Friday, January 29, 2016

Picture Book Round-Up

*All books received for review

Lazy Dave by Jarvis

This one was amusing, but didn't do a lot for me, ultimately.  Dave is such a lazy dog that he sleeps all day, but it's what he does in his sleep that makes it all silly.  I'm sure it will inspire giggles and some kids may really love it, but I'd rather not have to read it to them more than once, lol.

Who Wants a Hug? by Jeff Mack

Bear wants to hug everyone, including Skunk....  but Skunk stinks!  So funny.  I enjoy this one.

Who Needs a Bath? by Jeff Mack

Sequel to Who Wants a Hug?-- Bear is trying to throw a surprise party for Skunk.  Love it.  Cracks me up.  Kids love it.  Everyone loves it, lol.  These books are too fun.

Little Elfie One by Pamela Jane

Okay, yes, I'm a little late with Christmas books, but hey.  Better than never.  This is a cute book with a sing-songy rhyme scheme.  If you're familiar with the dinosaur or rain forest books that use the set up of "lived a mommy [whatever] and her little [whatevers] five.... [verb] said the mommy, we [verb] said the five..."  (If you've read them, you know what I mean.)  Anyway, it's one of those.

Paddington and the Christmas Surprise by Michael Bond

Paddington is awesome.  Always popular in my house.  This is a great choice for Christmas for the littles.

Splat the Cat: Christmas Countdown by Rob Scotton

This board book was a big hit in my house.  It's a touch and feel book.  Very simple story, but that works for the target age.

Bonus Middle Grade:
The Naughty List by Michael Fry and Bradley Jackson

Mister LOVES this book.  He's read it so many times since Christmas that I finally had to put it away so he would read something else, lol.  Cute night-before-Christmas/someone-saves-Christmas-ish story, from what I can tell.  I haven't actually read it, Mister highly recommends it.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Frankencrayon by Michael Hall

received for review
picture book
5 stars

BRAND NEW THIS WEEK!!  Oh my gosh, I LOVE this one.  Absolutely LOVE it.  It's hilarious.

It's a story about a story.... or about what the story was supposed to be and where it all went wrong, lol.

So. Funny.

Really, do yourself a favor and get this one.  Check it out of your library (if your library doesn't have it yet, see if you can request a purchase), buy it from your favorite bookstore, whatever, but get it.  Read it with your favorite kid.  Or kids.

It's awesome.

Friday, December 18, 2015

all the words are yours by tyler knott gregson

haiku on love

4 stars
received for review

Yes, some of them are a little cheesy.

Yes, some of them are a little more specifically about sex.

Yes, they get repetitive.

But overall, I really enjoyed this little collection.

My favorites:

You Are More than Words
And the letters that Make them,
You Are Poetry.

I wish I had more,
more letters, more words, more time
to write all you are.

Love me as I am,
see me for who I will be,
forgive who I was.

I'm passing my copy on to a friend who runs Unbox Love and The Loveumentary.  If you aren't familiar you should definitely go check them out.  (Dates would be a pretty awesome thing to give for Christmas, right?)

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

The Five Loaves of Bread by Johnette H Jameson

So, there's a challenge going around, you've probably seen it.  It's a list of 50 book categories... so to speak.  Things like "read a book that is over 500 pages" and such.

Well, one of them is "a book your mom loves".

My mom collects picture books, so I kind of figured we were headed in that direction.

I finally remembered to actually ask her, and we went to check out her shelf of picture books... and as we started pulling stuff out she remembered this book: The Five Loaves of Bread.

Johnette Jameson was my mom's aunt, so she has a signed copy in somewhat delicate condition. :)

Honestly, it's not much more than picture book length, even if it doesn't quite look like a picture book, but it's a cute little story about a couple, their generosity, and some amusing miscommunication.

Apparently it is crazy hard to get ahold of these days, so I guess it's probably not a great one for your Christmas shopping, but if you come across it, you should read it.  It's adorable. :)

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The Republic of Imagination: A Life in Books by Azar Nafisi

5 stars
nonfiction/memoir/literary commentary
book club (my pick)
copy received for review

I love this book.

I finished it and just wanted to bask in it before starting anything else.

I want to read (or reread) all of the books she discusses and then read this again.

With a highlighter.

I picked it for book club and texted my high school English teacher to tell her to read it.

Now, it wasn't perfect... the rant against Common Core in the middle got to be a bit much.  Not necessarily because I disagreed with her point, but because her point got lost a bit in just ranting.

(Let's not talk about Common Core, though, okay? I think it's good and bad but that both sides' fanatics are making things worse. Balance, people.  We need it.)


I loved how her memoir stories were woven in with analysis.  I love discussing books and reading about her discussing books with her friends and students spoke to me.

It kind of makes me want to take a lit class.  (Until I think how terrifying homework would be with my five-kid-circus....)

I took pictures of pages with my phone to send quotes to my friend.

Read it.  Just go read it. :)

Monday, October 26, 2015

Hannah Arendt: A Life in Dark Times by Anne Heller

4 stars
copy received for review

From GoodReads:

Hannah Arendt, one of the most gifted and provocative voices of her era, was a polarizing cultural theorist—extolled by her peers as a visionary and denounced by others as a fraud. Born in Prussia to assimilated Jewish parents, she escaped from Hitler’s Germany in 1933 and became best known for her critique of the world’s response to the evils of World War II.

A woman of many contradictions, Arendt learned to write in English only at the age of thirty-six, and yet her first book, The Origins of Totalitarianism, single-handedly altered the way generations of Americans and Europeans viewed fascism and genocide. Her most famous—and most divisive—work,Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil, brought fierce controversy that continues to this day, exacerbated by the posthumous discovery that she had been the lover of the great romantic philosopher and Nazi sympathizer Martin Heidegger.

In this fast-paced, comprehensive biography, Anne Heller tracks the source of Arendt’s apparent contradictions and her greatest achievements, from a tumultuous childhood to her arrival as what she called a “conscious pariah”—one of those few people in every time and place who don’t “lose confidence in ourselves if society does not approve us” and will not “pay any price” to win acceptance.

I didn't actually know much (if anything) about Hannah Arendt before reading this.  I found the book fascinating and packed with information with seeming dense.

It was clear and easy-to-read without feeling simplified.

My only complaint would be there was some repetition... as though the author were concerned that people might only read some sections or not read them in order... or not remember anything from the previous sections.  This was possibly more apparent/annoying to me since I read the whole thing in a day.

All in all a good biography.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Picture Book Round-Up

(All received for review, brief reviews are my thoughts... haven't cornered the kids for their thoughts yet)

Officer Panda: Fingerprint Detective
by Ashley Crowley

Oh by goodness, this one is cute.  I'm seriously entertained.
Includes a little "Did you know" section with facts about fingerprints.

Little Critter: Just a Special Thanksgiving
by Mercer Mayer

We love Little Critter.  This one even has stickers! :)

Thanksgiving at the Tappletons'
by Eileen Spinelli

Meh.  Just not really a fan of this one.  Seemed like too much text for reading aloud to little ones... though they may be amused by all of the misadventures.

Pete the Cat and the Bedtime Blues
by Kimberly and James Dean

You know... I think I'm just kind of over Pete the Cat in general.  This latest installment is cute enough, I guess, but just doesn't do anything for me.

Imaginary Fred
by Eoin Colfer and Oliver Jeffers

I'm a fan of this one.  The whole idea of an imaginary friend who is worried about being forgotten and fading away and becomes friends with another imaginary friend... I love it.

Bonus-- middle grade that I haven't read yet
(I know, not super helpful)
Mr. Puffball Stunt Cat to the Stars
by Constance Lombardo

Yeah, I haven't read it, but it looks hilarious, so I'm just throwing it out there as a "hey, have you heard about this one?" kind of thing.  My kids love the Stick Dog books, and this seems similar.