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review 2014-03-10 14:31
Yotsuba&!, Vol. 08 - Kiyohiko Azuma

Though I should have done this at book 6 or 7, I will do it now. A halfway point review since volume 12 is so far the last one.

This series is absolutely wonderful, the art is top-notch, especially in regards of the background. You can just imagine yourself there, together with all the characters and enjoying your time with them.

So far the volumes have been set in the Summer, though we are now more in Fall and going to Winter. I really like that it is a slow speed, that we don't hurry through the seasons or months, but that all kinds of events are mentioned, festivals are done, beaches are visited and more. Now it is Fall, the leaves are falling, Yotsuba is searching for acorns, clothes are being bought for colder times. 

And then we have the characters. I can say, that it took a bit of time to get used to Yotsuba, but around volume 2 or 3 I start to really like her, she is a wonderful kid, who really enjoys life. And not only the big things, no no, also the small things, like acorns or milk or newspapers. She is so enthusiastic about everything, you can't help but cheer for her, and also laugh at her antics.

Her dad, well he is a bit silly and at first I thought he wouldn't be a too good of a dad, but he is quite strict at times. When Yotsuba does something not good (running away, going outside, bicycling without anyone) he will give her a fitting punishment or tell her it is bad. He also learns her various things and takes care of her so well.

The 3 sisters and their mother bring a lot of fun, but also help with Yotsuba and take care of her. 

Jumbo, the big friend of Yotsuba and her dad, is a really weird, sometimes childish, but also very kind and very generous and will do anything for Yotsuba. 

Then we get to the only character so far that I absolutely hate and wish wasn't around. Yanda. He is obnoxious, childish, annoying and in overall I think he is just a bully and rude. He just walks into the house, while Yotsuba clearly doesn't want it (even when she was alone, which I think is strange of him to do so, because at that time she didn't knew him). Every time he is in the story I just want to skip over the parts. I can't imagine ever liking him, unless something major happens. 

But all in all, it is a wonderful manga, and I would really recommend it. Be prepared to laugh a lot, cheer for various characters and more.

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review 2014-02-24 04:51
A Treasury of Peter Rabbit and Other Stories
A Treasury of Peter Rabbit and Other Stories - Potter Beatrix

One of the few children's books I've revisited lately with my kids that has held up to the high regard I gave it as a child. I was just as enchanted with the illustrations & stories now as I was back then. I could literally see my daughter falling under the same spell, and of course everyone got much enjoyment over the copious use of "his nuts" etc in The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin. #hes9shes5 #itsinevitable

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review 2014-02-03 10:53
How to Heal a Broken Wing - Bob Graham
"No one saw the bird fall."

No one, no one saw how the bird fell down and no one cared to see how it is going with the poor thing. People just walk over it, almost stepping on it. And then, there is a little boy, who sees the bird, runs toward it and picks it up. 

And boy, do I love, love! the mother. Unlike many mothers, while she is hesitant at first, she just picks up the bird, wraps it in her scarf and puts the bird carefully in her bag! Like, wow, GO Mom! 

Then the whole trip back to home, where they meet dad. Together, mom, dad and the kid take care of the bird, making sure it is fed, that it has a warm home and that it is all better before letting the bird go.

The book was just beautiful, I was so sad for the pigeon, no one who cared about it until one little kid. The illustrations are gorgeous and give enough candy for the eye. There is a whole lot of detail in the illustrations, enough that I sometimes forgot about the story to just check out the background. :)

I would really recommend this book to everyone. It is short, but you won't be disappointed.

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review 2013-12-31 18:04
De gele ballon - Charlotte Dematons

Even though this book was in Dutch, I will write my review in English, because this book doesn't contain words at all. It is all just one big, lovely, gorgeous picture book.


And I really really enjoyed it. My boyfriend to by the way. We both had a very enjoyable time finding the yellow balloon, travelling with it as it went, and also finding some recurring characters throughout the book and see what happened to them (like the the thief, the man on the flying carpet and others).


The illustrations themselves are absolutely stunning, it is just a feast for the eyes to discover all the places, discover every little bit about every part of the world. We got the desert, with pyramids, camels and oasis, but you also got mountains, seas (with pirates!) and sooo much more.


I would truly recommend this to everyone. Though the book is short, believe me you will be spending hours on this book. :) Finding new things every time. :)

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review 2013-12-28 07:47
A Monster Calls
A Monster Calls - Patrick Ness,Jim Kay

Additional shelving titles for this one could be: Requires Chocolate (Because Professor Lupin Said So), Have Your Tissue(s) Handy, Even Adults Can Enjoy Illustrations, Everyone Should Read This.


A beautiful story about love, loss, holding on, and letting go... and a breathtaking monster that "goes walking" only in the most dire of circumstances. In this instance, it's for Conor O'Malley as he & his family watch his mother lose her battle to cancer. This book was not what I thought it would be - it was so much more. So lovely and heart wrenching and full of lessons and metaphors and humor and things that make you THINK.


It's always a treat to read a book with such a well-crafted story and told in such beautiful words. My reader's gratitude goes to Siobhan Dowd for her idea, and Patrick Ness who ran with it & made all sorts of trouble.



“If you speak the truth, the monster whispered in his ear, you will be able to face whatever comes.”



“Stories don't always have happy endings."
This stopped him. Because they didn't, did they? That's one thing the monster had definitely taught him. Stories were wild, wild animals and went off in directions you couldn't expect.”



Because humans are complicated beasts, the monster said. How can a queen be both a good witch and a bad witch? How can a prince be a murderer and a saviour? How can an apothecary be evil-tempered but right-thinking? How can a parson be wrong-thinking but good-hearted? How can invisible men make themselves more lonely by being seen?

"I don't know," Connor shrugged, exhausted. "Your stories never made any sense to me."

The answer is that it does not matter what you think, the monster said, because your mind will contradict itself a hundred times each day. You wanted her to go at the same time you were desperate for me to save her. Your mind will believe comforting lies while also knowing the painful truths that make those lies necessary. And your mind will punish you for believing both.

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