Friday, May 29, 2009



Book Review #754
The Light In the Cellar by Sarah Masters Buckey
Rating: two stars (out of four)

I thought this was a good juvenile mystery book.  The characters were pretty evenly fleshed out.  I was almost fooled when they put the decoy thief as the prime suspect.  I liked how it all wrapped up.  I would probably recommend if you were a fan of the American Girl series.

Book Review #753
That's Good! That's Bad! by Margery Cuyler, illustrated by David Catrow
Rating: two stars (out of four)

I actually really enjoyed the illustrations in this book.  Most of them were quite humorous and imaginative.  While the repeated lines in this story got a little old, I still thought it was interesting to see what situation the boy would wind up in next.  I would probably recommend. 


Book Review #752
Christopher: The Holy Giant by Tomie dePaola
Rating: two stars (out of four)

This was a legend I had never heard before.  I appreciated that it was being passed on down to children, but I don't think I would put much stock in its claim.  Still, I enjoyed the pictures and would probably recommend.
Book Review #751
Once Around The Block by Kevin Henkes, illustrated by Victoria Chess
Rating: two stars (out of four)

I liked the sentiment of this story a lot.  It was sweet.  But I was not the least bit impressed with the illustrations, they were kind of pathetic.  I'm not sure why Kevin just didn't illustrate this book himself.  I did like the ending though, it was pretty nice.  I might recommend.


Book Review #750
Today I Feel Silly by Jamie Lee Curtis, illustrated by Laura Cornell
Rating: two stars (out of four)

This is a fun book.  There are so many cool things to look at on each page, sometimes it is a little overwhelming.  Still, I enjoyed seeing the different moods and I would probably recommend.


Book Review #749
Bonjour, Mr. Satie by Tomie dePaola
Rating: two stars (out of four)

This was a rather interesting tale.  I thought it was pretty entertaining and I liked the illustrations because of their bright colors and shapes.  I would recommend.

Thursday, May 28, 2009



Book Review #748
Grandpa And Bo by Kevin Henkes
Rating: two stars (out of four)

I really enjoyed looking at the pictures in this book, they were so soft and peaceful.  The ending was really sweet, it made me smile.  I would recommend.


Book Review #747
The Cloud Book by Tomie dePaola
Rating: two stars (out of four)

This book was quite informative.  I liked how Tomie mixed fun with education to give youngsters a book they would like and get some interesting tidbits out of as well.  I would recommend.


Book Review #746
Thump, Quack, Moo by Doreen Cronin, illustrated by Betsy Lewin
Rating: three stars (out of four)

The crazy scheming Duck is up to no good again.  I liked how the farmer interacted with the animals, it always cracks me up to see what sort of trouble they will get into.  The illustrations are fun.  The ending was pretty comical, though I felt a little sorry for the farmer.  I would recommend.

Book Review #745
Old Bear by Kevin Henkes
Rating: four stars (out of four)

I absolutely loved the illustrations for this book!  They were gorgeous!  I loved how Kevin blended different shades of the same color to make a lovely scene.  The story was fairly simple, but it was still pretty sweet.  I would definitely recommend.


Book Review #744
Lilly's Big Day by Kevin Henkes
Rating: three stars (out of four)

Lilly never ceases to amuse me with her strange ideas and kooky outfits.  This book was no less amusing.  I especially liked the climax of the story, which called upon Lilly to think up the perfect solution.  I was very impressed with how she handled it and I broke out into a smile when I figured out what she was going to do.  I would recommend.


Book Review #743
Matthew's Dream by Leo Lionni
Rating: two stars (out of four)

I think my favorite part of this book was all the mice artwork.  The story was pretty simple, but still fairly enjoyable.  I would recommend if you were already a fan of Leo Lionni.


Book Review #742
It's Hard To Be Five by Jamie Lee Curtis, Illustrated by Laura Cornell
Rating: two stars (out of four)

One of the lines in this book actually made me laugh out loud.  I thought this was a fun tale, if not amusing at points.  The pictures were outrageously detailed, I had a hard time tearing myself away from the illustrations to read the words on the page.  I would recommend.


Book Review #741 
I'm Gonna Like Me by Jamie Lee Curtis, illustrated by Laura Cornell
Rating: two stars (out of four)

This was a nice book with a good message.  The kids were pretty cute, and hard to dislike.  the illustrations were colorful and imaginative, there was always something that caught my eye.  I would recommend.

Book Review #740
Tell Me Again About The Night I Was Born by Jamie Lee Curtis, illustrated by Laura Cornell
Rating: two stars (out of four)

This book was cute.  I liked the way it was written from the perspective of a child who had the complete story memorized.  The pictures were very detailed and there was so much to look at on each page.  I would recommend.


Book Review #739
Pictures From Our Vacation by Lynne Rae Perkins
Rating: two stars (out of four)

The sentiment of this book was really nice and it kind of reminded me of vacations I had taken when I was a child.  Sometimes the pictures were a little confusing because there was so much to look at, but generally I enjoyed every page.  The story was sweet, I would recommend.


Book Review #738
A Busy Year by Leo Lionni
Rating: two stars (out of four)

This was a sweet story about the relationship between two mice and a talking tree.  I liked the illustrations, they were cute and the tree was especially lovely.  It was also kind of cool to see the year go by month by month.  I would probably recommend.


Book Review #737
The Enormous Crocodile by Roald Dahl, illustrated by Quentin Blake
Rating: two stars (out of four)

This was a weird, but fun tale.  I liked how the crocodile devised "clever" tricks to fool the little children.  Some of his disguises were pretty funny.  I loved the illustrations by Quentin Blake, they were perfect for the story.  I would recommend.


Book Review #736
Samantha's Special Talent by Sarah Masters Buckey
Rating: two stars (out of four)

This was a fairly good book.  I didn't see the end coming, and that was a plus.  The story was pretty sweet and kept a good pace - I was never bored while reading.  I would probably recommend if you were a fan of the American Girl series.

Book Review #735
Llama Llama Misses Mama by Anna Dewdney
Rating: three stars (out of four)

The little llama is back!  And this time he has to get ready for school.  Will he survive?  You bet he will!  But not without some llama drama.  This book was almost as enjoyable as the first in this series (llama llama red pajama) and I enjoyed looking at the pictures, especially the facial expressions of the little llama and his classmates.  I would definitely recommend, especially if you were a fan of llamas.


Book Review #734
A Mango-Shaped Space by Wendy Mass
Rating: three stars (out of four)

This was a very intriguing book.  I had seen it several places before I finally decided that I would read it.  The cover has always fascinated me.  I really liked the concept, I had never heard of it before and seeing the way the author described things was pretty amazing.  She used a good amount of descriptive ways without making it sound repetitious.  There were a couple parts in the story that I felt were a little unrealistic, but they were easy to brush aside.  A couple times in the story I was banging my head (mentally) going, "come on man, don't do that..." to the main character, because I could see where she might end up and I wanted her to survive.  A note to readers, this book did make me cry, so if you cry easily (like me) and don't want to look like a freak while in public, read this book at home.  I would recommend. 


Book Review #733
It's Like This, Cat by Emily Neville, illustrated by Emil Weiss
Rating: two stars (out of four)

I thought this book did a good job of portraying everyday life (when it was published) and I was actually interested in what the boy was doing.  I liked the main character Dave, even though there were times I was going, "boy, what are you doing?"  The cat was an interesting character, I'm not sure that it really tied things together all that well, but I know it was supposed to.  The illustrations were nice, but nothing amazing.  The ending was a little abrupt, and I kind of wished that it had had more closure.  There was one part in the story that was especially painful, and I almost wished that it had been left out, because it was sad.  I'm not sure why this book won the Newbery Medal, it definitely wasn't an astounding story or anything.  I might recommend.


Book Review #732
Nellie's Promise by Valerie Tripp
Rating: two stars (out of four)

This was a fairly entertaining book.  I felt bad for Nellie though, because throughout the book she had this weight on her chest that she shouldn't have had to deal with.  I'm glad it all worked out in the end.  I would probably recommend if you were a fan of the Samantha series.


Book Review #731
Duck For President by Doreen Cronin, illustrated by Betsy Lewin
Rating: two stars (out of four)

This was a fairly amusing tale.  I thought it was comical and outrageous how Duck managed to beat out any competition.  But true to Duck's nature, he kept finding that all his new positions didn't quite suit his style.  The ending was funny, I liked the little twist.  I would probably recommend.


Book Review #730
The Broken Cat by Lynne Rae Perkins
Rating: two stars (out of four)

I thought this was an interesting way to tell a story.  I appreciated seeing the glimpses from the past and how the boy used it to comfort himself and his cat.  I would probably recommend.


Book Review #729
The Baby Sister by Tomie dePaola
Rating: two stars (out of four)

This is a sweet story.  I especially enjoyed seeing Tommy's enthusiasm for his new sibling.  The story was fairly simple, but still pretty enjoyable, I would recommend.


Book Review #728
Brave Emily by Valerie Tripp
Rating: two stars (out of four)

This was a fairly interesting story.  I liked seeing the world through Emily's perspective.  I was a little shocked at some of the things that Emily did, but I'm glad that she eventually saw the error of her ways and did her best to fix everything, including telling the truth.  I would probably recommend if you were a fan of the American Girl series.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009



Book Review #727
Molly Takes Flight by Valerie Tripp
Rating: two stars (out of four)

This book had a good message, and I thought the story did a nice job of portraying the war in a simple and yet understandable manner.  I would probably recommend to people who were already a fan of the Molly series.


Book Review #726
Molly's Puppy Tale by Valerie Tripp
Rating: two stars (out of four)

I think this book will show that having a puppy can be a lot of work.  I could see why Molly would want to keep her puppy to herself, but I also saw the point of view from her brother's side.  I might recommend if you were already a fan of the Molly series.


Book Review #725
Big Anthony: His Story by Tomie dePaola
Rating: two stars (out of four)

I felt sorry for Big Anthony's family, they didn't seem to know what to make of him, or how he could become useful.  But I did see their dilemma, because he is awfully scatterbrained and doesn't pay attention to everything like he should.  Still, I enjoyed seeing where Big Anthony went and I would probably recommend this book.


Book Review #724
Adelita by Tomie dePaola
Rating: two stars (out of four)

This was an interesting take on the Cinderella story.  I liked how there was no magic involved and Cinderella had to use her wits and the help of her godmother (I'm assuming that was what she was).  I would probably recommend, especially if you were a fan of fairytale retellings.


Book Review #723
Clouds For Dinner by Lynne Rae Perkins
Rating: two stars (out of four)

The message of this book is sweet and simple: there is no place like home.  I enjoyed seeing the little girl see the world through a new set of eyes and learn to appreciate what was right there in front of her.  I would recommend.


Book Review #722
Angels, Angels Everywhere by Tomie dePaola
Rating: two stars (out of four)

This was a fairly cute book.  Not very realistic at all (how many angels help you get dressed in the morning?).  Still, I enjoyed looking at the sweet illustrations and would probably recommend.


Book Review #721
Allison by Allen Say
Rating: two stars (out of four)

This book had a nice message, but I don't know if children would get it.  I liked the illustrations, they were moving and poignant.  I would probably recommend, but with a word of caution if you had adopted children and they did not know it themselves.


Book Review #720
Home Of The Brave by Allen Say
Rating: three stars (out of four)

While I read this book I had a slight sense of creepiness, the drawings also helped to enhance this feature.  The story's message was good, but I thought it might have been slightly better portrayed.  I did like the title of this book, it was ironic and powerful.  I would probably still recommend, but it just didn't feel like very much of a children's book.


Book Review #719
Stranger In The Mirror by Allen Say
Rating: one star (out of four)

I did not really see the point of this book.  I was kind of confused throughout the whole reading and at the end I was still a little baffled.  The pictures were the trademark Allen Say illustrations, but I just did not get the storyline.  I wouldn't recommend.


Book Review #718
Home Lovely by Lynne Rae Perkins
Rating: two stars (out of four)

This was a sweet book.  I liked how the little girl was creative and found ways to deal with her unique circumstances and tried to make the best of everything.  The pictures were pretty nice as well.  I'd probably recommend.


Book Review #717
The Bicycle Man by Allen Say
Rating: two stars (out of four)

While this story had a nice sentiment, I wasn't nearly as interested in it as some of Allen Say's other books.  I was also a little bit disappointed with the quality of the illustrations, they weren't quite up to par.  I might still recommend though.


Book Review #716
Tea With Milk by Allen Say
Rating: three stars (out of four)

I really enjoyed this book.  I especially loved the close-up illustrations of the character's faces, they were absolutely superb.  The story was sweet and had a happy ending.  I would recommend.


Book Review #715
El Chino by Allen Say
Rating: two stars (out of four)

This was an interesting story, one I had never heard before.  I liked how the man in the story never gave up on his dreams.  There were a couple of illustrations among the first several pages that I thought were absolutely amazing, I loved how Allen Say drew the people's faces.  I would probably recommend.


Book Review #714
Andy (That's My Name) by Tomie dePaola
Rating: two stars (out of four)

This was a quirky book.  I felt bad for Andy because everybody took his letters and made all sorts of words with them.  They also insisted that he could not play because he was too little.  The ending was nice though, I liked how Andy finally stood up for himself.  I might recommend this book.


Book Review #713
Big Anthony And The Magic Ring by Tomie dePaola
Rating: two stars (out of four)

This was a fairly entertaining read.  I enjoyed seeing what kind of trouble Big Anthony would get himself into and how Strega Nona would save him...once again.  I would recommend.


Book Review #712
Giggle, Giggle, Quack by Doreen Cronin, illustrated by Betsy Lewin
Rating: three stars (out of four)

This book cracked me up.  I always love seeing what crazy antics these barn animals will get away with.  I especially liked how Duck included all the other animals and made sure everyone got their fair share of the fun.  Although, at the end, I did feel a tad bit sorry for Farmer Barn, he didn't get a very relaxing vacation.  I'd recommend.


Book Review #711
The Fungus That Ate My School by Arthur Dorros, illustrated by David Catrow
Rating: one star (out of four)

This book was merely okay.  I wasn't amused with the story or the illustrations.  The ending was a tad bit too random and I felt like it could have been much better.  Needless to say, I won't be recommending this book anytime soon.

Book Review #710
Lu And The Swamp Ghost by James Carville and Patricia C. McKissack, illustrated by David Catrow
Rating: two stars (out of four)

This was an interesting story, if not fairly sweet.  I checked it out because I saw the illustrations were done by David Catrow.  I liked the story, but I didn't love it or anything.  I might recommend.


Book Review #709
Are You Quite Polite? by Alan Katz, illustrated by David Catrow
Rating: two stars (out of four)

This book only just barely got this rating.  I really wasn't very impressed with this book at all.  Some of the songs were downright gross, some were a tad bit funny.  But I wasn't overly thrilled with this book of silly dilly songs.  There were a couple really good lines that almost made me smile, but not enough to redeem this book.  I probably wouldn't recommend.


Book Review #708
The Alphabet Tree by Leo Lionni
Rating: two stars (out of four)

This was an interesting book.  I'm not sure that I liked the ending at all.  And I actually felt sorry for the little letters.  I did enjoy the illustrations, but I was a confused with where the author was trying to lead the reader.  I might recommend.


Book Review #707
Birds by Kevin Henkes, illustrated by Laura Dronzek
Rating: three stars (out of four)

The pictures were what made this book really sweet, they just had this softness about them that was wonderful.  I did like the sentiments in the story as well.  The ending was only slightly random, I wasn't very impressed with the last page.  Still, I enjoyed reading this book and would recommend.  


Book Review #706
Going, Going, Gone! by Alan Katz, illustrated by David Catrow
Rating: two stars (out of four)

This book was okay.  I didn't care for all the songs, but some of them were mildly amusing.  Some of the pictures were pretty funny, but some were a little off the wall.  I might recommend if you had already read a couple books by these guys and liked them.

Book Review #705
Olivia Forms A Band by Ian Falconer
Rating: three stars (out of four)

I like seeing the difference from what Olivia sees in her own mind and how the rest of the world views her crazy ideas.  The pictures are of course, insanely comical.  I thought this story was cute and spunky.  I would recommend, especially if you were a fan of pigs.


Book Review #704
A Flea Story by Leo Lionni
Rating: two stars (out of four)

I liked seeing the interaction between the two fleas, how one was adventurous and the other was a little pessimistic.  I also liked how Leo created different animals with the cutouts.  I would probably recommend if you were already a fan of Leo Lionni.