about this story: 

For anyone who does not like scary moments in graphic novels or novels in general, there are some intense scenes in this book that might scare younger readers, such as Little Red Wolf getting lost in the forest and the danger of possibly encountering the huntsman and his daughter. 
Also, I felt that the ending was a bit too abrupt and I wished that more was explained about the revelation at the end, rather than just stopping the story as soon as the revelation was being made. All this just made me want to have a sequel to this story so that way, the ending would be made clearer to me than it is now and so that way we can have a more broader expansion on the characters themselves.

Final Thoughts: 

Overall, “The Little Red Wolf” is one retelling of “Little Red Riding Hood” that you should definitely check out, especially if you enjoy hearing classic fairy tales being told from a different perspective! I would recommend this book to children ages six and up since the imagery might scare smaller children.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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review 2017-09-02 12:46
Arrow to the Sun by Gerald McDermott
Arrow to the Sun - Gerald McDermott

Genre:  Native American / Parental Issues / Folktale / Fantasy


Year Published: 1974


Year Read:  2010

Publisher: The Viking Press

Source:  Library

 

 

Arrow

“Arrow to the Sun” is a Caldecott Medal Award winning book by Gerald McDermott that relates an old Pueblo Indian tale about a boy who tries to find his father, the Lord of the Sun and prove himself worthy to be his son. “Arrow to the Sun” is a fun and creative book that many children who love Native American folktales, will easily get into!

Gerald McDermott has done many wonders with both the illustrations and the writing. Gerald McDermott makes the story dramatic and simple at the same time as the writing is often shown on one side of the page and the other side of the page contains mainly images and many children who are adopted can easily relate to the boy as he tries to find his real father and many children can sympathize with the boy as some children might feel like they have to find their real parents to find out about their real heritage, so this story is similar to an adoption story for children who were often adopted and they want to learn more about their real parents. Gerald McDermott’s are extremely colorful as they show all the colorful vibes that you would find in a 70s show as this book was made during the 70s and the illustrations are also highly creative as the characters are all block shaped and there is no real figure to the characters to identify them as human beings as they look like blocks rather than human beings. The image that stood out the most was the image of the boy being turned into an arrow and being shot out into the heavens towards the sun and you can see that the stars also look block shaped but are also done in rainbow colors making the illustration look truly magnificent.

Arrow

“Arrow to the Sun” is a brilliant folktale about the power of courage and determination and many children who love hearing various folktales from the around the world will definitely love this book. I would recommend this book to children ages four and up since there is nothing inappropriate in this book unless smaller children might worry about the boy’s misfortune with the other boys for not having a father in his life.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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review 2017-09-02 12:25
Hockey Karma by Howard Shapiro
Hockey Karma (The Forever Friends Series) - Andres Mossa,Howard N. Shapiro

Genre:  Friendship / School / Drama / Drugs / Sports


Year Published: 2016


Year Read:  7/11/2017

Publisher: Animal Media Group 

Series: Forever Friends Trilogy #3

Source: eARC (NetGalley)

 

 

Hockey

I would like to thank NetGalley and Animal Media Group for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

4.5 stars 

Introduction: 

YAY! NetGalley has sent me the final volume to Howard Shapiro’s hit series “Forever Friends Trilogy” called “Hockey Karma” and I must admit that after I read this graphic novel, it was a worthy conclusion to this series!

What is this story about? 

In this volume, Jeremiah “Jake” Jacobson is now thirty-two years old and is known as being the best hockey player in the world. Unfortunately, because Jake is getting older now and he is starting to lose his edge, especially to new and upcoming star teammate Barclay Pedersen, his family life and career is starting to rapidly come apart. Meanwhile, Tom Leonard has got his own issues to deal with as he is trying to get a project that would help improve their city off the ground. But Jake refuses to help out with the project due to dealing with his addiction to some medical pills to keep him in the game and Tom is wondering if he would ever get the project off the ground. Also, Tom’s old high school crush, Jaelithe returns to town and Tom rekindles his relationship with Jaelithe and the two are thinking about staying together. But unfortunately, Tom will soon discover that he may have to sacrifice his current lifestyle just to maintain a long-lasting relationship with Jaelithe.

Will Jake be able to get his life back together and will Tom soon discover what he really wants for his future?

Read this graphic novel to find out!
 


What I loved about this story: 

Howard Shapiro’s writing: Howard Shapiro’s writing continues to amaze me in this volume as all the characters are written extremely well and I just enjoyed the character development that each character goes through in this story. I loved the way that Howard Shapiro portrayed Jake’s condition as he is still recovering from his alcoholism from the last volume, only this time, he is dependent on pain medication and it realistically shows that even though Jake is trying to get help for his dependence on drugs, he is still struggling with trying to overcome his drug addiction. I also enjoyed the relationship shared between Tom and Jake as Tom is still trying to help Jake become a better person by helping him deal with his drug abuse and trying to help him mend his relationship with his family. I liked the way that Howard Shapiro also gave some focus to Tom in this volume as we finally get to see Tom have some of his story arcs resolved in this volume (him reuniting with his high school band “The Stereotypical Freaks” and him trying to rekindle his relationship with his high school crush Jaelithe) and I enjoyed seeing how much growth Tom goes through when he reunites with his old high school friends.

Andres J. Mossa’s artwork: Andres J. Mossa’s artwork is extremely gorgeous in this volume as all the characters are drawn realistically and seem to glow off the pages. I also loved the fact that Andres J. Mossa’s artwork is much more detailed in this volume than in the previous volumes as it greatly reflects the growing maturity in the stories and as the stories become more mature, the artwork becomes more detailed and realistic in tone.

Hockey

What made me feel uncomfortable about this story: 

The reason why I gave this book a four-and-a-half-star rating was because I felt that pacing was a bit too slow in some places and there was a lot of dialogue going on in this book that sort of slowed down the story a bit. I often had to speed through the dialogue just to get to the meat of the story and I kind of wished that some of the heavy dialogue was trimmed a bit so I could get to the more essential parts of the story.

Final Thoughts: 

Overall, “Hockey Karma” is a great conclusion to Howard Shapiro’s “Forever Friends Trilogy” that really cemented the importance of true friendship and I hope to see more works from Howard Shapiro soon!

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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