Friday, March 23, 2012

The magic pocket/ by Michio Mado

Bilingual collection of poems for children, with Japanese on the left side and English translation on the right. Isaiah was lucky to visit our friend Violeta who was reading to him these bits in Japanese.
The poems are about simple-magical things : an umbrella, magic pocket with cookies, crabs who move and do not know where their homes are. Isaiah's favorite one is " Good morning and good night". My favorite one is "Magic pocket"( "I wish i had a pocket like that, I wish i had a pocket like that...")

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Ksenia R for Isaiah R

Thursday, March 22, 2012

UG/by Raymond Briggs

It is about a stone age boy-genius. he came up with all these ideas that no other person in Stone age thought of. Ug'S dad started having the same thinking process so both UG and his dad Dug tried to make soft trousers because in the Stone Age they had.. Stone Trousers only!!!

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Isaiah R

How I Live Now By Meg Rosoff

How I Live Now By Meg Rosoff

Elizabeth (who goes by the name of Daisy) is sent to stay with her deceased mother’s family. Sometimes you just can't relate to the characters in a story. Daisy a 15 year old, New Yorker, and anorexic. I am fat, 39 year old, Oregonian and I couldn't relate to her story. Daisy and her cousins Isaac, Edmond, Osbert and Piper find themsleves alone at the start of the war. With indifferent feeling for the war the cousins go on with their day to day lives. The war abruptly changes their carefree lifes, splitting up the boys and girls. Trying to get reunited as a family Daisy goes through a change, maturing and healing her self-destructive behaviors. Daisy's selfishness ends from the caring and love for her family.
I enjoyed this part of the book but didn't care for Daisy character in the first chapters. I also wish that the author would have ended it without the Postscript ending.

Bryan R

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Clown/ by Quentin Blake

CLOWN by Quentin Blake is an inspiring picture book that lets the reader tell the story of a very compassionate, energetic, determined little toy clown who, even though he had been discarded, musters his courage and talents to make a difference in his world.
I especially liked the fact that he prepared himself by donning a pair of running shoes. Oh, what we can accomplish if we just put on our shoes and do it!
After "reading" this book, I found myself singing an old Frank Sinatra song titled "Pick Yourself Up".......
..... So take a deep breath, pick yourself up, start all over again.

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Bonnie R

One morning in Maine/ by Robert McCloskey

ONE MORNING IN MAINE by Robert McCloskey is another story of his little Sal. In this later writing, the little one who found blueberries in Blueberries for Sal has grown up into the big sister of little Jane and looses her first tooth! She shares the news with everyone and as she does we are introduced to the beauty, wildlife and community of Maine. What a lovely visit and all before CLAM CHOWDER FOR LUNCH!

Bonnie R
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Dolls's house/ by Rumer Godden

One of Rumer Godden's favorite axioms came from an Indian proverb that says - "Everyone is a house with four rooms, a physical, a mental, an emotional and a spiritual. Most of us tend to live in one room most of the time but unless we go into every room every day, even if only to keep it aired, we are not a complete person".

Shortly after World War II THE DOLLS' HOUSE was published. It was written by Rumer Godden and illustrated by Tasha Tudor and focuses on a family of dolls living in a 100 year old dolls house belonging to sisters Emily and Charlotte Dane who had inherited it from their great-aunt. It took Myra and I back to our girlhood days with its almost obsessive, detailed descriptions of the splendid, well equipped dolls' house and the clothing and characteristics of each doll. The unusual aspect of the book was the sensitive way it took us into that "emotional room" as it strongly conveyed the wishes, schemes, confusions, disappointments, and aspirations of the characters. We found ourselves astounded by the wisdom and leadership of Tottie, the small wooden, farthing doll who kept the family on solid ground; shuddering with disdain at the nastiness of the beautiful but arrogant antique china doll called Marchpane; and weeping at the inward beauty of Birdie, the happy and optimistic Christmas Cracker doll made of celluloid doll who gave her life to save the baby boy doll, Apple. (Sacrificial love is an element of most classic writings because if speaks to our deepest need.)

"Dolls are not like people, people choose, but dolls can only be chosen."

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Bonnie R

Dolls are not like people, people choose, but dolls can only be chosen

Dolls are not like people, people choose, but dolls can only be chosen

Jamela's dress/ Niki Daly

Thank you, Mr. Daly, for this little trip to a country steeped in color and beauty.

JAMELA'S DRESS written and illustrated by Niki Daly is the story of a South African little girl named Jamela. Mama had worked hard to earn the money to buy several yards of beautiful but costly new fabric of which she was planning to make something special to wear to Thelma's wedding. In preparation it was washed and hung to dry on the line. Jamela was given the responsibility to keep the dog off of it so it wouldn't get messed up. Technically, Jamela obeyed her mother's orders. The dog never got the fabric dirty. On the other hand...... I remember how irresistible clean sheets flapping on the line could be.... and so it was with the beautiful fabric as Jamela dreamily swayed between the folds and it wrapped around her into a dress. Proud as a peacock she joyously paraded down the street, drawing the attention of many friends and neighbors including a photographer. Children sang, Kwela Jamela African Queen! Too soon, the costly new fabric was not so beautiful and Jamela had to face the consequences of her actions. Mama was very upset and so was Jamela. It was through a surprising turn of events that Jamela was inadvertently responsible for the replacement of her mother's new dress. It was through Mama's love Jamela got a little surprise of her own.
If you love a happy ending you will love this book!
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Bonnie R

Ugly Duckling/ Hans Christian Anderson

A classic, THE UGLY DUCKLING by Hans Christian Anderson retold by Stephen Mitchell with paintings by Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher is the story of a swan hatched into a family of barn yard ducks. Because he doesn't look like his siblings or any other duck for that matter he gets rejected, ridiculed, teased, bullied and made to feel worthless. Only the mother duck can look beyond his ugly appearance and recognize that he has a very good heart. She could not bear to see the way he was treated but had no power to change the situation. He ran away and tried to live among the wild ducks - not a good place to be when hunting season starts! He escaped with his life but found no place where he was accepted. It was a harsh and miserable winter. He nearly froze to death and suffered similar treatment everywhere he wondered. Finally he found out who he really was and the place where he was accepted and admired. All his misery made him all the more thankful for his new-found happiness. And, his magnificent beauty on the outside finally matched the beauty of his heart on the inside!

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Bonnie R

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The biggest bear/ by Lynd Ward

The story is similar to Gentle Ben, or about how difficult it can be to have a wild bear as a pet. Johny finds a cub and brings him home. The cub has voracious appetite, gobbling up everything he sees and what not. Johny's home soon will be too small for this glutton, and the brute will start ravaging neigbors' fields and larders. No-one is happy no more!!!! Neigbors have had enough of this situation! Johny's family has to come up with a "bear-elimination plan", that will probably not work so well as the bear has no desire to go back into the wild, where food hunt is quite a chore! He is like a boomerang: always comes back. Luckily, Johny meets some people who would fancy this giant glutton at the city zoo.

Great tale with gorgeous illustrations. For all the boys who dreamt about a pet bear!

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Ksenia R

Friday, March 16, 2012

Harry and the bucketful of dinosaurs/ by Ian Whybrow

It is book about old friends who are better 2 new ones, but in our story a bucket of dinosaurs is better than a new video! Harry loves his old dinosaurs, he names them all and carries them around in a bucket. One day, he and Gran left a bucket on the bus. Trying to console her grandson, Gran buys him a new video... But it is not as good as dinosaurs! Harry prefers dinosaurs cause he can take care of them.
So, he goes to Lost and Found man and claims his bucket. Harry is very happy, he  is reunited with his bucketful of friends!

Touching story of friendship and loss

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Ksenia R

The three pigs/ by David Wiesner

The three pigs each escaped their own story and found this whole universe of child's stories and went into different books. It is good book, a little bit confusing, but still pretty good.

Isaiah R

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Match curse/ by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith

If your read this entire book it will give you headache. It is mind-splitting! My favorite part of the book is when the girl broke the math curse!

Math problems are everywhere. He could make a sequel our of it..... science curse...writing curse...reading curse.. and on and on... This list could go on and on for every class the girl does.

Isaiah R
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Rosa goes to daycare/ by Barbro Lindgren and Eva Ericksson

ROSA GOES TO DAYCARE by Barbro Lindgren and Eva Ericksson is the story of a high spirited little English bull terrier with the anvil shaped head attending a doggy day care.  There are way too many "doggy friends" to follow and too many mundane activities but I did enjoy all the illustrations of various breeds and the list of ROSA'S FRIENDS on the last page.
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 Bonnie R 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Doctor de Soto/ by William Steig

Doctor De Soto is a popular dentist who does not treat " dangerous animals". But one day he risks to treat a well-dressed fox with flannel bandage around the jaw. The dental work is almost done, and Mr Fox is thinking about eating his doctor. So Doctor de Soto and his assistant( who happens to be his wife) have to outfox the fox and do it really quickly!

Delightful and foxy book!

Isaiah R and Ksenia R

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THE STINKY CHEESE MAN AND OTHER FAIRLY STUPID TALES by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith is one entertaining book!  Its a great collection of madcap revisions of fairy tales we all knew and may have loved.  Chicken Little becomes "Chicken Licken", Little Red Riding Hood becomes "Little Red Riding Shorts", The Ugly Duckling becomes the "Really Ugly Duckling" and then we have "The princess and the Bowling Ball" (not the Pea)  and of course it's not the Gingerbread Man but "The Stinky Cheese Man"  Well, you get the idea!  The authors of the original fairy tales may need an apology.  We had a good laugh at their expense! 
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Bonnie R and Isaiah R

Guess how much i love you/ Sam McBratney

I love you... I love you more.... I love you most.  Haven't we all been engaged in that interaction?  Sam McBratney's words and Anita Jeram's illustrations express the idea that no matter how much your baby loves you, you love your baby more, and they won't understand until they have a baby of their own.  One of the things that makes GUESS HOW MUCH I LOVE YOU unusual is that both characters, Little Nutbrown Hare and Big Nutbrown Hare, are male. There is no lack of books about the love of mothers for their children, but Daddy-love is harder to find.  Being the mother of 3 grown sons, I love the message here.  The game of "one-ups-man-ship" is one that naturally appeals to the male gender.  But, the grown up would never want to outdo his baby just because he's bigger. So... Big Nutbrown Hare let Little Nutbrown Hare go to sleep thinking he won that little game before he let out the final "I love you right up to the moon - and back"  What a sweet, sweet story!
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Bonnie R 

The Gruffalo/ by Julia Donaldson

THE GRUFFALO written in rhyme by Julia Donaldson with wonderful pictures by Axel Scheffler is the story of an extraordinary, imaginative mouse taking a stroll through the deep dark wood.  This mouse is not meek and fearful; he's bold and confident, a real smart-aleck, in fact.  He is confronted by fierce predators --the clever fox -- the wise owl -- the subtle snake who are all outwitted by this littlest of animals and turn out to be wimps .  But then, the mouse meets the terrible monster of his own imagination -- THE GRUFFALO!  Would this be his end?  No, there is no end to the power of wit and words!  That's how we stay out of the food chain! 
 Bonnie R 
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Elsie Piddock skips in her sleep/ by Eleanor Farjeon

allyourmother's -

Eleanor Farjeon's ELSIE PIDDOCK SKIPS IN HER SLEEP brings a welcome memory from my own childhood - skipping rope.  It's an activity that's somewhat out of fashion these hectic days but pure pleasure for any child.  And, that's how I would describe this book.  Its an imaginative story - two stories, really.... Elsie as a very small child enduring the hardness of poverty by the power of the simple delights of using her natural gifts and pursuing her dreams.... And the second -  The enthralling and emotionally satisfying story of how she changed and preserved her world forever!    ....  Isn't that what we all want to do?

Bonnie R 
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Sunday, March 4, 2012

Eva Eriksson/ Molly goes shopping

With her delicate, expressive illustrations, Eva Eriksson treats readers to MOLLY GOES SHOPPING, a sweet story about a young girl, old enough and smart enough to do things on her own, who learns that when she accepts responsibility, she can make mistakes and still accomplish great things thanks to Grandma's loving support.

Bonnie R
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The three railway engines/ by Rev. W. Awdry

The Reverend W. Awdry was encouraged by his wife to publish THE THREE RAILWAY ENGINES before I was born and here we are, reading it today!  I don't think that even the Mrs. had any idea how popular this work would be! This was just the beginning of a long, long series which have been delighting kids and their parents and grandparents for many years. (Note: Many people believe that Thomas the Tank Engine was the first in this series...that is not so...this was the book that started it all!)  It includes four stories of three remarkable talking trains - Edward, Gordon and Henry who share a train shed. The quite readable stores tell of their distinct personalities, adventures and interactions - good stuff that kids love, to this day!  It has stood the test of time.

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Bonnie R 

Caps for Sale/ by Esphir Slobodkina

True classic for kids about a pebbler and monkey business. The pebbler falls asleep under the bush and when he wakes up, all his merchandise is gone. Naughty monkeys are wearing them now. Poor pebbler has to get them back, but monkeys would not listen to his pleads!
Magnificent illustrations, charming story and a lot of monkeys!We read it together with Isaiah and both enjoyed it greatly!

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Ksenia R and Isaiah R

There are tulips on every page; we thought he was in Netherlands