Monday, October 31, 2011

The sea-thing child

It is the story about a baby bird whose name is sea-thing and about his hypersensitive buddy, a fiddler crab. So this Sea-thing is washed ashore and meets his buddy crab, a day-dreamer who is really eager to get bow so he would play his fiddle. The crab cries a lot. The whole 20 pages(the pages are not numbered, so i'm not really sure) they talk about music and sing peculiar songs. Then the sea-thing eventually grows up and loses interest in the crab's company. The sea-thing looks at the sky, spreads his wings and gives the crab the French leave. The end of the story. Could i recommend it to anyone? Only to put kids to sleep.

Ksenia R.

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Rifles for Watie

War is for the young! The Ignorant Jeff Bussy marches off to Fort Leavenworth from Linn County, Kansas in 1861, on his way to join the Union volunteers.  The young and sweet Jeff first shows signs of compassion early in the tale, but as war progresses his spirits become numb. In the Indian country south of Kansas he fights for the ideals of the Union and President Lincoln. After his first battle Jeff soon learns that there's more to war than honor and glory. Jeff finds many friends on each side of the conflict including the Lucy, who is a Cherokee native and the supporter of Confederates. The enemy to all union soldiers in the Indian territories is Lt. Watie and his men, fearsome rebel raders.

This story gives the feeling of the war to a young reader in a wholesome manner. I felt sympathy for Jeff and was left wanting to know more about his adult years.

Bryan R

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Voyage of the dawn treader

"Voyage of the dawn treader" by C.S. Lewis

The Dawn Treader is the ship of Caspian X, King of Narnia, who was the key character in the previous book (Prince Caspian) of “The Chronicles of Narnia”.  This is a high-seas journal of Lucky, Edmond, Caspian and Eustace. King Caspian is revitalizing the traditions of sail in the land of Narnia and searching for the “The seven Lords of Narnia". Lucy & Edmond with their reluctant cousin Eustace are drawn into an enchanted picture and into the land of Narnia, where they  join Caspian in the voyage and discovery, mosty of themselves.  It deals with the most basic human behaviors where with only the guidance of Aslan they can  choose the path of understanding and compassion. Aslan, the "Great Lion,"  serves to guide Lucy, Edmond, Eustace and Caspian, but he appears unambiguously to them only when they put their faith in his will and really try to see him. The adventurers seek the country belonging to Aslan, a Christ-like figure who rules over Narnia in the form of a lion (though he also takes the shape of a lamb there). Aslan tells the children that they must learn to know him by another name in their own country. 

Bryan R

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There are domestic ducks and there are wild ducks.  Then there are those ducks drawn to the charms of the city and looking for a safe place to raise their ducklings.  Whether its in Boston's Public Garden or Clackamette Park, we enjoy seeing them and feeding them!  This  story of Mr. and Mrs. Mallard is probably similar to the story many of our fine feathered friends might tell.  Training her eight ducklings and getting them safely to their destination is just all in a day's work for a mother but when it comes to the ever-present dangers of the city a little help is needed!  If an officer came to the rescue today as, the very kind, Michael did in MAKE WAY FOR DUCKLINGS there would be a flood of television and Internet coverage that would pale to none if cute is what you're looking for.  Is it any wonder that in Boston Massachusetts this story by Robert McCloskey has been memorialized in a bronze sculpture by the same name?  And, of course, there is a parade held every Mother's Day called, you guessed it.... Make Way for Ducklings!  How cute is that!  
Bonnie R

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As I looked through our resource book, 1001 Books You Should Read Before You Grow Up, for familiar titles I found THE STORY ABOUT PING written by Marjorie Flack and illustrated by Kurt Wiese.  I read it and wondered why the title was familiar to me.  It seemed to me that I was reading a story I had never read before.  Ping was a beautiful, spirited little duck who lived on the Yangtze river.  Domesticated, he and his family were sent out every morning to forage along the river, and were expected back every evening. One day, to avoid a spanking for being the last one back, he intentionally hid but unintentionally got lost.  Oh, the experience he had!  My definition of experience is what you're getting when you're not getting what you want.  Ping learned a valuable lesson....  Better late than never!  After I finished, I did a little research and discovered THE STORY ABOUT PING has appeared on television since the 1950s.  Captain Kangaroo (or his friend Mr. Greenjeans) read Ping once a week on his show for seventeen years, while displaying its colorful illustrations in stark black and white on the screen.  That must have been it!  I rarely missed an episode of Captain Kangaroo!

Bonnie R.

p.s. Soupy Sales and Howdy Doody both featured Ping on numerous occasions, and Shari Lewis's sock puppet Lambchop once played the role of Ping in an adaptation for sock puppets and ventriloquists.  Sesame Street had an animated version that ran in the 1970's.  I may have never turned the pages of this book but I saw it on many occasions, I'm sure!

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Sunday, October 30, 2011

Mufaro"s Beautiful Daughters

This story is about two sisters: a kind one and an evil one( she definitely looks mean on the pictures). The not so kind sister Nyara is quite competitive, her heart is hard as a rock. The kind sister, Nyasha, is an obedient daughter to her father, humble and hard-working. They both live in the village with their dad but soon time will come to marry..... The king of the country has to choose the right queen among the best of the best. Guess who will become the queen? African version of Cinderella with exquisite illustrations.

Ksenia R.

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Friday, October 28, 2011

Green Eggs and Ham

ooo!  Such a delightful book about a creature Sam-i-am ( car salesman?) who is offering "green eggs and ham" to another creature( hairy cat?). Sam-i-am is persistent with his attempts to persuade big creature to eat green eggs and ham; but  big creature refuses to try this dish. In the end he gives in and tries green eggs and ham(thinking that Sam-i-am will leave him in peace) and....likes them! Fantastic book ! Timeless for sure! I wish i had  found it earlier! Recommended to all adults and kids!
I remembered my husband buying his car and the salesman who would try all the tricks to persuade Bryan to buy a more expensive model.

Ksenia R

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Nothing says a mother's love is unconditional like THE RUNAWAY BUNNY.  No matter, what phases they go through, wherever they go, whatever they do a mother's love will be a source of security, guidance and comfort to our "little bunnies".   (I hope mine know that.) The vivid double-page paintings that open on every other odd numbered page capture the vivid imagination of the little bunny and the full-blown creativity of his mother's love.  Where there is a will there is a way and love always finds a way!  I am thankful that Margaret Wise Brown put pen to paper to express this wonderful truth and that Clement Hurd did such a wonderful job of illustrating with his sketches and paintings.  Did you notice the portrait of the runaway bunny on the wall in OVER THE MOON and the cow jumping over the moon portrait on the wall in THE RUNAWAY BUNNY?

Bonnie R 

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Thursday, October 27, 2011


Living in a farmhouse all alone, Mr. and Mrs. Bunny thought it would be lovely to have a baby bunny to complete their family.  And then, as announced by an angel, MIFFY came!  And, along with Miffy came change.  I'm sure life was never the same.  Dick Bruna's simple illustrations in bold primary and secondary colors and sweet story in just 269 words and would capture the attention of any toddler.

Bonnie R

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I stopped by the nursing home to visit my friend, Myra. (Age XXX...its not nice to ask)   I asked her if I could read a children's book to her.  "Sure!" she said.  So I pulled up a chair and read THE LITTLE ENGINE THAT COULD by "Watty Piper".   When the Shiny New Engine had refused to help and I read.... How sad all the toys and dolls felt!  Myra interjected, "Me, too!"  At the Big Strong Engine's refusal I read.... And the dolls and toys were ready to cry!  And once again Myra said, "Me, too!"  But, with the arrival of the Little Blue Engine, the rest of the story was nothing less than heartwarming and Myra was all smiles.  When I asked her what she thought the moral of the story was she said, "Never give up!"  This book is used to teach children the value of optimism and hard work but I see an underlying theme of how one can make a difference when one is willing to help. 

Bonnie R

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I'm not sure how Super Nanny would have handled BEDTIME FOR FRANCES, but for a couple of badgers, her parents were extremely gentle and understanding with their little girl.  But, in the end, I don't think the spanking was a idle threat.  Good job!  Russell Hoban has written an ageless story any child or parent can identify with.  The pictures by Garth Williams would please any badger family as well as people who may or may not know what a badger looks like.  

Bonnie R


NOW WE ARE SIX by A. A. Milne

I haven't read the Christopher Robin book, WHEN WE WERE VERY YOUNG yet but I did read NOW WE ARE SIX
For starters, I must say, A. A. Milne's "er-h'r'm" of the book is a must read!  It absolutely sets the stage for what follows as he waxes poetic about everything from Solitude toSneezles!   I especially enjoyed the the mostly simple and some complex drawings of E. H Shepard as I read the verses.  I kept thinking I would find a favorite as I read these 35 poems.  Each one was delightful but I especially liked The Old Sailor (I'm sure he suffered from attention deficit disorder), Us Two told of the faithful companionship of Christopher and Pooh and Come Out with Me was an awesome window into the heart and soul of a 6-year old.  
Bonnie R
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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

In the Night Kitchen

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Hm! What was that? I saw this book during the Banned books' week at our library. I did not find the nudity of a little boy offensive, but i found this book to be painfully boring. For the moment i got lost in a book and it was like living the life of "Fear and loathing in Las Vegas". The best part of the book is the presence of pleasantly chubby-looking chefs that look like my husband.
Not recommended to kids, unless they are children of 60s. I want ten minutes of my life back.

Ksenia R.

Lord of the Flies

The 1954 novel “The Lord of the Flies" by William Golding is a tragic tell of young men and boys castaway on a tropic island during the tale end of
 an unspecified War. The beginning of their ordeal is a grand adventure on a “good Island” but as time wears on, the tribe of boys splits into two separate groups, the old tribe and the hunters. Soon the tribes are in a warring state over their different ideals and their inability to reach a common ground. 

The book graphically tells the story of the descent from a fledgling society to savagery and the battle of the wills of power. The “Lord of the Flies” is a timeless novel easily applied to current events. I found it action-packed with vivid descriptions of human emotions. The boys believe that the island is home to a “Beast” and the author's depiction of fear and terror of the boys is shocking.

I hope that this story will be read again and again.

I chose to live with the constraints of the “Conch”

Bryan R

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Friday, October 21, 2011

The Magic Finger By Roald Dahl

The book "The magic finger" is about a girl with a special power she uses on people that cross her. She can’t control what happens. Her teacher crossed her and she used her magic finger, and her teacher resembled a cat. She used her power on her neighbors and it almost ended badly. I liked the book a lot. I have read it 5 times.

Isaiah R

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Stone Soup By Marcia Brown

Well Isaiah read me this last night. It is a humorous story of 3 hungry and witty soldiers. After the villagers hide their food from the hungry soldiers, they start making stone soup. With very little coercion the villagers keep adding to the soup till it is fit for a king, the day ends in a festival around the stone soup. Very entertaining!

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Bryan R

Thursday, October 20, 2011

"Goodnight Moon" by Margaret Wise Brown

Very calming, cozy, soothing book with many little  details on its pages. I love the picture of the telephone in this book, it is very quaint. Classic from 1947; but still splendid for 2011 : to read to children before bedtime.

Ksenia R.

3 out of 1001

The Lion The Witch And The Wardrobe By C.S. Lewis

The 1st book I will review will be “The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe” By C.S. Lewis. I have read this many times and I read it to my sons a few years back. I even bought the picture book at Christmas time and read it to them on Christmas Eve.  It has been made into a TV cartoon and a blockbuster movie. It is the story of four siblings entering the magical world through a wardrobe.

But I cannot read this book without remembering my mother. I was 10 years old or so and was a struggling reader. My mom bought the Narnia Chronicles from a local Christian book store. We read “The Lion the Witch and The wardrobe”: she was reading the odd numbered pages and I was reading even numbered pages. I struggled:  it took us 3 weeks to read it (I now can read it in one sitting). So, thank you Mom and C. S. Lewis - this is the book that helped me become a reader!

Bryan R

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The Enormous Crocodile By Roald Dahl

   I liked “The Enormous Crocodile” because it’s a funny story.  I would recommend it to kids 8+. The crocodile gets cooked in the sun, because the elephant sends him straight to the sun. How many people do you know that can survive the sun for a second? Roald Dahl is my favorite author.
Isaiah R
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The readers

we will be reading all 1001  books listed in the the book "1001 children's book to read before your grown up"

The Readers

Isaiah R age 12

Ksenia R age 29

Bryan R age 39
Chef, avid rafter, father and thinks hockey is a religion.

Bonnie R age XXX (its not nice to ask)