Friday, August 11, 2017

In a Daze Work by Siobhan Gallagher

A Pick-Your-Path Journey Through the Daily Grind

4 stars

A Choose Your Own Adventure for grownups.

Of sorts.

I found this entertaining, if not actually relatable.

(I am, after all, a stay-at-home-mom to 5 kids... my day doesn't look anything like any of the options)

You wake up-- if it's the weekend go to page..... if it's a work day go to page.....

You get the idea.

Definitely fun.

A good gift idea for a young professional.

(Received for review)

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Dreams of Victory by Ellen Conford

4 stars
jf

You know, they don't write books like this anymore.

I'm not sure what exactly it was about this story of an ordinary girl doing rather incredibly ordinary things, but it was kind of a nostalgic read.

Because of that, I'm not entirely sure what kids today (who are used to today's books) would make of it.

But I enjoyed it.

And parts of it are just darn funny.


Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Princess Cora and the Crocodile by Laura Amy Schlitz

4 stars
JF (YOUNG JF)

It's a picture book.... wait it's a chapter book.

Hmm

It's a chapter book that's really more of a glorified picture book in that way that says "I'm perfect for kids who want chapter books but maybe aren't quite ready for them".

I've had mixed feelings about Schlitz's books in the past, but this one is fairly entertaining.

There's a pretty fabulous silly factor that's perfect for the target age.

And a decent message about how all work and no play is just not much of a childhood.

Overall, I enjoyed it.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Even More.... Picture Books

Because.... I'm caught up (ish) on current books to review until I read something else.... and I don't feel like digging through the backlog of books I never reviewed.

So yeah.

Picture books.

Cockatoo, Too by Bethanie Deeney Murguia
Cute illustrations with minimal text.
Don't let the lack of variation in the text fool you into thinking it's easy to read aloud, though.... 'cause not so much, lol.

Won Ton
Won Ton and Chopstick
by Lee Wardlaw
Both told in haiku, the first tells the story of a cat being chosen at the shelter and taken home-- all from the cat's point of view.
The second is also told by the cat but involves a new pet, a puppy, joining the family.
These are so so fun and if you haven't tried them you really need to.

Even Monsters Need to Sleep
by Lisa Wheeler
Very similar to MeiMei's beloved Sleep Black Bear Sleep, but maybe not quite as well executed?  I don't know... I have mixed feelings there.  But the illustrations are Chris Van Dusen, which is always a good thing.  And overall they're really cute.

Life on Mars
by Jon Agee
This is a major LuLu favrorite at the moment.  And it really is fun.
The text maybe isn't amazing, but the real story is happening in the pictures, so don't let the text fool you.  Also don't skip the last page (there's not more text, but again, it's about the pictures).

Monday, July 17, 2017

The Stratford Zoo Midnight Revue Presents...

by Ian Lendler

Okay first off, WHY ARE THERE NOT MORE OF THESE??

Because there need to be.

Seriously.

Overall-- Graphic novels about zoo animals performing Shakespeare after everyone has left the zoo?  What more could you want?!

Macbeth
5 stars
Oh my gosh, so funny!  I loved it.  Poor Macbeth just has to eat the king.... and anyone else who gets in his way.  Hilarious.

Romeo and Juliet
4 stars
Not as good as Macbeth, but really... it's Romeo and Juliet.. which is not as good as Macbeth.... so, yeah. (I loathe Romeo and Juliet, in all honesty.)
Romeo and Juliet are a rooster and a bear respectively which seems like it wouldn't work at all, but I promise it does.

Bottom line-- you need these in your life.  I don't care if you have kids or not, you NEED these.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Meh-- a Picture Book Round-Up

(received for review)

Sometimes picture books just simply aren't as cute as you want them to be.

A Band of Babies by Carole Gerber

Rhyming text was okay, but I didn't care for the illustration style at all.  And I'm not a fan of the "let's walk down the street from daycare and wreck the store... it'll be cute 'cause we're babies" concept.  Just no.  (MeiMei didn't like this one either)

North, South, East, West by Margaret Wise Brown
I don't know why, but the books by Brown they've been publishing lately just really do nothing for me.  Illustrations weren't bad.

Places to Be by Mac Barnett
Really cute illustrations but again... this just did nothing for me.

I Love Mommy/I Love Daddy
board books by Sebastien Braun
The Mommy one is much better than the Daddy one, in my opinion.  Overall, though... eh.  They're fine but not amazing.  Cute enough to give as a gift, but not cute enough I need to own them myself.  Maybe if we were still firmly in the board book stage of life, but we're passing out of it.

Good Morning, Grizzle Grump by Aaron Blecha
If I were Grizzle, I'd be a grump too.  What lame jerky friends.  Not a fan of this one.

(This is in nowise a comprehensive list.  A lot of times if we don't care to keep the picture book I donate it to school or library or give away without bothering to review.)

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Activity-ish Books, A Quarto Round-up

Because Quarto seriously has the most interesting titles.

(And they keep offering to send me review copies... and how can I turn that down when they're so cool? So, yes, these were received for review.)

Math Lab for Kids by Rebecca Rapoport and JA Yoder
My kids think this is SO COOL.  Packed with math activities that are so fun they don't feel like lessons.  Granted, my kids love math (they're freakish that way.... I blame their father) but these are awesome so I'd imagine even kids who do not love math will still enjoy this one.  You could use it to sneak some math into your kids' summer.  I'll never tell.

Build A.... Butterfly or T-Rex
(Your choice, but they are separate books, lol)
by KiKi Ljung
These are more like cardboard models with some text.  The pieces fit into spots on each page.  There's not a ton of text, but there is good info and the models look pretty darn cool.

Under the Sea
In The Jungle
both by Paul Boston
These are so cool, but be aware they are a bit more complicated.  You navigate through the book using map and math skills.  Unlike Math Lab, it's not so sneaky that that's what you're doing, but it makes for an interesting activity.  Kind of like an RPG video game but all old-school and paper-y.