Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Children's Book Review: The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary

The Mouse and the Motorcycle was one of the first books I ever did a book report on. I had loved this book as a child and it was a favorite. Sadly, it has been nearly 30 years since I last read it.

Ralph S. Mouse lives in a knothole in room 215 of a hotel. One day a little boy named Kevin and his family come to stay. Ralph becomes excited when he sees Kevin's prized toy motorcycle. Soon Ralph and Kevin become friends and Ralph zooms all over on the motorcycle.

I had forgotten a lot of this book. It was nice to go down memory lane with this book. I loved how Kevin and Ralph bonded not just over the motorcycle but their mutual understanding that growing up is hard and how they both wanted to be mature. 

I loved the illustrations and had forgotten how cute they were. This was a quick read and still holds up after all these years.

A solid 5 out of 5 stars.

Top Ten Tuesday: Historic Authors I Wish I Could Meet

Broke and the Bookish
As a Doctor Who fan I naturally wish I could hop in a TARDIS and travel through space and time. But till the day that The Doctor (please be David Tennant) graces me with his presence I can only dream. Here are some historically famous authors I wish I could spend an afternoon tea with. 

1: Gotta give some love to William Shakespeare. A master at manipulating the English language is a favorite frustration of many an English Lit major. 

Favorite Quote: "Hell is empty and all the devils are here."

2. Very few can argue the genius of Mark Twain...yes he often shows up on the banned books lists but his stories live on and always will. 

Favorite Quote: "Never put off till tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow. "

3. The queen of mystery is without question Agatha Christie. I went through a period in middle school where I read through many a Hercule Poirot book.

Favorite Quote: "An archaeologist is the best husband a woman can have. The older she gets the more interested he is in her"

4. The Great Gatsby is in my top 5 all time favorite books. So of course I have to include F. Scott Fitzgerald. 

Favorite Quote: "That is part of the beauty of all literature. You discover that your longings are universal longings, that you're no lonely and isolate from anyone. You belong."

5. Perhaps the most famous children's book author is Dr. Seuss. Who wouldn't love to sit down and chat with him?

Favorite Quote: "The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go."

6. I went through a Little House on the Prairie phase when I was in elementary school. I watched the tv show and read the books. So I have to put Laura Ingalls Wilder on the list.

Favorite Quote: "Home is the nicest word there is."

7. Roald Dahl is my all time favorite children's book author. Matilda, James and the Giant Peach, Charlie and Chocolate Factory, The BFG....well you get the point.

Favorite Quote: "The books transported her to new worlds and introduced her to amazing people who lived exciting lives."

8. Last but not least (not a 10 week for me) is Lewis Carroll. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass are some of my all time favorite books.  And my favorite Lewis Carroll quote is my all time favorite quote period.

Favorite Quote: "One day Alice came to a fork in the road and saw a Cheshire cat in a tree. "Which road do I take?" she asked. "Where do you want to go?" was his response. "I don't know," Alice answered. "Then," said the cat, "it doesn't matter.""

Friday, March 24, 2017

A-Z Blogging Challenge: Theme Reveal

So I have decided to take part in the A-Z Blogging Challenge. I've done a lot of thinking about what I possibly want to do for this. I had considered reading and reviewing books during. I had thought about posting about indy authors. But both of those options just didn't appeal to me. Since I've been doing the 1001 Children's Books challenge I've come across some amazing book covers.

So I'm going to be doing some Children's book covers....but not just any. I'm doing the books we all grew up with and loved....Little Golden Books. Yep those board books with the golden spine. Did you know that there are over 1200 Little Golden Books that have been printed!?! So I hope I bring back some memories for some and introduce some that you've never seen before. 

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Picture Book Review: Pat the Bunny by Dorothy Kunhardt

Who hasn't read/felt this book before? It is a classic that every generation seems to read and enjoy.  This tactile book teaches the youngest of the young through their sense of touch.

There is not much to say about this book. My favorite part as a child and still today as an adult is touching daddy's scratchy face. I can't tell you why exactly but that's the one that makes me pause the longest.

The book is not overly complicated and for most of it is wrapped in nostalgia. So how do you rate a book like this? There is no plot...there are no morals. It is just a touch book...but it is one that touches my heart and shadowy memories of flipping through this book.

4 out of 5 stars.

Picture Book Review: Stellaluna by Janelle Cannon

I'm trying to not only catch up on my picture book reading but also check off more and more books on the 1001 children's book list. When I found out that this book had been featured on Reading Rainbow I decided to give it a shot.

Stellaluna is a small bat who becomes separated from its mother after an owl attack. She finds a nest with some baby birds and joins the family. But she never quite fits in with them. 

I thought this was a cute book. The illustrations were great and looked like the illustrator had carefully studied photographs of real life bats and birds. I also like the message that you can have a lot in common with others but still be true to yourself.

3 out of 5 stars.

Picture Book review: Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales by Jon Scieszka

Ok so I've never read this book nor heard of it before. But I am familiar with the author's 3 little pigs retelling. I saw this book title on the 1001 Children's books list and was like ok I HAVE to read that.

The book contains quick silly retelling of classic children's fairy tales. Many of the stories are linked together from one retelling to the next.

Ok so right off the bat I was laughing as I saw the back cover with the hen asking, "who is this ISBN guy." Then to see the upside down dedication page I knew there was a treasure awaiting inside this book. This book did not disappoint! I found myself several times laughing out loud.

I would say that this book is truly best appreciated by adults. Not that it isn't for kids or that they wont enjoy it but the humor of it totally is something that adults will get. The art work is top notch. It is hard for me to pick my favorite drawing from the sly fox, stinky cheese man or the tortoise and the hare. All help with the whimsy and humor driven book.

I borrowed this from the library but have already decided that I MUST get a copy for myself. 

5 out of 5 stars!

Book Review: The Magic Finger by Roald Dahl

Like so many other children that came before and after me Roald Dahl was a must read writer. Roald just seemed to understand children in a way that so many others don't. While I've read a good number of his books this was my first time reading this one. So I brewed a strong cup of earl gray and dived right in.

In The Magic Finger a young girl with special magical abilities lives next door to the Gregg family. Upset over their hunting for fun her magic finger gets to work and before they know it the Gregg family has become a family of birds. 

As an adult this one is a bit harder to read. Not that it is a hard read at all. But this book is written in first person perspective of the little girl. The grammar and speech cadence therefore is written as an 8 year old little girl would write. For a child it speaks right to their level. For an adult you just want to go along and edit.

I enjoyed this silly tale that had a message layered in it about those who kill animals just for sport. I'm not a fan of hunting myself but if the hunter actually eats the meat then I'm not offended. I don't believe in killing things just to kill them. 

I hate to say that this is not one of my favorites among his books but it was still enjoyable and better than a good number of books out there today.

3 out of 5 stars.