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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-06-23 19:23
Encore for Eleanor by Bill Peet
Encore for Eleanor - Bill Peet

Title:  Encore for Eleanor

Author:  Bill Peet

Genre:  Animals / Children's / Circus / Artist

Year Published: 1981

Year Read:  2010

Houghton Mifflin Company

Source:  Library

Content Rating:  Ages 4+  (Nothing Objectionable)




“Encore for Eleanor” is a cute story by Bill about an old elephant named Eleanor who was once a great circus performer, but was moved to the zoo when she got too old to play her part. It was then at the zoo that Eleanor learns a new special ability that might jumpstart her career again. “Encore for Eleanor” is a great book for children who want to discover new talents for themselves and realize that everyone is special in their own way.

Eleanor the elephant was once a great circus star who would stand on stilts and impressed the audience to no end. One day however, since Eleanor has been performing in the circus for forty years, Eleanor’s knees were weak and suddenly, she fell off the stilts and landed on the floor with a hard crash! Eleanor began to worry that her boss, Colonel T.J. Tinglehoffer was going to send her away because of her ruining her act by falling off the stilts. Sure enough, Colonel Tinglehoffer did send Eleanor away to the zoo and Eleanor bade a tearful goodbye to her friends at the circus. 
Even though Eleanor had plenty to eat and good home to stay in, she still missed the circus life and was miserable because she felt like she could not do anything extraordinary like she used to do in the circus. One day, however Eleanor awoke to find a teenage girl trying to draw a rhinoceros on her canvas. Of course, when the rhinoceros moved and girl could not draw the rhinoceros, the girl became angry and threw her charcoal to the ground. Eleanor was so interested in what the girl was doing, that she wanted to learn how to draw also. So, when the girl went off to see some ducks in the pond, Eleanor slyly picked up the charcoal and she decided to draw one of the clowns from the circus. However, Eleanor was soon discovered drawing the picture by the teenage girl and the teenage girl was so impressed by the drawing that she decided to show the picture to everyone. Everyone was impressed except for Mr. McJunkens, who did not believe that Eleanor drew the clown. Eleanor was so mad that she grabbed the charcoal and… 

What does Eleanor draw and will she able to convince Mr. McJunkens that she can really draw? 

Read the rest of the book to find out! 

Bill Peet’s story of an old elephant who wants to be special again is extremely cute and brilliant for children to read. The scene that stood out the most for me was the scene where Eleanor learns how to draw after she witnesses the teenage girl drawing the rhinoceros. That scene was so amazing because you would have never imagined an elephant drawing such a great picture and drew the picture in a matter of seconds. Bill Peet’s illustrations are beautiful and detailed, especially of the image of Eleanor herself as she looks beautiful in her circus outfit and yet, she maintains wise appearance throughout the story telling the audience that she has indeed aged after performing in the circus for forty years.

“Encore for Eleanor” is a great book about the importance of trying out new activities in life to keep your life going and will surely encourage many children to follow what they believe in and do many new things in their lives. 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 2018-01-09 18:31
The Widow's Broom by Chris Van Allsburg
The Widow's Broom - Chris Van Allsburg

Title:  The Widow's Broom

Author:  Chris Van Allsburg

Genre:  Horror / Witches / Halloween 

Year Published: 1992

Year Read: 2010

Publisher:   Houghton Mifflin Company

Source:  Library

Content Rating:  Ages 5+  (Intense Themes of Witchcraft)



“The Widow’s Broom” is a haunting story from the great mind of Chris Van Allsburg and it is about how a lonely widow named Minna Shaw finds a friend in a witch’s broom, but is threatened by the villagers to get rid of the broom because the know that it is witch crafted. “The Widow’s Broom” may have some controversial material about witchcraft, but it is a brilliant read for children who love haunting stories.

Chris Van Allsburg makes this story haunting yet memorable at the same time as it details the story of friendship between a widow and her broom and the bond that Minna Shaw and the broom share together will definitely show children about the importance of friendship even in the worse of times such as when the broom was being harassed by the villagers because it was witch crafted. Chris Van Allsburg’s illustrations are highly beautiful and haunting at the same time as the images are mainly in black and white giving the story a haunting and old fashioned feel since this story probably took place during the 1700s and the image that stood out the most was the image of the broom itself as its handle actually curves when it is doing the work for Minna and because the broom looks so innocent and friendly, many children would actually like the broom instead of fear it.


Parents should know that the theme of witchcraft in this book might be too sensitive to readers who do not approve of witchcraft, even though personally, this subject does not bother me so much since I am a huge fan of Harry Potter, but the broom in this book was friendly and he only threw up the Spivey boys and the dog because they were harassing the broom. Depending on your views on the subject on witchcraft, parents should talk about this book with their children and see how they handle the witchcraft theme.

“The Widow’s Broom” is a brilliant book about the importance of true friendship and will be an instant treat for children who love reading haunting books. I would recommend this book to children ages five and up due to the witchcraft theme might be scary for smaller children.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog


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review 2017-12-21 00:12
Late in the Day: Poems 2010-2014
Late in the Day: Poems 2010–2014 - Ursula K. Le Guin



Mind draws the lines between the stars

that let the Eagle and the Swan

fly vast and bright and far

above the dark before the dawn.


Between two solitary minds

as far as Deneb from Altair,

love flings the unimaginable line

that marries fire to fire.


This short collection was my first encounter of Le Guin's poetry. I enjoyed it. I liked how she tried different themes and different styles and structures. 


Not all of the poems spoke to me, but some did, and that is all I look for.

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text 2017-12-09 12:11
16 Tasks of the Festive Season - Square #9: Winter Solstice and Yalda Night
Late in the Day: Poems 2010–2014 - Ursula K. Le Guin

Book themes for Winter Solstice and Yaldā Night: Read a book of poetry, or a book where the events all take place during the course of one night, or where the cover is a night-time scene.


Despite the snow, my postie managed to make his rounds yesterday. Two Le Guins, one of which will qualify for a book square because it is a book of poetry.


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text 2017-11-20 16:15
Trust Me on This by Jennifer Crusie $1.99
Trust Me on This - Jennifer Crusie

Dennie Banks is an investigative reporter chasing down the biggest story of her career. Alec Prentice is a government agent working undercover to catch an elusive grifter. When they meet by accident, it’s a case of mistaken identities at first sight. What they don’t mistake is the instant attraction they have for each other, an attraction they’ll do everything in their power to resist—because Dennie thinks that Alec is running interference for her interview subject, and Alec suspects that Dennie is linked to his swindler. As the confusion grows, so do their feelings for each other, and what begins as a romantic comedy of errors may just end in the love affair of a lifetime.

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