Friday, December 30, 2011

Book Review #1295
Gooney Bird on the Map by Lois Lowry, illustrated by Middy Thomas
Rating: one star (out of four)

I wasn’t a big fan. I haven’t read other books with Gooney Bird in them, but I didn’t really care for her personality. I may be missing something from previous books, but I didn’t like how much attention Gooney Bird got from her teacher, principal, and classmates. I wasn’t sure why they put up with her crazy styles and antics. I felt like everybody catered to her somewhat outrageous demands and ideas. I didn’t think she was completely bossy and domineering, but I just got frustrated with some of her ideas and the way she seemed to “know” what was best for everyone else. I wouldn’t recommend, but other people might like this book if they enjoyed previous books with this character.

Book Review #1294
Eddie: The Lost Youth of Edgar Allan Poe by Scott Gustafson
Rating: one star (out of four)

I read part of this book, but then gave up because I wasn’t liking how flippantly they portrayed Edgar Allan Poe and their imagination of his childhood. I know it’s a fiction version with liberties taken to make people interested in his life, but I wasn’t a fan. I didn’t care for the characters and I found myself disinterested several times while reading. The illustrations didn’t really hold my attention either. I wouldn’t recommend.

Book Review #1293
Planet Middle School by Nikki Grimes
Rating: two stars (out of four)

A quick and fairly engaging read. I thought the author did a good job of portraying a young narrator who was conflicted by growing up and all of the awkward changes that take place. It was told in verse and I liked having the story develop through poetry. It was an interesting story and I felt that all of the characters were realistically portrayed, but I wasn't super engrossed. I might recommend.

Book Review #1292
Waiting for Magic by Patricia MacLachlan, illustrated by Amy June Bates
Rating: three stars (out of four)

I was surprised by how much I liked this book. It was really sweet and had a poignant message. Even though I'm not a big fan of dogs, I enjoyed the dogs in this story and felt like they gave great insight in the life of the disrupted family. The message was simple and I thought Patricia MacLachlan did an excellent job of keeping the quality of the story while making it something a juvenile reader could understand and enjoy. It's a book that has a wide audience and the characters and illustrations are very much alive and accurately show their personalities. I would recommend this story.

Book Review #1291
Dancing in the Wings by Debbie Allen, illustrated by Kadir Nelson
Rating: two stars (out of four)

I picked up the book because of the illustrations. I had read a couple of other books with Kadir Nelson's drawings and enjoyed them. The story was nice and I did like all of the pictures, but I wasn't in love with it. People who are fans of ballerina books might enjoy it more.

Book Review #1290
Wildefire by Karsten Knight
Rating: one star (out of four)

I'm not going to finish this. The violence is disturbing and I'm over 80 pages in and I have no feelings whatsoever for any of the characters. Plus I don't approve of 16-year-olds drinking/breaking the rules and thinking it's not a big deal. Not my kind of book at all. The beginning was really dark and disturbing. I tried reading more to see how it would fare after that and I wanted to give it a chance to turn into something more interesting, or at least explain why those things happened. But it didn’t. I was not at all impressed with how the teenagers acted and especially their reckless view of life. I was annoyed with how easily they broke rules and ignored authority figures. I didn’t like any of the characters and felt they were mean, underdeveloped, and disturbing. I didn’t care what happened to them and that's why I quit reading. I wouldn’t recommend.

Book Review #1289
The Predicteds by Christine Seifert
Rating: one star (out of four)

I wanted to like this book, but there were just so many factors that made that impossible. The premise was really intriguing and I thought the cover and the first couple of chapters were good. I was hooked and I wanted to know what was going to happen. But after those initial few pages of excitement, the story really started to lag and the character development was completely off-base. I was not impressed with any of the characters and thought they needed major revision. The plot took a turn for the worse and there were a lot of things that just didn’t add up in the book. The plot had some awkward gaps that didn’t make sense and some things were left unexplained. I was so annoyed with the lack of character depth and felt like a lot of the people weren't portrayed realistically. I wouldn't recommend, it was a disappointment.

Book Review #1288
The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab
Rating: three stars (out of four)

I really enjoyed this book. It reminded me of Vivian Vande Velde’s earlier novels. Even though the plot was pretty simplistic and the story took place over a seemingly short span of time, I was fairly engrossed the whole time I read. I liked the characters and thought they were portrayed realistically. The story was interesting and I wanted to know how things would end up. It was a short read, but I liked the story progression. It was a one of the better fantasy books I had read in a while. It was a seemingly simplistic fantasy novel, but because of that element, it felt like a breathe of fresh air compared to all of the other fantasy novels I had been reading lately. I would recommend!

Book Review #1287
Two Moon Princess by Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban
Rating: one star (out of four)

When I read the premise, it sounded pretty good. Unfortunately, the story did not live up to its potential. The main character was really immature. I wanted her lines and actions to be less predictable and annoying. I kept waiting for her to do something interesting, but I was continually disappointed by her choices. I almost stopped reading in the middle because I didn't really care about the major plot or characters. Near the end of the book there was a change in character personalities that didn't add up at all. I was disgruntled with how the people acted and the way things were resolved. The ending was a letdown and I was largely disappointed with the plot, characters, and action sequences. I wouldn’t recommend.

Book Review #1286
My Favorite Band does not Exist by Robert T. Jeschonek
Rating: one star (out of four)

I didn’t get this book. At all. The whole time I was reading it, I kept wondering when things would start to make sense. You’d think that things would be explained, but I was so frustrated with the lack of details that I almost gave up reading because it was so bizarre. I wish I had given up reading it because the ending was a huge disappointment. I only finished for the sake of having some sort of conclusion to explain the hours I had spent reading the book. But the ending didn’t offer anything satisfying enough to justify reading the book. Also, I have no clue what genre to categorize this book as - it was all over the place. I wouldn’t recommend it.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Book Review #1285
Just Like Heaven: A Mutts Children's Book by Patrick McDonnell
Rating: two stars (out of four)

While this book had a sweet message and cute illustrations, it was a letdown. I was browsing the bookstore and I saw a stack sitting on the shelf and picked it up out of curiosity. The story just didn't have enough poignancy for me to like it and I thought it was a little dumbed-down. Other people might like it, but I just didn't care for it.

Book Review #1284
The Curious Garden by Peter Brown
Rating: three stars (out of four)

Absolutely loved the illustrations. They were imaginative and suited the story perfectly. I really liked the story and felt like it would entertain almost anyone. I would love to see this garden in real life. The little boy was really sweet and I couldn't help but love his personality. Although I adored this book, but it didn't quite make it to my favorites shelf or top rating. It had nice footnotes in the back. I'd definitely recommend.

Book Review #1283
Me, Frida by Amy Novesky, illustrated by David Diaz
Rating: two stars (out of four)

I love the illustrations for this picture book. They were colorful and engaging. The story was nice as well, but I mostly enjoyed the illustrations. I liked that it was historical, but still felt like a fictional story. I'd recommend.

Book Review #1282
How Rocket Learned to Read by Tad Hills
Rating: two stars (out of four)

This was a nice book, but a little lackluster for me. I thought the friendship between the two animals was interesting and the illustrations were good, but I wasn't absorbed by the story. I was a little bored sometimes. I think that other people might like it though, it just didn't do anything for me.

Book Review #1281
The Cow Loves Cookies by Karma Wilson, illustrated by Marcellus Hall
Rating: two stars (out of four)

I picked up this book based on the cover and I wasn't disappointed. It was a charming book about barnyard animals and their quirks. The illustrations were funny and cute. I also enjoyed the author's use of rhyme and repetition. I really liked the ending, it was humorous and perfectly suited the book. I'd recommend.

Book Review #1280
Lili at Ballet by Rachel Isadora
Rating: two stars (out of four)

People who enjoy books about ballet might like this story more than I did. The pictures were nice and the text was okay, but I was a little bored while reading. I'd steer clear unless you were a fan of ballet picture books.

Book Review #1279
Chicken Cheeks by Michael Ian Black, illustrated by Kevin Hawkes
Rating: two stars (out of four)

This book was fairly amusing but had a lot of bum humor, which wasn't surprising, based on the cover art and title. The illustrations were interesting to look at and added humor to the story, but I wasn't a huge fan. The rhyme was wordy throughout, but I feel like other people might enjoy this book more.

Book Review #1278
Who Wants to be a Poodle, I Don't by Lauren Child
Rating: two stars (out of four)

I liked the humor in this story. The poodle’s aspirations and thoughts were funny and I appreciated how the story was told. The illustrations were amusing, though there were a couple of pages that I thought the collage pieces were too close in color and they blended together. But overall, I enjoyed the artwork. I liked the alliteration throughout and the ending was sweet. I would recommend.

Book Review #1277
Skippyjon Jones Shapes Up by Judy Schachner
Rating: three stars (out of four)

This was cute. I liked the antics of Skippyjon as he posed throughout the board book. Even though this book was really simplistic in nature, the funny little pictures of Skippyjon as he incorporated shapes with keeping IN shape accurately portrayed Skippyjon’s hilarious personality and made the book enjoyable.

Book Review #1276
Skippyjon Jones Up and Down by Judy Schachner
Rating: three stars (out of four)

I love how Judy Schachner took simplistic elements and made them into a cute board book that little children and adults could read and enjoy. While it wasn’t a full-blown story, it still had enough Skippyjon aspects that made the book endearing.

Book Review #1275
The Secret War by Matt Myklusch
Rating: two stars (out of four)

I thought this was more mature (writing-wise) and thrilling than the first book. I had contemplated whether or not I would read the second book...not because the first book was bad or anything like that, but because I was a little apathetic about the story's continuation. But this book definitely pulled me in and I (mostly) liked the development of the characters and plot.

Sure, there were parts that I found a little unrealistic, especially how Jack treated his friends and mentors. I didn't understand why Jack chose to conceal some secrets. There were other parts I wished had been developed better and I was unsure how everything was going to wrap up at the end. I didn't like the changes in Jack and thought some of his actions were misguided. I didn't see the progression of maturity or how he was able to handle certain tasks. I'm being vague because I don't want to give away any spoilers, but there was a major element of the plot that I felt was off. I didn't think it was trivial, but I felt like it was a little unrealistic for a 13 year old be be handling. Maybe that's just me though. I still thought it was a thrilling and engaging read. I would recommend if you had enjoyed the first book, but otherwise, I wouldn't seek out this series.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Book Review #1274
Ella Bella Ballerina and Cinderella by James Mayhew
Rating: two stars (out of four)

This would probably delight young children who are big fans of ballerinas and fairy tales, but I wasn't overtly impressed. It was colorfully pink and girlish, which some children might love. The pictures were pretty nice, but I wasn't enthralled or anything like that. I probably wouldn't recommend because I was a little bored when reading it.

Book Review #1273
The Boss Baby by Marla Frazee
Rating: two stars (out of four)

I liked the twist that this story offered and while the story was more interesting then some, I didn’t think it was the most phenomenal thing I had read. It was fairly humorous and the pictures were pretty entertaining, but I wasn’t captivated or anything like that. I probably wouldn’t recommend.

Book Review #1272
Little White Rabbit by Kevin Henkes
Rating: three stars (out of four)

This story is told in such a sweet way, you can’t help but smile at the warm illustrations. It has a playful atmosphere and the rabbit is fun to watch as he scampers through the pages. It's an endearing story with cute pictures and a lovely ending.

Book Review #1271
Perfect Square by Michael Hall
Rating: three stars (out of four)

This was a really sweet book. The message was endearing and I loved seeing the square’s realization as the story progressed. The ending was perfect and it made me smile. I also loved how creative the square was throughout the pages. This was a simplistic, yet uplifting book. I would recommend.

Book Review #1270
Listen to the Wind: The Story of Dr. Greg & Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson, illustrated by Susan L. Roth
Rating: two stars (out of four)

I really liked the story. The illustrations were good too and matched the story well. Another thing that I appreciated was the footnotes, they were informative. I’d recommend.

Book Review #1269
Crazy Hair by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Dave McKean
Rating: two stars (out of four stars)

This book was really, really weird. I’m not sure if I could truly enjoy it because I couldn’t get over how bizarre it was. The ending was kind of random and I’m not sure I could say that I liked this book. I would only recommend if you were a big fan of Neil Gaiman…because this book isn’t for everyone. 

Book Reviews #1268
Skippyjon Jones: Class Action by Judy Schachner
Rating: three stars (out of four)

How can you not love the antics of the silly Siamese kitty who goes on all sorts of crazy adventures in his closet? Needless to say, this book was definitely entertaining and I listened to the audio CD that came with the book and it was a great companion to the story! Judy Schachner read the book out loud and created different voices for all of the characters in the book. The singing was hilarious as well. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I would definitely recommend it.

Book Review #1267
I'm Not. by Pam Smallcomb, illustrated by Robert Weinstock
Rating: two stars (out of four)

The cover for the book intrigued me. It was an interesting book, had a fairly interesting story, but I wasn’t a huge fan. It had weird illustrations, but I could see children liking them and thinking they were entertaining. I might recommend. 

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Book Review #1266
Melvin and the Boy by Lauren Castillo
Rating: two stars (out of four)

I picked up this book because of the sweet and soft feel of the cover. Also, I love reptiles and seeing the little turtle and boy made the book seem even more promising. And it was a cute story, I liked the illustrations and felt that they added to the story’s sweet countenance. The list of facts at the end was also informative. I would recommend. 

Book Review #1265
A Pet for Petunia by Paul Schmid
Rating: two stars (out of four)

This book was pretty cute. It had fun pictures and an engaging story that kept me interested. I did feel like some of the dialogue was a little presumptuous for younger readers, but I don’t think that will detract too much from the story. I thoroughly enjoyed the ending. I’d recommend.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Book Review #1264
Queen of the Falls by Chris Van Allsburg
Rating: two stars (out of four)

This was a historical story I had never heard of before. I enjoyed seeing the portrayal of this daring woman and her amazing stunt. This story didn't turn out exactly how I would have imagined, but it was told reastically and I appreciated that. It was a little bittersweet though, and that was a little sad. I still liked it though.

Book Review #1263
Marty McQuire by Kate Messner, illustrated by Brian Floca
Rating: two stars (out of four)

From the first line of the book you definitely saw Marty's spunky personality! The first page made me laugh out loud and I loved how Marty's voice animated the story. There were some pretty comical lines throughout and I couldn't help but smile. My only major negative was that it was a super quick read. I wouldn't have minded it being longer. I feel like I read it in 30 minutes. The story was sweet and I liked seeing how Marty grew from her experiences. I'd recommend.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Book Review #1262
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Rating: two stars (out of four)

The title is kind of lame, and I almost didn't read it because of the cheesy title. I was a big fan of the witty banter back and forth and some parts of the book made me laugh out loud. I also thought the characters were pretty well-fleshed out and developed. The story was interesting and wove in all the predicable we-can't-be-together-because-of-this-factor bla bla....the first 2 thirds of the book I immensely enjoyed. I thought it was funny and light-hearted and I was impressed with Anna for seeing she needed to be a friend and that she kept her distance and restrained herself.

Then things slid a little and some things were taken too far (for my standards). And that's when I became disappointed with the characters. I was disappointed in Anna because of the choices she made. I was also disappointed in some of the relationships and how they worked/turned out/were dealt with. The friendships and squabbles near the end of the book kind of bugged me because I felt like they weren't realistic and didn't fit in with the earlier parts of the book at all. I was annoyed with the turn the story had taken.

I was also disappointed in how St. Claire acted. My musings while reading: "Really? You're going to do that?" It made him seem a whole lot less perfect because of the decisions he made and how he treated people. In the beginning I was totally charmed with him, but by the end of the book he had definitely lost a lot of his luster and I wasn't sure I liked him any more. As far as objectional content, in heated scenes people would swear and there's also some sexual content/conversations. It wasn't enough to make me hate the book or anything like that, I just didn't think it was necessary and was slightly annoying.

While this book did have some perks, I was disappointed after the good buildup and I just wished that the people had lived up to their potential. I can't stress how much I wished they had made better choices and done things differently. Sure, it would have made the book shorter, and sure it wouldn't have been as exciting - but I felt like parts of their character were lost and they weren't able to completely regain my trust. Bleh, not a fan.

Book Review #1261
Mice Squeak, We Speak by Tomie dePaola
Rating: two stars (out of four)

This was a pretty interesting story. I liked the animation and all the different sounds the animals made. The text was simple, but still had a rhyme and cadence. I might recommend for families who like books about different animals noises.

Book Review #1260
Rhyming Dust Bunnies by Jan Thomas
Rating: three stars (out of four)

This book cracked me up! The little dust bunnies were crazy and animated. The illustrations were fun and colorful. It's crazy to say, but there were even some twists in this picture book. I wasn't sure where it was going to go from the first couple of pages, but then when I picked up on Bob's proclamations I couldn't help but smile. The antics of the other dust bunnies and their rhyming ways were comical as well. I think kids will get a kick out of this book! I'd recommend.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Book Review #1259
The Tiptoe Guide to Tracking Fairies by Ammi-Joan Paquette, illustrated by Christa Unzner
Rating: two stars (out of four)

I really liked the fairy animations. I'm not sure how I felt about mixing photography and illustrated felt a little disjointed, especially whenever there were pictures of real kids. I was amused by the playful expressions of the fairies, but the story wasn't as engaging as the little illustrated creatures. It was okay, but not quite up to my usual fantasy snuff.

Book Review #1258
Surprise Island by Rob M. Worley, illustrated by Mike Dubisch
Rating: zero stars (out of four)

There were some major problems with this book. The dialogue was stiff and disorganized. I felt like the people weren't speaking properly and it really bugged me. The story didn't make much sense and I didn't see the overall plot or story structure - it just felt like a bunch of random snippets thrown together. I also wasn't impressed with the illustrations. This book needed some major editing and the characters were very flat and uninteresting. I have fond memories of reading the Box Car series, but this does not live up to those standards at all.

Book Review #1257
My Face Book
Rating: three stars (out of four)

This was a pretty cute board book. I thought the kids they picked were absolutely adorable. I did feel like there was a couple of faces that were similar (like Happy, Laughing, and Awake) but it was a short and sweet read.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Book Review #1256
It All Began with a Bean by Katie Mcky, illustrated by Tracy Hill
Rating: one star (out of four)

I'm just not a big fan of bathroom/crude humor and this book was all about farts. I didn't find the story very humorous and the illustrations were  lame. The story was simple and didn't catch my attention. Other people might like this book, but it wasn't for me.

Book Review #1255
Is A Worry Worrying You? by Ferida Wolff and Harriet May Savitz, illustrated by
Marie LeTourneau
Rating: one star (out of four)

I wasn't really impressed with this book. The illustrations were a little rough/odd/freakish and I didn't care for their portrayal of Worry. Actually, I kind of didn't like any of the illustrations really. I also found a couple of their worries a little ridiculous instead of humorous. I liked the concept, but I didn't think it was well executed. It was okay, but I wouldn't go around recommending it anytime soon though.

Book Review #1254
Fall Mixed Up by Bob Raczka, illustrated by Chad Cameron
Rating: two stars (out of four)

I enjoyed this book. The mix-ups were amusing and whimsical. I think by far my favorite page was one with the squirrels flying south. The rhymes were well done and I didn't feel like the text was over the top. The illustrations were also nice and did a nice job of blending the warm colors of fall into a nice palate that was still interesting to look at. If you're a fan of Fall weather and interactive books you might want to check this out.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Book Review #1253
Charley Harper's Book of Colors by Charley Harper
Rating: three stars (out of four)

I really liked the illustrations for this book. Each page was unique and featured stylized visuals that were colorful and modern. I also liked the use of repetition and patterns throughout the book. I'm not really sure what the text has to do with the story, but I just enjoyed looking at the pictures. A fun read.

Book Review #1252
Legacy by Cayla Kluver
Rating: one star (out of four)

There was too much backstory! I kept waiting for the guy (aka, the love interest, who the main character was waiting her life could be complete) to show up...and he did, around page 150. I also felt like some of the story elements didn't add up and I wasn't really following the plot. I didn't understand some of the character's actions, they were stiff and disjointed.

I also couldn't catergorize the relationship between Alera and her personal guard. It was weird. I also thought some of the more "romantic" scenes were slightly maudlin, or maybe they just bugged me because every time I read through one of those scenes I said, "Ugh, cliche word choices." Some of the writing bothered me as well, it felt a little juvenile at times. I won't be reading the next books in this series.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Book Review #1251
Witchlanders by Lena Coakley
Rating: two stars (out of four)

When I read the first couple of chapters I kept saying to myself: "I think I'm going to love this book...." but then it tapered off. I loved the fantasy elements of it and it reminded me of what I've been missing lately. What with all these dystopias and urban fantasies that have taken over my to-read pile. This was exactly the sort of book that I hoped would be positively refreshing and full of magical elements. And it was full of magic...but the story just didn't pull me in as much as I would have liked.

The premise is great. It reminds me of a cross between Sabriel by Garth Nix and the Bayern series by Shannon Hale. But I really wanted more development of the red witches and their powers. I wanted a deeper look into the beliefs of the two different countries and their people. The story was interesting, but I felt like something was missing. There were parts of the story that I found unengaging and random, but for the most part I was caught up in the story. I might recommend, but I wouldn't go out of my way to shove this book in your face or anything like that. It was a little bit of a letdown, sad to say.

Book Review #1250
Fury by Elizabeth Miles
Rating: zero stars (out of four)

*Sigh* What can I even begin to say about this book? The cover looked so intriguing, I loved the faery-esque clothing and startling red hair that turned to looked so good.

And then I started reading the book. Totally did NOT live up to the cover's expectations. I didn't find the characters believable and I often wondered at their mental states. I didn't get why the Furies were in our world and got to decide who needed punishment and who didn't. I also Did Not Agree With Their Punishment Methods. Most were overly cruel/scary/humiliating/and disturbing.

I thought Chase was an almost worthless character. I never cared for him and felt he was extremely underdeveloped. I didn't like him one bit. His personality and how he acted just made him the kind of guy I would never want to be associated with, much less read about. I also thought he was stupid because he kept going against his better judgement and trusting certain people who the reader could see were Clearly not to be trusted. I didn't like the shallowness of the characters. I kept thinking, are you really going to portray all the teenagers in lump stereotypes? I saw some dimensionality, but for the most part I was just annoyed whenever any of the guys opened their mouths (except for J.D.).

Now, let's talk about the content for a little bit shall we? R-rated language, R-rated sexual content, and definitely a lot of disturbing images ladled in for good measure. It was a bit much. I was expecting a fairly light-hearted read with elements of the fantastical and strange, but this was Very dark. The ending picked up and the last several chapters felt like a speeding train heading for broken tracks over a bridge. I just didn't understand how these girls had the power to influence so many people and why they spent their time handing out justice to whoever they pleased. Also, there was some parts that weren't developed at all. Why was that one girl (drat, I forgot her name, but she was the random girl with all the answers) so cryptic in her help and where did she get her information? Hm? That was not explained.

My reaction to the ending: What? That's how you're going to end it? In that UnSatisfying Way? Ugh. Ugh. Total waste of my time. I'm not sure why I finished it.

As you can probably imagine, I will not be reading the second. I would advise you to do the same.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Book Review #1249
Michael Vey: The Prisoner of Cell 25 by Richard Paul Evans
Rating: one star (out of four)

This book was disturbing.

I'm fine with reading dark books, but there was just a little too much violence, or maybe it was the way it was used that sent me over the edge. It wasn't super gritty or graphic - but the cavalier manner in which violence was portrayed throughout the story just bugged me. Now I didn't hate this book or anything like that. I was just left with a bad taste in my mouth after I finished it. I didn't believe the development of the characters and I felt like it was an action movie more than a young adult novel. The characters weren't engaging and I almost put the book down several times while reading. Even though it ended with the set up for a sequel, I know I won't be reading it. This book was too little unsettling. I can't quite put my finger on why I didn't like it, but I wasn't a fan.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Book Review #1248
Leonardo's Monster by Jane Sutcliffe, illustrated by Herb Leonhard
Rating: two stars (out of four)

I had never heard this legend of Leonardo's life before. The ending was a little abrupt, partially because I had wanted to see what was on the shield. I did like how the book hinted that maybe the monster was still out there, but I wasn't overtly impressed with this book. I might recommend if you were a fan of Da Vinci books.

Book Review #1247
Mama's Bayou by Dianne de Las Casas, illustrated by Holly Stone-Barker
Rating: three stars (out of four)

I loved the cut paper illustrations! They totally made this book. The animals were portrayed beautifully, there was an animated spark to their features even though they were pretty realistic. I liked that they weren't overly cartoonish. The story was pretty sweet, and I can definitely see this as a bed time story. I would recommend this book.

Book Review #1246
Ella Bella Ballerina and The Sleeping Beauty by James Mayhew
Rating: two stars (out of four)

I really liked the illustations in this book. The people were soft and wispy. The hues were shades of pink and purple with splashes of other colors. It was pretty entertaining, but not one of the best retellings I've read. I think little girls who love princess stories and ballerinas might enjoy this book.