Saturday, January 21, 2012

The big honey hunt/ By Stanley and Janice Berenstain

I read this book 3 times and Isaiah did 8! "And that sounds about right" - confirms Isaiah.
It is the Rhymed story about a daddy bear who takes his son to hunt for honey instead of going to the honey story ( as mom advised). They do find the honey tree but there is always something that goes wrong! Will they FIND the honey in the end???

When a bear is smart,
When a bear is clever,
He never gives up.
And i Won't, ever!

Ksenia R & Isaiah R

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Dragon Keeper/ by Carol Wilkinson

This book is a very good book; it is about this girl named Ping who does  not know how old she is and travels with a dragon. On her journey Ping learnt many things. They are taking a dragon egg( dragon stone) to the ocean so that the dragon can take the stone to the faraway island but the dragon stone hatches when they reach the ocean so the dragon goes to the faraway island by himself and leaves a baby dragon with the girl.

I'd say it is a pretty good book. My favorite part was when the dragon hatched in the very end.

Isaiah R

The tale of Peter Rabbit/ by Beatrix Potter

THE TALE OF PETER RABBIT, by Beatrix Potter, is an enchanting adventure book for the listeners and readers of all ages.  Unlike his siblings, Flopsy, Mopsy and Cotton-tail, the very mischievous Peter disobeyed his mother and got himself into some dangerous and scary situations in Mr. McGregor's garden.  Disobedience has consequences.  He didn't end up in a rabbit pot pie like his father before him but by the time Peter got home, he was wet, sick, and had lost his new blue jacket with big brass buttons and his shoes (his second set of clothes he lost in a fortnight!), and he got chamomile tea for supper while the "good little bunnies", had bread and milk and the blackberries they had gathered for supper.
I think perhaps this tale that gently teaches children to mind their mothers, good little children are given rewards and naughty children get into trouble is one I should have read over and over to my boys.  I read this to my one-month old great-grandson, JP.  (The P stands for Paul, not Peter.)  If he is anything like his grandpa, he will easily relate to Peter Rabbit.  I'm sure JP's mom will appreciate it if I read it over and over to him!
Bonnie R

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hooray! the first 100 is done, we are 1/10th there!

Monday, January 16, 2012

A child's garden of verses/ by Robert Louis Stevenson

A very soothing book written by the author of Treasure Island. It is the book of verses told by a boy who is growing up observing the farm and the water, sand and ships in the poodle. He is fond of of the world; he is learning and awing the beauty of it.... One day he observes the work of the lamplighter and decides that "when i'm stronger and can choose what i'm to do, i'll go round at night and light lamps with you". Another day his imagination takes him afar into lands of the world, abroad. He sails there, or flies; always alone with "none to tell me what to do"

Memorable piece

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Ksenia Roeder

Pumpkin soup/ by Helen Cooper

PUMPKIN SOUP by Helen Cooper is a warm whimsical story of a cat, squirrel and duck and their friendship, sharing, and overcoming conflict/compromise.  It starts out with the three of them in harmony as they live together, play music, and make soup.  Each one knows and does his part.  But then it gets real.  (We knew that could never last forever!)  Duck wanted to use Squirrel's special spoon and the conflict ensued and was handled naturally - with real feelings,argument, bad and hurtful words, separation and such things as any child could relate to.  And then, with Duck's chair, at the table, empty, there is real regret and concern and vivid imaginations portrayed with flawless, humorous illustrations (I especially love the one depicting Squirrel and Cat's envisioning of Duck's new shop) as they search for their friend. I enjoyed peering in on their lives (like the two little bugs that appear on every page). The colors of the artwork are warm and orange - just like pumpkin soup.  For some odd reason, I'm getting the urge to make a big pot of  pumpkin soup.  The best you ever tasted!  Want to help?

0098 of 1001

 Bonnie R

The absolutely essential Eloise/ by Kay Thompson

Ooooooooo, you will absolutely love THE ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL ELOISE!  So, when you see this book by Kay Thompson with drawings by Hilary Knight, pick it up and say, "Charge it please and thank you very much!"   Eloise is a "rawther" precocious six year old having the best childhood possible for a little girl who lives on the top floor of the Plaza Hotel with her Nanny who says things three times, her dog Weenie, her turtle Skipperdee and two dolls.  She essentially does whatever she wants and gets away with it.  Any child would envy this rich kid but any adult would feel so sorry for this poor little girl growing up so alone.  Eloise does mention her mother and says she always keeps her bag packed " case I have to leave on TWA at a moment's notice or something like that." That's because her mother travels and only sends for her "if there's some sun" and otherwise isn't present.  However, this is tremendously humorous and beautifully illustrated and made me and my friend, Myra, at the nursing home, grin from ear to ear.

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Me, Bonnie R

Mother Goose/ illustrated by Kate Greenaway

I was enchanted with her watercolor illustrations of sweet, charming eighteenth century children with their quaint costumes and idyllic scenes created by Kate Greenaway in MOTHER GOOSE.  They beautifully depict the lines in the old nursery rhymes, some so familiar that I could recite them without looking at the text and others so old they were "new" to me.  New to me too, said my friend Myra as we read them one by one, she in her wheel chair and I in the visitor's seat.  "Memory Lane is a pleasant road to travel, when you can't get around like you use to." she said.  And, we talked about what a treasure we possessed and how nice it is to have something so precious to pass along.  I read they are working to republish these classic works in affordable, high quality, color editions, using the original text and artwork to delight another generation of children.  I'm happy about that.

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Bonnie R

Clifford the Big Red Dog/ by Norman Bridwell

Emily Elizabeth, named for creator Norman Bridwell's daughter, introduces herself and  her pet, CLIFFORD THE BIG RED DOG.  In simple sentences and impressive illustrations she describes him and the exciting life they share.  When all the pros and cons are taken into consideration, and even though he didn't win first place at the dog show, Emily would rather have Clifford than any other.  Wouldn't you?

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Bonnie R

the Story of Ferdinand/ by Munro Leaf

Written by Munro Leaf more than 50 years ago, THE STORY OF FERDINAND is about the bull who preferred sitting under the cork tree (check out the fruit that hangs from this tree) and smelling flowers to fighting. By a freak accident (a bee sting), he ended up in the center of the bull fight ring in Madrid! But he proved to be not the "Ferdinand the Fierce" feared by the Banderilleros, Picadores and the Matador, but he brought the poor Matador to tears because he couldn't show off with his cape and sword. I especially liked Robert Lawson's absolutely perfect illustrations. There was one that took me back to a time when I did an intricate Etch-a-Sketch production of a bull fight when I was an aspiring young artist (age 10). It made me wonder if I had read Ferdinand when I was little and had tried to imitate Lawson's beautiful drawing. He wonderfully captured the facial expressions throughout the story. The concern on  Ferdinand's mother's face, the stupidity on the faces of the men who come to choose the bulls, the anxiety on the face of the bee, the wide-eyed shock and panic on Ferdinand's face when he was stung, and the hilarious snooty expressions of the matador are priceless.  The story includes a look into the old tradition of bullfighting in Spain but its mostly about the peaceful one who does not have a desire to go along with the tradition, remains true to himself and happy for it.

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Bonnie R

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Just so stories/ by Rudyard Kipling

A collection of short stories from the author of "Jungle Book" will answer many of child's questions as: "How did elephant gor his long nose" and 'Why the camel has a hump" "How the alphabet began". Not easy to read; requires advanced vocabulary skills. Some stories are dragging, and the most exciting and engaging are probably the first 3 in the book. My most favorite one was about an inquistive elphant who was exploring the world and very much would like to encounter A CROCODILE!

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Ksenia R

Friday, January 13, 2012

Number the stars/ by Lois Lowry

Historic novel based on the extremely successful Danish resistance and the story of one family's adventure of protecting their Jewish neighbors and friends.With bravery and smart thinking Andersen family smuggles the Rosen from Denmark into Sweden. Very easy to read and easy to understand and enjoy, the book is full both fiction and facts of Denmark underground.

My favorite line of a book is when a German soldier was  asking a boy that if he is a king of Denmark, then where his bodyguards are...
The boy looked right at the soldier and said  that all of Denmark is his bodyguards.

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Bryan R

Thursday, January 5, 2012

The little prince/ by Antoine de Saint-Exupery

THE LITTLE PRINCE  written and illustrated by Antoine de Saint-ExupĂ©ry is the story narrated by a pilot stranded in the Sahara Desert and his encounter with a wise-beyond-his-years visitor from another planet who shares his observations and experiences while traveling to various planets and finally on Earth where he first befriends a fox, who teaches him that it's love that makes a person responsible for the beings that one loves.  Highlighting the differences between the perspectives of children and grown-ups, the narrator stresses throughout the story is the importance of self-exploration. There is much to be learned from a child and this author who never forgot his own childhood.  It is a thought provoking tale that brings the reader to an understanding of dangers of narrow-mindedness and importance of relationships.  The things in life, visible only to the heart, are the most important.

Bonnie R
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“‘Why are you drinking?’ the little prince asked.
‘In order to forget,’ replied the drunkard.
‘To forget what?’ enquired the little prince, who was already feeling sorry for him.
‘To forget that I am ashamed,’ the drunkard confessed, hanging his head.
‘Ashamed of what?’ asked the little prince who wanted to help him.
‘Ashamed of drinking!’ concluded the drunkard, withdrawing into total silence.
And the little prince went away, puzzled.
‘Grown-ups really are very, very odd,’ he said to himself as he continued his journey.”

Kipper/ by Mick Inkpen

KIPPER by Mick Inkpen is the story of the little dog who decides to get rid of his smelly old blanket, threadbare toy rabbit and soggy ball and bone, only to discover that they are what makes his basket so special and comfortable.  Sometimes we have to realize when it comes to our circumstances, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" applies and contentment is a wonderful thing.   The simple yet lively text holds even the youngest of attention spans and Mick Inkpen's humorous pictures are a joy for children and adults alike.

Bonnie R
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The cow who fell in the canal/ by Phyllis Krasilovsky

Cows get bored too! Hendrika, a cow from Holland would very much like to see the city with its wonderful sights, to ride in a boat to the city market and to chew on a straw hat with ribbon of a seller! One she falls into the canal and all her dreams will turn into an unforgettable adventure!

Gorgeous illustrations: black and white and colored, with multitude of fine details on every page. True classic about a life of a cow from Europe.

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Ksenia R

The tale of Jemima Puddle-Duck/ by Beatrix Potter

First you should meet the fox: a gentleman with sandy-coloured whiskers!
 He is "mighty civil" and handsome! Jemima is mad at hens and the farmer, and she is desperately looking for a quiet place to lay her eggs.And mighty civil Gentleman with sandy whiskers is quite glad to permit Jemima to lay her eggs at his shed. In exchange the gentlemans has only one peculiar request the Puddle-duck one day: "bring from the farm sage and thyme, 2 onions and some parsley, will you?"......

Charming story with quite realistic ending.

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Ksenia R