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review 2017-07-14 16:07
Activism in India
Book Uncle and Me - Julianna Swaney,Uma Krishnaswami

Like those of you who come to my blog looking for book recommendations, I often check out book vloggers/bloggers and 'what's new in children's lit' to see what I should be checking out next. That's how I heard about Book Uncle and Me by Uma Krishnaswami. Firstly, I don't think I've ready any children's books from an Indian author before so I was interested to see if the styles would be at all similar and what kind of themes would be explored. Secondly, this book is about two of my favorite things: books and community activism. :-D Our main character, Yasmin, is a voracious reader and she gets all of her books from a lending library run by Book Uncle who sets up his 'shop' on the corner by her apartment building. There is no price for these books and if you want to keep it then that's perfectly okay. Yasmin and many members of her community come to see this little library as a constant in their lives but one day their world is upended because Book Uncle has been told that he must leave. What transpires next is nothing short of inspiring and that's just what I think is so phenomenal about this book. It teaches children that their actions matter and that activism can be accomplished by every member of the community. It's a great way to talk about 'doing your part' that doesn't make it overbearing or heavy-handed. It's also a great way to expose children to a different part of the world. 8/10

 

Note: This book will also make you extraordinarily hungry.

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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review 2017-01-27 13:54
The story of Winnie
Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World's Most Famous Bear - Lindsay Mattick,Sophie Blackall

Isn't it sad when a book comes out and people just seem to be completely unaware of 1. its existence and 2. its level of amazingness? Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World's Most Famous Bear by Lindsay Mattick is one of those hidden gems. I've mentioned before that if a book doesn't circulate it's offered to another branch in the hope that it might do better in a different location. That's how this book landed in my hands (it was also on my TRL).  As the title suggests, this is the story of the bear named Winnie that spawned the Winnie-the-Pooh series by A.A. Milne. It's the heartwarming tale of a man who befriended a baby bear and their journeys together during the tumultuous times of WWI. It's also the story about how this same bear met a little boy who would eventually spur entire generations to hug their teddy bears just a little bit tighter. Additionally, the back of the book contains a really lovely surprise that I don't want to spoil for ya'll. :-) I think this would make a wonderful bedtime read-aloud. You could also encourage your child to read this book aloud to their teddy bear. (Then take lots of photos of it.) Believe it or not, this exercise will help to strengthen your child's confidence in reading aloud to others (or to themselves). As for me, I can't wait for the opportunity to read this one in a storytime. XD 9/10

 

 

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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review 2016-12-27 17:41
To love...with warts and all
Miss Brooks Loves Books! (And I Don't) - Michael Emberley,Barbara Bottner

Today's book came into my life by chance. For those of you who aren't aware, I recently started a new job as a Children's Librarian (hence why there are a TON of picture books about to be reviewed in the coming weeks). Well, we have a listserv where we communicate about programming, crafts, and books that may or may not be circulating in our branches. That is how I came to find Miss Brooks Loves Books (and I don't) written by Barbara Bottner and illustrated by Michael Emberley. From the title and cover alone, I knew this was going to be a winner. When it came to me it was a bit the worse for wear (there was some minor surgery needed) but after I read it through I knew this would be the perfect readaloud book. AND I WAS RIGHT. The story revolves around a little girl who is the antithesis of Miss Brooks who is a very enthusiastic Children's Librarian. This little girl has absolutely no interest in reading or in participating in any of the activities (costuming, poetry, etc.) that Miss Brooks organizes for the other children. As the reader follows along, we continue to see Miss Brooks trying everything in her power to make this little reluctant reader a lover of literature. The illustrations are an absolutely perfect addition as they are humorous, colorful, and accompany the text brilliantly. (Kids find lots to point out and discuss as you're reading.) If you have any reluctant readers in your life this might be just the book to show them that there is a book for everyone. I am so excited that this came into my life when it did and that I can not only share it with the kids but also with all of you. XD 10/10

 

Source: michaelemberley.com

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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review 2016-11-19 00:58
Connecting through letters
84, Charing Cross Road (includes The Duchess of Bloomsbury) - Helene Hanff

If you haven't read 84, Charing Cross Road then you MUST GO READ IT IMMEDIATELY. I had never even heard of this book or this author until I read the review of it in SF where my interest was piqued. The book consists of letters sent between Helene who lived in New York and a man named Frank Doel who worked at an antiquarian bookstore called Marks and Co in London. The first letter was sent by Helene in 1949 and their correspondence continued for 20 years. Eventually, other coworkers from the store would start writing letters to Helene and she would develop a friendship with Frank's wife and daughters. I was so moved by these letters. They were real and beautiful. Helene is hilarious and crotchety. Frank comes across as uptight and somewhat aloof (until Helene breaks him of that). The second half of this book which was not a part of the original print...well I don't want to spoil it for you. Let's just say that it was extraordinarily easy for me to see myself in Helene's place. This is a woman that wrote from the heart and it's like...gosh. Ya'll I can't find the words to describe just how much I loved this book. I want to start right back at the beginning and I just closed the back cover. This has high rereadability. (Google tells me that isn't a real word but I refuse to believe that.) Go forth, readers. You won't regret it. 11/10

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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review 2016-10-07 23:37
Did this author get permission to write a book about me?
The Library - Sarah Stewart,David Small

The Library is simply delightful. Written by Sarah Stewart and illustrated by David Small, it tells the story of a little girl named Elizabeth Brown who was unlike everyone else her age. She was more interested in reading than going to parties. She was fascinated by books instead of boys. She'd prefer to curl up in a big armchair and immerse herself in other worlds than venture into the out-of-doors. In short, this book speaks to the bookworm in all of us. The story combined with the beautiful illustrations make this a picture book must for all ages. It reminds us that it is perfectly okay to be exactly who you are even if others don't quite understand. If you have a passion, then BE PASSIONATE. Elizabeth loves books to such an extent that they eventually overtake her home but rather than make it one of those "well what did you expect" moments that would heap shame on the character the creators of this book applaud her in an absolutely lovely way. (I don't want to spoil it.) I really can't recommend this one highly enough. It didn't receive the title of Outstanding Book of the year in 1995 for nothing. ;-) The title of this post says it all. I felt a connection to this book. I'm sure I wasn't the only one and I think that for children especially it sends a really great message. 10/10

 

AN: For kicks and giggles, I went onto Amazon to read some of the reviews for this book and started at the 2-star reviews (there were three of them). Two of them mentioned the end result of Elizabeth's life as being quite sad but funnily enough it was my favorite part. If you have read or read this book as a result of my post please comment below with your opinion of it. I'd love to hear from you! :-)

 

I love this art style. (This is the author/illustrator of Stitches!)

 

It's like someone has been spying on me.

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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