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review 2017-09-12 02:05
Is a Worry Worrying You? by Harriet May Savitz and Ferida Wolff
Is a Worry Worrying You? - Marie LeTourneau,Ferida Wolff,Harriet May Savitz

Genre:  Inspiration / Horror / Humor / Monsters


Year Published: 2005


Year Read:  2017

Publisher:  Tanglewood Publishing Inc

 

Source: eARC (NetGalley)

 

 

Worry

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

Now, I have read many children’s books that is usually either a straight up horror story or a straight up morality tale. But, I had never come across a children’s book that had both horror and life lessons for children all combined into one story until I had requested another children’s book from NetGalley called “Is a Worry Worrying You?” “Is a Worry Worrying You?” is a children’s book written by Ferida Wolff and Harriet May Savitz along with illustrations by Marie Letourneau and it is definitely one of the most creative and haunting children’s books I had ever read!

This book is basically about helping children deal with being worried about certain situations by showing their worries in the form of a monster that is constantly hounding the characters in the book. The book would put the characters in certain situations such as worrying about a hundred elephants coming for tea and you realize that you ran out of tea for the elephants to drink. So, the solution to the problem would be to offer the elephants lemonade instead, helping you not to worry so much during that situation and finding a reasonable solution to your problem.

Wow! I cannot believe that I just got around to reading this book (it was published in 2005, and I just discovered it on NetGalley)! Ferida Wolff and Harriet May Savitz both did a fantastic job at writing this book as I loved the idea about the concept of worry being portrayed as a scary monster that invades the characters’ homes every time the character in the story is dealing with a problem that causes them to worry! I also loved the fact that the story helps give out advice to young children about how to deal with worrisome situations such as finding a solution to take when dealing with such a situation. Probably my most favorite problem-solving situation that was shown in this book was the one where you have a group of elephants in your home who all want to have some tea and you do not have any tea left to give them. Instead, you decided to give the elephants some lemonade in place of the tea to solve the problem! Marie Letourneau’s artwork is surprisingly creepy in this book, which is much different from her work in “Argyle Fox.” I loved the fact that Marie Letourneau’s artwork is highly reminiscent of the character designs from the Tim Burton films with the characters having large rounded eyes with dark shadings underneath the eyes and also having tall and lanky bodies that make them look unnatural. I also loved the image of the worry monster itself as it is drawn as a blue monster with a mischievous evil grin on its face and it was quite entertaining seeing the monster pop up on each page whenever someone faces a situation that worries them.

Worry

Parents should know that the illustrations in this book might be a bit too creepy for some small children to handle, especially the images of the worry monster as it looks pretty threatening in the pages it appears in; especially whenever it is stalking the characters in the book. Parents might want to read this book first to see if their children can handle such creepy images.

Overall, “Is a Worry Worrying You?” is a truly fantastic and unique children’s book that would greatly help children overcome their worries in life and find reasonable solutions in conquering their worries! I would recommend this book to children ages five and up since the imagery might scare some small children.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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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 2017-09-12 01:33
Superman and the Miserable, Rotten, No Fun, Really Bad Day by Dave Croatto
Superman and the Miserable, Rotten, No Fun, Really Bad Day - Dave Croatto,Tom Richmond

Genre:  Parody / Children's / Superheroes / Humor


Year Published: 2017


Year Read:  2017

Publisher:  Mad Books

Source: eARC (Edelweiss)

 

Superman

I would like to thank Edelweiss and Mad Books for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

I remembered I used to watch Mad TV when I was little and I was a bit curious about this new parody book involving Superman that Mad Books had created and I managed to request it from Edelweiss. Since I was familiar with Mad TV, I was wondering if this was going to be a vulgar parody of Superman. BUT, I WAS WRONG! “Superman and the Miserable, Rotten, No Fun, Really Bad Day” which is written by Dave Croatto along with artwork by Tom Richmond is a clever and hilarious parody on the popular children’s classic “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” and it is definitely one parody that will have you rolling on the floor laughing!

The story starts off with Superman having trouble getting up in the morning as he accidentally stepped on his glasses and also realized at that moment that he may have sleep walked during the night. It was then that Superman found out that he was going to have a very bad day and man was he right! When Superman was on his way to work, he had to fight Doomsday, but in doing so, he ended up coming to work late and his boss Perry ended up yelling at him in front of everyone. Then, when Superman went to the Justice League, he was forced to do monitor duty, which was a job he really hated doing. Superman then thinks about moving to the Fortress of Solitude.

Will Superman’s day get even worse from here? 

Read this book to find out!
 


Wow! This…was…so…amazing!!! I have always loved parodies of my favorite franchises (provided that they are done right) and this was one parody that I felt was done right! Dave Croatto has done a fantastic job at writing this book as it not only greatly parodies “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day,” but it also sticks closely to the Superman mythos such as mentioning characters like Lois Lane, Jimmy and Perry White, the Fortress of Solitude and Superman’s time in the Justice League. I also loved the way that Dave Croatto weaved these two worlds together and manages to create a unique and hilarious take on the everyday life of Superman. Probably, some of my favorite parts in this book was the part where Superman busted up his shampoo bottle when he let loose his heat vision by accident and the part where Superman did not get the chance to ride in Wonder Woman’s invisible jet! Tom Richmond’s artwork was truly creative and greatly captures the feel of the artwork in “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.” I especially loved the fact that Superman is the only character in color while all the other characters are in black and white as it shows that Superman is the main focus of this story and it shows how he views each bad situation he gets into.

Superman

Overall, “Superman and the Miserable, Rotten, No Fun, Really Bad Day” is a truly fantastic read for children who enjoyed reading “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” and who enjoyed reading “Superman” comics! I would recommend this book to children ages five and up since there is nothing inappropriate in this book.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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