Sunday, September 25, 2011

Book Review - Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick

WonderstruckWonderstruck by Brian Selznick

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Clearly Brian Selznick has created his own type of storytelling. With the use of pictures and words, he takes us through a story that tugs at our heartstrings and makes us look at the world a whole lot differently than when we began reading Wonderstruck. Using pictures, he tells us the story of a young girl in 1927 Hoboken, New Jersey. Her emotions are so plainly drawn, we feel her fear and loneliness through the pages. Using text, Selznick also tells us the story of Ben, a young boy growing up in Gunflint Lake, Minnesota in 1977. Ben is also a lonely, frightened child who finds himself searching for where he belongs. Wielding his usual magic, Selznick carries through each child's story, bring them together in an ending which will make your heart sing and your eyes cry at the same time.
I recommend this book for people of all ages, old and young, who love a good story.

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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Book Review - Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes by Jonathan Auxier

Peter Nimble and His Fantastic EyesPeter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes by Jonathan Auxier

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Peter Nimble is a blind. Everyone knows that blind children make the best thieves. With keen ears that hear the smallest sound, and fingers that are nimble and small enough to slip in almost any lock, they are able to get in anywhere and get out before anyone notices they were there. Peter is the best of these thieves. As a matter of fact, he is the greatest thief who ever lived. And as an added bonus, Peter is an orphan with no parents to care about him or miss him. At first, Peter is forced to work for an evil man, who makes Peter steel treasure for him everyday. Until one day, Peter meets a mysterious man selling hats. This is where Peter's life changes and he is thrust into a fantastical world where an orphan thief just might be king.

I really, really enjoyed this book. At first, I was wondering about a book that opens with the line "Now, for those of you who know anything about blind children, you are aware they make the very best thieves" and describes ravens pecking out Peter's eyes. But as I read on, I became enamored of Peter and his plight. I quickly started rooting for Peter in his efforts to find his place in the world. With each new twist of the plot, I became more engrossed in the story. However, due to some of the bloodier content in the book, I would only recommend it for children 10 and up. This is an especially good book for boys who like adventure.

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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Book Review - Animals in Fall: Preparing for Winter by Martha Rustad

Animals in Fall: Preparing for WinterAnimals in Fall: Preparing for Winter by Martha E. H. Rustad

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Animals in Fall: Preparing for Winter is an upgraded version of Martha Rustad's Animals in Fall. By changing the real-life photos to illustrations and adding more details to the text, this book has been bumped up from a picture book to an easy reader. The illustrations added are colorful and eye catching while not taking away from the text. Added informational text boxes allow for parent participation in reading this book with their children. The child can read the simple text on each of the subjects, while the parent can add the information contained in these text boxes. Adding new animals, information, and even an activity in which children can see what it feels like to have blubber, have boosted this books enjoyment level.

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