Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Book Review - The Chronicles of Harris Burdick

The Chronicles of Harris Burdick: Fourteen Amazing Authors Tell the TalesThe Chronicles of Harris Burdick: Fourteen Amazing Authors Tell the Tales by Chris Van Allsburg
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

"Thirty years ago a man called at Peter Wender's office, introducing himself as Harris Burdick. Mr. Burdick explained that he had written fourteen stories and had drawn many pictures for each one. He'd brought with him just one drawing from each story, to see if Wenders liked his work." Thus begins The Mysteries of Harris Burdick by Chris Van Allsburg. The introduction goes on to tell us that Harris Burdick was never heard from again. But what he left were 14 amazing drawings (eerily similar to Van Allsburg's own) to muse and ponder over for the next 25+ years. Now, an amazing group of fantasy writers have come together to give us the stories they feel go with these illustrations. From a house that blasts off into the unknown one day - to a dust bunny run amuck, we are treated to an astounding collection of imaginings worth of the mystery of Harris Burdick.

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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Another Reading Challenge - Why Buy the Cow

I have taken up yet another reading challenge for 2012 - Why Buy the Cow sponsored by The Unread Reader. 

  It is to read as many FREE legal downloaded ebooks as I can in the year 2012.  I have become a download nut recently.  Anytime I see FREE I grab it.  I don't care what genre it is.  So this is a great challenge for me.  To join click on this link: http://www.theunreadreader.com/2011/12/why-buy-cow-reading-challenge-2012.html

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Book Review - Spotty, Stripy, Swirly by Jane Brocket

Spotty, Stripy, Swirly: What Are Patterns?Spotty, Stripy, Swirly: What Are Patterns? by Jane Brocket
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Spotty, stripy, swirly - patterns are everywhere. You can find them in flowers. You can find them in food. You can even find them in socks. All you need to do is look around you to find patterns in everything. With colorful, eye-catching pictures of everything from tea cozies to sunlit benches, Jane Brocket shows us what a pattern is; how patterns are made; and how patterns can be simple or complex. This book will have your child running around finding patterns in everything.

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Saturday, December 10, 2011

Book Review - The House on Dirty-Third Street by Jo S. Kittinger

The House on Dirty-Third StreetThe House on Dirty-Third Street by Jo S. Kittinger
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

When a young girl and her mother move into their "new" house, all the young girl can see are run-down, old homes all along the street, including the new one they are about to move into. She quickly dubbs her new street "Dirty-Third Street." But her mother sees the house through the eyes of faith and hope: clean and full of new friends. After joining a church down the street, the girl is soon surprised when neighbors and friends from their new church help to make this vision a reality.
The artwork in this story is amazing. While the whole book is done in beautiful watercolors, when the book begins we see grays, dark blues, tans and washed-out yellows. But as the story progresses, the colors soon change to bright yellows, bright blues, greens and reds. In the end, the house which was originally gray and drab, becomes a neat, colorful home complete with flowers. The message of the book is also shown through the changes in the coloration as the little girl's faith in her fellow man is brought to life by the help of neighbors and new friends from church.

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Book Review - Dino-Basketball by Lisa Wheeler

Dino-basketball (Carolrhoda Picture Books)Dino-basketball by Lisa Wheeler

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Dinos dunk and dinos score as we watch the dinos run up and down the floor. This is March Madness dino style. The colorful pictures keep the action of Dino Basketball fast and furious. Who is going to win this close scoring basketball game - Clippers (the grass eaters) or Meat (the meat eaters) - it is anyone's guess.

Fast paced like a real basketball game this book flows very quickly. The dinosaurs are colorful but a little confusing. It was hard to tell which dinosaur the author was speaking about. I know several little boys who would have been able to tell me right away, but not being quite the dinosaur fan, I was unable to relate the cartoonish dinosaurs to the realistic ones I have seen in other books. The only other thing about this book which turned me off was the use of the term "Meat" for one of the team names. I know they are the meat eaters but it just rang wrong with me.

I would recommend Dino Basketball for all those young dinosaur enthusiast who have exhausted the other dinosaur books.

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Friday, December 2, 2011

Book Review - The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter

The Goddess TestThe Goddess Test by Aimee Carter
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Kate Winters has taken her ailing mother home to upstate Michigan to die. It is a long way from New York City where she spent the first 18 years of her life. There are no Starbucks, Taco Bells, not even a McDonald's. It is what her mother wishes and that is what counts to Kate. So now Kate is starting over in a new house, new city and new school. This is not all Kate is having to face. After a tragedy with a new friend causes Kate to make promises she is not sure she can keep, Kate finds herself having to handle challenges even a goddess might not be able to pass. She must aid a mysterious man named Henry in a trial whose ultimate outcome could be immortality.
I find myself with quite a dilemma. While I really wanted to like this book, I could not stop thinking how the whole plot felt forced. I did not feel the love between Kate and Henry. Nor did I find myself even caring if Kate made it through the trials or not. It was all very artifical feeling. So I am sorry to say I did not enjoy this book like I thought I would.

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Book Review - Yesterday I Had the Blues by Jeron Ashford Frame

Yesterday I Had the BluesYesterday I Had the Blues by Jeron Ashford Frame

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

"Yesterday I had the blues... but today I got the greens." What does having the blues mean? How do you have the greens anyway? Frame brings us a whole rainbow of colors to feel in this wonderful story of one boy, his family and their range of moods and emotions.
This books screams to be read aloud. Read aloud in a slow, soulful voice. I loved it enough to read outloud in the middle of the Children's Department so everyone could hear me. Everyone nodded their heads in agreement as they listened to all the different descriptions of the moods - blue, green, gray, etc. I think we all have felt each different description at one time or another. But the best part is the ending - "the kind of family makes you feel like it's all golden." RIGHT ON!!!

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Mystery & Suspense Challenge 2012

Even though I love children & YA books, my first big love has always been mysteries. So I am going to enter Book Chick City's Mystery & Suspense Challenge for 2012 to see if I can keep up with the type of books that got me reading in the first place. Believe it or not, I was reading Happy Hollisters, Alfred Hitchcock & even some Ellery Queen way before I found out about Encyclopedia Brown and Nancy Drew. They were actually kind of lame after reading Ellery Queen!