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review 2017-11-07 07:47
The Gingerbread Man by Rana Giglio
Harcourt School Publishers Signatures: Rdr: The Gingerbman K the Gingerbread Man - Harcourt Brace

Title:  The Gingerbread Man

Author:  Rana Giglio

Artist: Henrik Drescher

Genre:  Fantasy / Humor / Retelling / Fairy Tale

Year Published: 1997

Year Read: 2017

Publisher:   Harcourt Brace & Company

Source:  Purchased

Content Rating:  Ages 4+  (Some Mischievous Behavior and Scary Imagery)

 

Gingerbread

I have this weird confession to make: I once had a dream about a book that was illustrated by Henrik Drescher that was obscured and in my dream, I ended up buying the book since I am a huge fan of Henrik Drescher’s works. Well, I have to say that that dream actually came TRUE since I just recently bought this rare and obscure book called “The Gingerbread Man” which was retold by Rana Giglio along with artwork by Henrik Drescher and I have to admit that this book was a blast to read!

This book is basically a short version of the original fairy tale “The Gingerbread Man” and it pretty much retells the story about how an old couple bakes a gingerbread man and the gingerbread man ends up coming to life and running away from the couple, while yelling out:

“Run, run,
As fast as you can.
You can’t catch me.
I’m the gingerbread man!”


Will the gingerbread man escape the couple, the horse, the cow and the fox?

Read this book to find out!
 


Wow…just wow...this had to be the weirdest yet most creative version of “The Gingerbread Man” I had ever read! I have to warn you though that this little children’s book is only EIGHT PAGES LONG! Not the usual 63 pages you get from most children’s books…EIGHT!!! So, I was quite surprised at how much of the original “Gingerbread Man” story they were able to get in such a short book, but it eventually worked out alright as this book serves to be an outline of sorts about how the “Gingerbread Man” story is told. Rana Giglio did a great job at retelling this classic fairy tale as the narrative is short and simple enough to read through and it really conveys the true story of the Gingerbread Man through just a few words on each page. But, the true highlight of this book is none other than Henrik Drescher’s colorful and bizarre illustrations as they bring this book to life and we are treated to a livelier version of the “Gingerbread Man” than ever before! I was intrigued with the artwork of the gingerbread man itself as it is drawn much more differently than the average look for the character as the gingerbread man is much more human like in appearance and it has wobbly limbs instead of short and thick limbs like it usually does in most adaptations.

I will admit that I was a bit disappointed that this book was a bit too short since I wanted to see more of Henrik Drescher’s artwork through a much more extended version of the story. I also will admit that I was a bit freaked out by the gingerbread man itself as while it is quite a unique design for the character, the fact that it has such wobbly limbs and oddly shaped eyes just put me on edge. I mean, just look at this thing!

Gingerbread

Overall, “The Gingerbread Man” is an instant treat for anyone who wants to read a more obscure version of the classic fairy tale! I would recommend this book to children ages four and up since the images of the gingerbread man might scare some small children.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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review 2017-11-07 07:39
The Frog Prince by Mike Klaassen
The Frog Prince: The Brothers Grimm Story Told as a Novella (Klaassen's Classic Folktales) - Mike Klaassen

Title:  The Frog Prince

Author:  Mike Klaassen

Genre: Fairy Tale Retelling / Historical Romance

Year Published: 2016

Number of Pages:  114 pages

 

Date Read: 9/24/2017

 

Publisher:  Bookbaby

Source:  eARC (Book Unleashed)

Content Rating:  Ages 8+ (Some Intense Moments and Rude Behavior)

 

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

Now, I have been reading the Brothers Grimm fairy tale classics for many years and I have seen many retellings of their fairy tales such as “Rumpelstiltskin,” “The Bremen Town Musicians” and “Snow White.” But, I had never read a retelling of the “Frog Prince” before and when Book Unleashed gave me a free copy of Mike Klaassen’s retelling of “The Frog Prince,” I just had to check this book out and man was I blown away by this interesting retelling of the classic story!

Young Prince Gerit was out playing around the bog near his father’s kingdom when suddenly, he falls into the bog and could not get out of the water. Then, an old woman named Wibke came along and noticed that Gerit was in trouble. Gerit desperately asks the old woman to help him out of the water and Wibke promised that she will help the prince if the prince promises her that he will take care of her for the rest of his life. Of course, Gerit does not want to take care of the woman, but he agreed to the bargain anyway and Wibke helped Gerit out of the water. Then Gerit tried to break his promise to Wibke by running off to the castle, until Wibke transformed Gerit into a frog and she states that the only way that Gerit will turn back into a prince again is if a princess comes along and kisses him three times. So, Gerit goes on a long journey to find a princess who is willing to kiss him three times and Gerit stumbles upon a kingdom that is ruled by his father, King Egon’s enemy, King Torsten and he finds out that King Torsten has a daughter named Anneliese. Now, Gerit tries to make an effort to get Princess Anneliese to kiss him three times or else, he will remain a frog forever!

Wow…just wow…I never would have thought that I would read a retelling of “The Frog Prince” with so much energy and emotion! Mike Klaassen has done a fantastic job at retelling this classic fairy tale as he gives a more contemporary and in-depth spin to the story. I loved the fact that the story is told from the point of view of the Frog Prince himself and this made Gerit into an extremely interesting character as we get to see how he was like before he turned into a frog and we also get to see his struggles in becoming a frog and trying to find a way to change himself back into a prince. I also loved the character development that both Prince Gerit and Anneliese go through as they both started off as royal brats who only thought about themselves and believe that they will get anything they want because they are of royalty. However, the events of the story caused the characters to grow and understand the harsh situations that they are thrown into, such as the fact that their kingdoms are being involved in a war and how both Gerit and Anneliese may have to sacrifice their happiness in order to save their kingdoms. I loved the way that Mike Klaassen developed Gerit and Anneliese’s relationship with each other as I enjoyed the interactions that the two had with each other, such as playing ball together and talking about their favorite books. I also felt that Gerit and Anneliese’s growing relationship with each other was developed in a natural way and it felt more real than in the original fairy tale as the two did not love each other at first, but started developing feelings for each other over the course of the story, which I found to be pretty refreshing!

The only problem I had with this book was that the ending felt a bit rushed. It felt like they wanted to quickly skip to the ending of the original fairy tale and did not developed the resolution of the story a bit further to see how the actions of the characters would affect the overall scheme of the story. 

Overall, “The Frog Prince” is a brilliant retelling of the original fairy tale and anyone who is a huge fan of the “Frog Prince” will easily enjoy this book!

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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review 2017-11-07 07:33
When a Texan Gambles by Jodi Thomas
When a Texan Gambles - Jodi Thomas

Title:  When a Texan Gambles

Author:  Jodi Thomas

Genre: Historical Romance

Year Published: 2003

Number of Pages:  304 pages

 

Date Read: 3/11/2011

Series: Wife Lottery #2

Publisher:  Berkley Books

Source:  Library

Content Rating:  Ages 16+ (Some Language and Gun Violence)

 

I have been currently reading Jodi Thomas's “Wife Lottery” series and after I have just finished the first book of the series, “The Texan's Wager,” which starred Bailee Moore and Carter McKoy, I finally got the chance to read the second book of the series, “When a Texan Gambles.” “When a Texan Gambles” stars Sarah Andrews and Sam Gatlin and boy, do they have wild adventures throughout this book! Expect a whole lot of drama, adventure and romance in this exciting sequel to “The Texan's Wager!”

After Sarah Andrews confessed to the murder of Zeb Whitaker along with her friends Bailee and Lacy, she was auctioned off in a “Wife Lottery” and ends up with a man named Sam Gatlin. Things were not going well for Sarah until she realized that Sam was stabbed in the back with a knife! Now that Sarah has taken care of Sam's wounds, she will soon discover that she is probably married to the most dangerous man the west have ever known!

Wow! I think this had to be the most action-packed story out of the entire “Wife Lottery” series so far! Jodi Thomas has done an awesome job at providing action throughout this novel, which just had me sitting on the edge of my seat every time I read about Sam and Sarah's escapades in escaping from various crooks who are after Sam's neck! What I really loved about this book were the characters themselves and my favorite characters in this book were Sam Gatlin and Sarah Andrews! I will admit that I really adored Sarah's spunk and kindness towards others as she is an innocent yet kind-hearted woman and I loved the way that she is willing to help anyone in their time of need, which includes helping various families reunite with each other. I also loved the little arguments that Sarah has with Sam because they were so cute and they always seem to make up at the end. Now, I am saving the best character for last and that is the sexiest and bravest cowboy to ever walk the planet, Sam Gatlin! Sam Gatlin is probably the most amazing romance heroes ever created because he is one-hundred percent all muscle on the outside and has a huge heart on the inside and that is what I like about my romance heroes! Here's what I think Sam Gatlin might look like:

cowboy

Now, this book does not just have adventure, it also has hot and sizzling romantic scenes! The sexual moments between Sarah and Sam were just so steamy that I was literally fanning myself every time I read these scenes between Sarah and Sam!

The reason why I gave this book a four star rating is because I often got a little frustrated with Sarah throughout the book because she does not seem to trust Sam enough and she rarely reciprocates her feelings for Sam. Now, I do understand that she is a little reluctant in loving someone again because of her empty relationship with Mitchell, her first husband, but sometimes I think that Sarah tends to go a little overboard with telling off Sam about showing his love for her and also the fact that Sarah keeps telling Sam about the rules of love sort of makes me a little uncomfortable because I always love seeing how love comes naturally to romance heroes and heroines, rather than base it on a set of rules.

Overall, “When a Texan Gambles” is a great sequel to “The Texan's Wager” that romance fans of Jodi Thomas's works will greatly enjoy. I am definitely looking forward to reading the third book in the series “A Texan's Luck” next!

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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review 2017-11-07 07:26
The Tooth That's on the Loose! by Chris Robertson
The Tooth That's On the Loose! - Chris Robertson

Title:  The Tooth That's on the Loose!

Author:  Chris Robertson

Genre:  Teeth / Humor / Western / Parody

Year Published: 2017

Year Read: 2017

Publisher:  Xist Publishing

Source:  eARC (NetGalley)

Content Rating:  Ages 4+  (Some Mischievous Behavior)

 

Tooth

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

4.5 stars
 


I will admit that I had only read a few children’s books that dealt with the theme of children losing their baby teeth (mainly Marc Brown’s “Arthur’s Tooth”). So, when NetGalley offered a children’s book called “The Tooth that’s on the Loose!” by Chris Robertson that has a creative take on children losing their baby teeth, I knew that I had to get this book as soon as possible!

Who is that toothy and wiggly varmint who is running around town, causing mayhem wherever he goes? Tooth Be Wiggly (T.B. Wiggly, for short) that’s who! This outlaw goes around leaving holes in people’s mouths (in other words, taking people’s teeth and causing a hole in their mouths where the teeth used to be) and Sheriff Tex is trying to recruit some kids to help him bring down this outlaw!

Can the kids bring down T.B. Wiggly?

Read this book to find out!
 


I must admit that I was quite impressed with this creative and odd little book! Chris Robertson has done a great job at making a dilemma that kids would have, which is losing their baby teeth at a young age and turn that dilemma into an outlaw villain named T.B. Wiggly, which made this book truly creative and interesting to read! I also liked the fact that Sheriff Tex was the one narrating the story and telling the audience who T.B. Wiggly is and why he has to be stopped as it allows us to explore the world through the characters’ point of view. I really like the way that Chris Robertson is able to incorporate so much humor in this book as I cannot help but laugh at the idea about a living tooth going around causing mayhem wherever he goes! Chris Robertson’s artwork is hilarious and exaggerated to look at, especially of the image of T.B. Wiggly himself as he is a tooth that has a large black mustache and tiny beady eyes that portrays his rugged personality. I also loved the mischievous looks that T.B. Wiggly gives to the audience as it helps lets the audience know that T.B. Wiggly is up to no good! 

Tooth

The reason why I took off half a point from the rating was because I felt that more could have been done with T. B. Wiggly himself as he felt like a one-sided villain of the story whose only purpose of being in this story is to be the generic bad guy who steals people’s teeth. While I understand that T.B. Wiggly is representing the dilemma that young children go through, which is losing their baby teeth, I sort of wished that there was more development to his character besides being the bad guy that would make him stand out more in the story.

Overall, “The Tooth that’s on the Loose!” is a truly creative story for children who are going through losing their baby teeth and want to read a story that tackles this issue in a humorous and creative way! I would recommend this book to children ages four and up since there is nothing inappropriate in this book.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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review 2017-11-07 07:21
Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake by Sarah MacLean
Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake - Sarah MacLean

Title:  Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake

Author:  Sarah MacLean

Genre: Historical Romance

Year Published: 2010

Number of Pages: 397 pages

Date Read: 12/15/2010

Series: Love By Numbers #1

Publisher: Avon 

Source:  Library

Content Rating:  Ages 18+ (Sex Scenes)

 

Nine

After reading so many romance novels with a generous and kind hero, I have finally stumbled upon a romance novel where we have here a “bad boy” hero. “Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake” is an amazing tale by Sarah MacLean about romance, drama, betrayal and lots of love making scenes that will have romance fans flipping over with excitement!

Lady Calpurnia Hartwell (Callie for short) has always wanted more out of her life since her life as a spinster to make a list of nine rules to break to make her life more interesting. While completing her list, Callie meets notorious and handsome rake Gabriel St. John, the Marquess of Ralston (Gabriel or Ralston for short) who she seems to have feelings for since ten years ago. Now Callie’s notorious list will either break her and Gabriel apart or bring them together.

Oh my goodness! Oh my gosh! I have never read a romance novel quite like this before! Sarah MacLean has certainly done an awesome job at writing this wonderful tale of love and betrayal! Now, I will talk about what I loved about the characters and the story. Sarah MacLean has probably created the most controversial yet most memorable characters in romance novels history! Callie is such a headstrong and passionate character, that I just loved her from the beginning! I loved the way that Callie was willing try something different in her life; even if it meant that she has to break the rules of the society she lives in to be a more daring person. Another character that really grew on me was Gabriel St. John and I will admit that when I first read about him, I was so annoyed by his rude and arrogant behavior towards Callie, but once I found out about how his mother had abandoned his family when he was small which caused him to distrust the power of love, I actually felt sympathy for him and when he stood up for Callie, watch out because Ralston truly shows his “bad” side when it comes to Callie! I also loved the fact that Gabriel is a true “bad boy” hero of the story as he has one rude and arrogant attitude, but he truly does have a heart of gold when it comes to protecting Callie. Now onto the juicy parts of this story! There are plenty of love-making scenes in this book from the very beginning to the very end and each love scene in this book will make you literally sweat and tingle all over as the scenes really go into great detail.

This book is basically filed to the brim with sex scenes, so anyone who is uncomfortable with reading about sex scenes might find it a bit difficult to read through this book.

Overall, “Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake” is definitely one of the most irresistible and unique romance novels ever written and any romance fans looking for pure love scenes and “bad boy” heroes will definitely get a kick out of this book!

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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