Friday, December 30, 2011

Peter in Blueberry Land/ by Elsa beskow

This book wa published in Sweden in 1901, so it has been around for more than a century. I cannot say that is does not feel dated, because it does; but opinions differ ( i do hope someone enjoys this book). The illustrations are neat, here is one:

The story is all right, but there are just so many more exciting and gripping stories for children around, that the book lost me on 3d page.
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Ksenia R

The boy who grew flowers/ by Jen Wojtowicz

I just got home from the nursing home where I shared The Boy Who Grew Flowers, written by Jen Wojtowicz and beautifully illustrated by Steve Adams.  My friend, Myra called it a touching story with a sweet ending.  Anyone who has a family that's "different", anyone with an interest or talent that makes it difficult to fit in with their peers, anyone with an oddity or disability that keeps them from participating in life in any way, anyone who is or has a good friend will relate Rink and Angelina. My favorite line was regarding Angelina when Rink had slipped out the classroom door... She marveled at how his absence could take the shine off such a pretty, sunny day.  We should all aspire to be of such an excellent character as this "boy who grew flowers". 
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Bonnie R

Harry the dirty dog/ by Gene Zion

HARRY THE DIRTY DOG written in simple script by Gene Zion and illustrated by Margaret Bloy Graham depicting the white dog with black spots changing to a black dog with white spots as he plays in typical scenes from the 50's including sliding down a coal chute.   Harry reminds us, even if you have to take a bath occasionally, there is no place like home!
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Bonnie R

Children of the forest/ by Elsa Beskow

This 100 year old treasure is the story of a miniature family that lived in a small house, deep in the forest, under the curling roots of an old pine tree.  CHILDREN OF THE FOREST by Elsa Beskow takes you there as these four little children live and play and work with their very wise parents and enchanting creatures through each of the seasons of the year.  My favorite line comes when Spring arrived .... They paddled and splashed in the stream, damming it to build a water mill. No one cared how wet or muddy they were for no child of the forest can ever catch a cold.  ...I read this on the day my great-grandson was born.  I was delighted when at the end of the story, Tom, Harriet, Sam and Daisy were amazed to find that they had a new, round, pink baby brother of their own, too.
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Bonnie R

Flotsam/ by David Wiesner

The back flap of the dust jacket has a color photo of author and artist David Wiesner as a five year old looking perfectly suited to slip right into his book!  He undoubtedly combed the beach and might have been that curious little fellow who found the barnicle-encrusted underwater camera or just imagined that he was. It's quite apparent that he has quite the imagination!  FLOTSAM is a book with a great story, great water color paintings, great detail and a great wordless storytelling style!  I read this book while visiting the beach which made the whole experience even richer.
Bonnie R   
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The baby's catalogue/ Janet and Allan Ahlberg

I was sharing THE BABY'S CATALOGUE by Janet and Allan Ahlberg with my granddaughter during her labor on the day she brought her baby into our world.  Babies can't really pick and choose their moms and dads, brothers and sisters but like most catalogues, this one is a great "wish book" offering an array of various choices in everything from high chairs to games and a whole two-page spread of "accidents" which is guaranteed to make you smile.   I was drawn into the detailed water color illustrations loved the bold print category headings.  Its perfectly designed for the two year old but quite enjoyable for any age!
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 Bonnie R 

The little read lighthouse and the great gray bridge/ by Hidegarde Swift

I'd say that is is an interesting book. when the great gray bridge is built the little red lighthouse thinks he is not needed any more. It just sits there with lights off because he can't turn on lights or bells by himself. He needs someone to turn them on and the great gray bridge explains that he is a master of the airplanes in the sky, and that means that the little red lighthouse is still needed. The little red lighthouse tries to turn lights on by himself then, but cannot. He needs a man to do it. The man who turns the lights on came and he did his job.
He was late because apparently  few boys stole his keys

I'd recommend book to the people who learn to read and like rivers and lighthouses.

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Isaiah R

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Fox/ by Maragret Wild

Quite a scary tale about friendship of two unfortuante creatures: a Magpie with a burnt wong and a Dog who is blind on one eye. But they are friends and here is how the Magpie put it:

"Fly, dog, fly! I'll be your missing eye and you will be my wings."

Then a cunning fox appears. She tests the friendship of the Magpie and the Dog, like that "dropping that wears away the stone" and enticing the Magpie to leave the Dog. And one day, the Magpie will.....
The story does not end good, but with some glimpse of hope.

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Ksenia R

Mike Mulligan and his Steam shovel/ by Virginia Lee Burton

Virginia Lee Burton is also the author of a book i recently read for this blog: "The little house". Her style of telling stories leaves a lump in your throat: it is the second book where she speaks about old friends becoming less valuable and needed ans new times come and new gadgets appear. In the end these old friends go to the country where they can still serve and be useful.

I am glad that Mike Mulligan knew, that "the old friend is better than 2 new ones". Mike Mulligan knew that he will never switch his gorgeous Mary Anne to electric and gas shovels. He and Mary Anne left for the country and their adventures began......

Fanatastic story for any preschooler. I enjoy books by Virginia Lee Burton very very much!

Ksenia R

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Each peach pear plum/ by Janet and Allan Ahlberg

In this book
With your little eye
Take a look
And play 'I spy'
 EACH PEACH PEAR PLUM by Janet and Allan Ahlberg is more than a story book and more than a picture book.  It combines story in rhyming verses with intricate, detailed illustrations in which favorite nursery and fairy tale characters hidden on every page. If the characters are not not familiar, its a great introduction to each from Tom Thumb to Jack and Jill to Baby Bunting.  Charming!
 Bonnie  R
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Go, dog. Go!/ by P.D.Eastman

What a speed! What a dog party! This book rocks and moves! Similar to Dr.Seuss quirky style, it is filled with bright characters and funny verbal interactions:

Hello, again!
Do you like my hat?
I do not like it.
Good-by again

Fantastic for kids learning to read for its repetition techniques, bright pictures and lovable hyperactive doggies!

accolades to Go, dog. GO!!!

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Ksenia R

Owl babies/ by Martin Waddell

From the very moment I picked up this book I was struck with the way Patrick Benson's illustrations, each back-dropped in darkness, had captured their personality and emotions.  "I want my mommy!" said Bill.  Separation anxiety is a subject children of any age can relate to.  OWL BABIES written by Martin Waddell is the short story of anxious moments during what must have seemed and eternity for Sara and Percy and Bill waiting for the return of their Owl Mother that ends happily with her return.  Loved it!
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Bonnie R

Little Toot/ by Hardie Gramatky

This book is very interesting one: it's about a little tug boat named Little Toot. Apparently he saved a giant ship that was out in the ocean. The book is easy to read and can entertain little kids.

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Isaiah R

Monday, December 26, 2011

The Little house/ by Virginia Lee Burton

A story of a house on the hill and the city growing all around it. The little house loved seasons, sun and moon but when the road was built and skyscrapers started popping up, its old world is lost. Now all that is left to a little house is to dream about the seasons and countryside while choking on the car fumes in the bustling metropolis.
Very nostalgic book ends quite well: little house is taken into the countryside by the MOVERS and the little house will be happy again!

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Ksenia R

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's stone/ by J.K.Rowling

It is the very first book in Harry potter series. it is written by Rowling. It is story about an English boy who finds out to be a wizard at the age of 12 and must go off to school to learn magic. At school he meets two of his greatest friends Ron and Hermioney. With his new friends he goes on many adventures while learning magic and defeating the dark lord.

Overall a very good read for all ages with a interesting story line but it is definitely more favorable towards younger ages with its easy vocabulary while also throwing in some of those weird magic words.

Alex R

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Charlie and Chocolate Factory/ by Roald Dahl

This book is boring in the first chapter of two ,then it starts getting much much better. My favorite part is when Charlie won the ticket to the chocolate factory and everyone in Charlie's family moved to the factory. Wonka's glass elevator could carry all grandpas and grandmas in it. I actually liked the book after the first two chapters and i hope you'll like it as well. Bye.
I finished this book on..... a week before Christmas.

Isaiah R
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the tale of Mr. Jeremy Fisher/ by Beatrix Potter

The story of a frog who goes fishing for some minnows, but hardly gets anything but only a prickly stickleback. On top of that he almost  himself becomes a minnow for a large trout! Thanks to disgusting taste of the mackintosh, the trout let him go; and alas there is no more fishing for the froggy on that day!( maybe never more!)
Quaint illustrations that take you right into the beginning of the 20th century will be marvelled and admired. Overall, worthy reading to your kids: improves vocabulary on fishing terminology.

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Ksenia R

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Little blue and little yellow/ by Leo Lionni

The book introduces colors to children; i hope they will enjoy it and learn some colors. The plot is off; the illustrations are lethargic. Here are they are:

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Ksenia R

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Zen Shorts/ by Jon J Muth

This panda in the boxers underwear( see the cover) reminded me of my husband. The rest is a bit too forgettable and overthought. Although,there is a tiny story inside the book about 2 monks: a tiny bit of Oriental Wisdom shared with the children

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Ksenia R

Friday, December 9, 2011

The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton

Follow Pony Boy Curtis (yes that's his real name, just like it says on his birth certificate ) a 14 year old "Greaser" coming of age living on the wrong side of the tracks. Pony is a kind and dreamy kid being raised by his older brothers after their parents die, Pony is torn between growing up tough or staying "Golden". After being attacked by the rich westside kids (the Soc's), Pony's best friend Johnny kills one in defiance of Pony. Pony's already hard life is turned up on end. With the pressure of social standing and trouble with the law will Pony grow up hard like most of the gang of Greasers he calls the family or can Pony find his way out of Poverty?

Bryan R

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Finn Family Moomintroll/ by Tove Jansson

Moomin Family is back! This book has been fun to read; it is actually action-packed with introduction of some new characters who speak very funny! In this book Moomins find a magic hat that does real wonders, and Hemul finds a new hobby- now he collects plants. You will also meet an ugly creature named Morra ( in Russian version), who leaves cold stains behind, here she is:
The Groke from the Japanese–European television-animation Tanoshii Moomin Ikka (Delightful Moomin Family).

and these are thieves Tofsla and Wifsla, who stole a suitcase with a ruby from Morra. Now Morra hunts for them.

In the end everything will end well...... I liked this book much better than Comet in Moominland.

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Ksenia R

Chanticleer and the fox/ adapted by Barbara Cooney

This is so far the best-illustrated book i have read for this blog! It feels to be  hand-drawn. The plot is very simple: there is a rooster named Chanticleer with the harem of seven hens. Once he gets tricked by a foxie and finds himself between her teeth. Now It is time for Chanticleer to devise a plan to set himself free and return to his beloved wives.. It is worth reading even just for the sake of magnificent illustrations!

Some lovely citations from the book:

"by careful management the widow was able to take care of herself and hew two daughters"

"her bedroom was very sooty, as was her kitchen in which she ate many a scanty meal" ( never heard this word  sooty before)

"Go on!" - the hen said. "Shame on you, you know i cannot love a coward, by my faith!"
and the rooster responds: "... when i see the beauty of your face all scarlet red about the eyes, my fears die away"

Isn't it splendid?

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Ksenia R

Gentle Ben/ by Walt Morey

The touching story of friendship of a boy and a bear happening in a small town in Alaska. While Ben and Mark found each other to be the best friends in the world, there are always some people who will stand on their way. The most memorable parts of the book are the conversations between locals, Mark's family teaching Ben how to fish and everything about fishing season in Orca town. There is just so much in this tiny book, and it is not only about a boy and a bear! I love this bond between the father and the son: how with the help of the father a boy matures and grows to be a man; how he tries hard not to disappoint his father. This a great tale of friendship and loss, a great story of one strong family.

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Ksenia R

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Where is Spot?/ by Eric Hill

WHERE'S SPOT? by Eric Hill uses two of names that triggered a sense of nostalgia in my head.  If you're my age you remember your first grade reader with the lovable Dick, Jane and Sally with their pets, Puff, the cat and Spot, the dog.  I was just sure I would "See Spot run."  But, as I began to read, there was another favorite memory running through my head.  Who doesn't remember playing Hide and Seek?  Sally, the mother dog, in this case, is the seeker of her playful pup, Spot, is hiding.   Lots of fun and surprises ensue as the reader helps her check out every "hiding place" (under the bed, in the closet, etc.) each one being a pop-up that when opened reveals the hiding place occupied by an animal other than Spot, except the last one.  You always find what you're looking for in the last place you look.

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Bonnie R

Handa's Surprise/ by Eileen Browne

It is a delightful sotry about an African girl who carries a basket of fruit to her friend. On the way, various animals treat themselves to the delicious content of her basket. What will she bring to her friend in the end? You'll be surprised!!
Great story, reads very simply, with gorgeous ilustrations. Good pick for story times: teaches children names of fruit and animals.

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Ksenia R

The story of Babar/ by Jean de Brunhoff

THE STORY OF BABAR THE LITTLE ELEPHANT by Jean De Brunhoff is a delightfully illustrated account of tragedy, resilience, good fortune, progress, happiness, sorrows, roots, affection, generosity and responsibility of this amazing little elephant.  You may have to explain why the hunter shoots Babar`s mother or why Babar lives with a nice old lady in the lap of luxury or why the king ate poison mushrooms or why Babar marries his cousin but and do not let this stop you from sharing this classic with your young ones.  Seize this great opportunity to talk with them about the reality of loss and other issues.  The lesson to be learned is that life will not be perfect but we can only imagine what is possible!

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Bonnie R 

The very hungry caterpillar/ by Eric Carle

Fun and educational is what Eric Carle's THE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLER is.  This book of bold, colorful pictures and simple words tell of the caterpillar who eats its way through a whole week leaving actual holes eaten through the foods and the pages!  It's a preschoolers introduction to science (moon and sun), biology (metamorphosis of a butterfly), nutrition (variety of foods), the days of the week,  and counting.  When the fun begins the learning starts!

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Bonnie R

Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Call of the Wild by Jack London

“The Call of the Wild” by Jack London.
Can Buck: the half St. Bernard ,  half Scottish Shepherd  resist the call of the wild? This story takes you along with Buck, a giant dog stolen from his home in California and shipped out to the Yukon. Buck goes from house dog to working sled dog and finally as leader of a wolf pack. Along the way he suffers from abuse and harsh northern environment. He also finds love in a kind adventurer, John Thorten. But with the lost of his John, Buck gives into the call of the wild. I think I would also give into the call if I lost my love.

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Bryan R