Saturday, September 16, 2017

Picture Books Everywhere

Like seriously.  EVERYWHERE.

Newish ones we've received for review are as follows.

Good Night, Baby Animals, You've Had a Busy Day
by Karen B Winnick
A picture book of short stories featuring tigers, elephants, pandas, etc.
Personally the text didn't do anything for me, but MeiMei enjoyed it (though it's baby animals, so it would have to be REALLY bad for MeiMei to not like it, lol) and really since she's more the target audience we'll go with it.

The Big Adventures of Tiny House 
by Susan Schaefer Bernardo
A cute story of a tiny house on wheels who travels the country and meets other interesting vehicular housing units.  Good choice for preschoolish kids who like vehicles or are weirdly in to tiny houses.

Sonya Sahni and the First Grade It's International Day!
by Soma Mandal
Sigh.  Formatting issues.... editing/typo issues.... and a truly poor choice in rhyming scheme/style.  It drove both my husband and me crazy.
BUT MeiMei liked it.  And since she's the target demographic (ish... she's in 2nd grade), she's maybe the better judge.
(Older elementary kids are probably not going to embrace it as well.... Mister was not a fan... on any level.)
It is a good message, and I could see it being a good resource in a classroom.  Maybe to springboard an international day activity.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Grounded: The Adventures of Rapunzel by Megan Morrison

(Tyme #1)
5 stars
YF- emotionally complex, so maybe err on the side of older elementary


That. Was. So. Weird.

(Seriously... I know I said Woman in the Wall was weird [it totally was] and Big Bad Fox.... but dang.)

But.  Weird does not equal bad.

And I couldn't actually find a reason not to give it 5 stars.

It is seriously emotionally complex... in a Stockholm Syndrome "dang people need therapy" kind of a way... but it's so well handled in the text.

(It's actually totally got a Star Wars arc going on-- naive hero, brooding bad guy, "maybe there is some good in you after all"....)

I'm shocked and impressed that this is a debut novel.

This is a retelling of Rapunzel, but it's not like any other retelling you've read.

(At least it's not like any I've read... if you find that it IS like one you've read, give me that title.)

Overall.  Read it.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

One Trick Pony by Nathan Hale

4 stars
graphic novel

Maybe more of a 3.5 but it definitely has the same fun feel as Hale's other work.

The ending is.... abrupt.  It's kind of a "well that escalated quickly".

But the target audience isn't likely to care.

My kids certainly didn't seem to.

Overall, if your kids are fans of Hale you should definitely have this one on your radar.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

To Helvetica and Back by Paige Shelton

 (A Dangerous Type Mystery #1)
somewhere in the 3.5-4 star range
R- 1 (maybe)


Let's take a moment to admire that title, can we?

Because it's kind of beautiful.

Anyway-- Paige Shelton.  An author of cozy mysteries that I have very much enjoyed in the past.

And hey, a new series featuring books/fonts/typewriters.....

What's not to love??

Okay, so the writing wasn't the most amazing thing... it felt a little repetitive and clunky in places.

But overall the characters were entertaining.

And it was a fun story.

So I'll definitely be looking for more Dangerous Type mysteries.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Mary Anning's Curiosity by Monica Kulling

4 stars
historical fiction

First let's talk about what this is not.

This is not an in-depth biography.

Really, it's not a biography at all.

It is not a deep work of nonfiction.

It would not be a good resource for a school project.

Okay, with that out of the way, here's what it IS--

A really cute, if brief, story...

about a fascinating figure....

a woman I'd never heard of.

Mary Anning helped her father find curiosities as a child.

And eventually found an ichthyosaur.

I got this for MeiMei (age 7) and I think she was just a titch on the young side of the perfect age.  It's a great introduction to a strong woman who was a paleontologist before the word existed.

And certainly before anyone would really give credit to a woman in such a field.

If you've got a youngish budding scientist, you really should give this a try.

(If you've got a kid looking for a subject for a biographical report, I would definitely suggest Mary Anning!)

Thursday, September 7, 2017

The Big Bad Fox by Benjamin Renner

3 stars
JF graphic novel

Um.... this is one of the weirdest books I've read so far this year.

That might be saying something.

This goofy graphic novel features a fox who is subsisting on turnips.  Why? Because no one is afraid of him.

In fact, the chickens beat him up.

So no chicken dinner for him.

Until the wolf convinces him he should steal some eggs...

hatch them...

fatten the chicks up....

THEN he'll have his chicken dinner, right?

You probably know where this is going.

And you're right.... mostly.

Anyway, bizarre in that way that kids just giggle and giggle and giggle at.  Boo, Mister, and MeiMei all enjoyed it.

(And as long as no one starts calling each other "fart face" I'm good with this.)

The humor is perhaps lost a little on adults, but it's still fun.