Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Book Review #1213 Points of Power by Yolanda Adams



Book Review #1213
Points of Power by Yolanda Adams, with Lavaille Lavette
Rating: two stars (out of four)

This was a pretty good inspirational book. I thought the advice and motivational aspects were good, and while I enjoyed it, it wasn't something that stuck with me. If you are the sort of person who reads a lot of inspirational books you might like this. This isn't typically my genre and so that might be a reason why I didn't love it. I might recommend if you are already a fan of this genre, but it didn't do a lot for me.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Book Review #1212 Mothers and Other Liars by Amy Bourret



Book Review #1212
Mothers and Other Liars by Amy Bourret
Rating: two stars (out of four)

This story had such an interesting premise. I was excited to see how things would resolve. But when I was reading I didn't fall in love with the characters. Then, when things were rapidly falling into place and crazy decisions were being made, I wasn't sure how I felt about the story at all. I thought Ruby should have taken things into better consideration and I was a little horrified with what circumstances she would go to to keep her daughter "safe." It felt unbelievable at times and made Ruby seem a little cold-hearted and even callous. The ending felt very unrealistic and forced. The story was developed well enough and had several plot holes that didn't add up. Not something I'd recommend.


Book Review #1211
Small Saul by Ashley Spires
Rating: three stars (out of four)

I really enjoyed this book! I laughed at Saul's antics and his crazy pirate ways. I also loved the illustrations. This was a fun read! The ending was great and I was happy Saul finally found where he belonged and that the other pirates came around to his way of thinking....at least, a little. I'd definitely recommend.


Book Review #1210
Cendrillon: A Cajun Cinderella by Sheila Heberts Collin, illustrated by Patrick Soper
Rating: two stars (out of four)

This book was okay, I thought it did a good job of portraying the cinderella story from a different perspective, but it didn't completely hold my attention. The illustrations were nice, but not astounding. I might recommend if you were a fan of different fairy tale renditions.


Book Review #1209
My Aunt Came Back From Louisiane by Johnette Downing
Rating: two stars (out of four)

This book was okay. The illustrations were a nice concept, but I wasn't the biggest fan of these collages. I did think the story did a decent job of describing typical traits of Louisiana. I might recommend.



Book Review #1208
The Cajun Cornbread Boy by Dianne de Las Casas, illustrated by Marita Gentry
Rating: two stars (out of four)

This was an interesting take on the gingerbread boy story. I thought it did a good job of blending Cajun elements with the original tale into something different and amusing. The illustrations were fun, kids will probably enjoy them. I didn't expect the ending of the story though. I would recommend if you liked books about Cajun culture.


Book Review #1207
Instructions by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Charles Vess
Rating: three stars (out of four)

I really liked the concept of fitting in advice from every fairy tale into one book, but I kind of felt like there was a little something missing in this tale. I wanted more interaction between the reader and the story. I might have liked more action, but I still thought the flow of this story was done well and I appreciated the style it was told in. I would recommend for diehard fans of Neil Gaiman and those in love with fairy tales.


Book Review #1206
The North Star by Peter H. Reynolds
Rating: three stars (out of four)

I liked the concept of this book, but I'm not sure young children would get the point. Even so, I still enjoyed it and how it wanted to inspire children and encourage them to do what they really want to do. I picked it up because I'm a big fan of Peter H. Reynolds and I can't get enough of his illustrations. The story was a little ethereal, but still engaging enough that kids will enjoy. I would recommend.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Book Review #1205 A Novel Idea



Book Review #1205
A Novel Idea: Everything You Need to Know About Writing Inspirational Fiction
Rating: three stars (out of four)

The advice and short articles in this book were helpful and applicable. I'm going to have to go back and highlight my favorites and take some of their strategies to heart. There were good tips and aspects in this novel that could be used for any writer. I'm glad I read this, but it's not something I'm probably going to go back to again and again. I really enjoyed it and I would still recommend it to people who are going to write in this genre. Definitely good to hear some advice from people who've been successful in this field.

Sunday, June 5, 2011



Book Review #1204
I Broke My Trunk! by Mo Willems
Rating: three stars (out of four)

This book made me smile. I love how Mo Willems can create such loveable characters and stories! I also love his endings because I never quite see them coming and I'm always delighted and amused. I love Elephant and Piggie and all of their crazy antics. I would definitely recommend this book and all the rest in the series.


Book Review #1203
You're Finally Here! by Melanie Watt
Rating: two stars (out of four)

This book was cute...there were a couple of times where I thought the rabbit was a little annoying, but I think kids will probably think it's funny. The illustations were interesting. I liked the different ways the bunny showed his distain with waiting. The ending was a little random. I felt like it was a little disjointed from the rest of the book, but I might still recommend.


Book Review #1202
The Pirate of Kindergarten by George Ella Lyon, illustrated by Lynne Avril
Rating: two stars (out of four)

I liked the message of this book and I think it did a good job of portraying what a child might do in the same situation. I also liked how it was based on the author's life. The illustrations were playful and I enjoyed the ending. The book wasn't what I expected, based from the cover and title, but it was still a fun read.



Book Review #1201
Me...Jane by Patrick McDonnell
Rating: four stars (out of four)

I loved this book. I thought it did an excellent job of portraying a remarkable woman and still related her to the readers in a simplistic and engaging way. I adored the illustrations and especially loved the included the artwork from Jane that drew when she was a girl. I also enjoyed seeing photos of Jane bookmarking the story. I almost get teary-eyed when I read it. I would definitely recommend this book - it's so sweet and does an excellent job of illustrating the childhood of a well-loved environmentalist.

Update 7/12/11: I bought this book at ALA Conference and had it signed by the author!


Book Review #1200
Pirates Don't Change Diapers by Melinda Long and David Shannon
Rating: two stars (out of four)

This book was humorous and I enjoyed the pirate banter and funky illustrations. I liked how hard the pirates worked to keep the little baby entertained...even though they didn't always help. If you're a fan of pirates you should check this book out.


Book Review #1199
Not All Princesses Dress in Pink by Jane Yolen, Heidi E. Y. Stemple, and illustrated by Anne-Sophie Lanquetin
Rating: two stars (out of four)

The concept for this story was good - but I wasn't a huge fan of the book. I liked the illustrations and how diverse the characters were, but I felt like something was lacking. Maybe the book just needed some more depth, because we're offered snapshots of what a princess can do and not much character development. It was a decent read, but I won't be buying this book anytime soon.


Book Review #1198
Art and Max by David Wiesner
Rating: four stars (out of four)

I loved this book. I was enamored with the reptiles and all the detail put into each animal. I enjoyed seeing the battling personalities of the two lizards and how they could each look at something and see two totally different images. And I'll admit it, I was a little scared in the middle because I wasn't sure how on earth things were going to work out - but I loved the concept. I would definitely recommend this book.



Book Review #1197
Hooray for Amanda and Her Alligator! by Mo Willems
Rating: four stars (out of four)

I don't know how Mo willems does it - but I find all of his books simply enchanting and hilarious. This book was no exception. I loved the little stuffed aligator and his funky personality. I also loved Mo's trademark illustrations and how easily he captured my attention and actually made me laugh out loud as I was reading. I especially adored this book and would recommend it to anyone.

Update 7/12/11: When I attended ALA Conference I bought this book and had Mo Willems sign it! He's just as hilarious in person.



Book Review #1196
Say Hello to Zorro! by Carter Goodrich
Rating: three stars (out of four)

This book was really cute. I liked the schedule Mister Bud stuck too every day and it made me laugh. I also loved the illustrations and the interaction between the two dogs. I'm not a dog person, but I really enjoyed this book - so that's saying a lot. The story was really sweet, I would definitely recommend.



Book Review #1195
Children Make Terrible Pets by Peter Brown
Rating: three stars (out of four)

This book was hilarious. I loved, loved, loved the illustrations. They were simplistic and yet sophisticated. I really enjoyed seeing Beatrice try to make a child her pet and how things worked out...for a while. The message was funny and I thought the ending was great. I would definitely recommend this book.

Book Review #1194
You Are What You Eat: and Other Mealtime Hazards by Serge Bloch
Rating: two stars (out of four)

This book was humorous. I liked the blend of food expressions and funky illustrations and how they created a whimsical book devoted to trying new things. I think children will enjoy the illustrations and parents will like the message. I'd recommend.



Book Review #1193
Confederate Alphabet by Rickey E. Pittman, illustrated by Jane Duplechin
Rating: two stars (out of four)


I thought it did a nice job of alphabetizing the confederate side, but I still wasn't a huge fan of the book. The illustrations were pretty good, but I don't think this is a book people need to read over and over.



Book Review #1192
The Picky Little Witch by Elizabeth Brokamp, illustrated by Marsha Riti
Rating: three stars (out of four)

I thought this was a cute book about a picky little witch and her discovery of trying new things. I especially thought it was funny seeing how alike the mother and daughter were. The ingredients for the stew were humorous and I enjoyed the rhyming. I also enjoyed the twist halfway through the story when the tables were turned on the mother witch. I would definitely recommend.


Book Review #1191
The House That Witchy Built by Dianne de Las Casas, illustrated by Holly Stone-Barker
Rating: two stars (out of four)

This book was fairly entertaining. Children who love repetition will probably enjoy this book, especially around October. The collage illustrations were pretty neat. I would recommend reading during the Halloween season.



Book Review #1190
The Christmas Cats by Nancy Wallace, illustrated by Cathren Housley
Rating: two stars (out of four)

I especially liked the illustrations of the cats because I could see their emotions and typical characteristics. The story was fairly entertaining, but I didn't understand why the mother was so sad and why they couldn't hold another tea party. Some parts of the story didn't make as much sense (plot-wise), and sometimes I felt like I had missed something, even though I hadn't skipped any pages. But the crazy antics of the cats were cute. I might recommend, but only if you are fond of cats.


Book Review #1189
Musher's Night Before Christmas by Tricia Brown, illustrated by Debra Dubac
Rating: two stars (out of four)

This was a decent story, some parts of it felt predictable, but I think people familiar with mushers might like it. The illustrations were okay, but not my favorite. I felt like it was a good fit for the typical Night Before Christmas spin-off.

Saturday, June 4, 2011




Book Review #1188
Mosquito by Virginia Kroll, illustrated by Betsy LePlatt
Rating: two stars (out of four)

This was a fun and entertaining read. I really enjoyed al the onomatopoeia and animal exclamations. The bright illustrations definitely added to the story as well. That pesky mosquito with his squinty eyes on the cover cracks me up. I think children will enjoy this tale.


Book Review #1187
Cowgirl Alphabet by Laurie Lazzaro Knowlton, illustrated by Kathy Coates
Rating: two stars (out of four)

This book was okay. People who are more into cowgirl and western heritage might find it engaging, but it just wasn't the book for me. I did like how they described the clothes cowgirls wore. The illustrations were nice, but I wanted more detail.


Book Review #1186
I Spy in the Louisiana Sky by Deborah Kadair
Rating: two stars (out of four)


This was an interesting book that blended facts about Louisiana with a simplistic story line. The clouds were a good idea of introducing the history of Louisiana, but I didn't always care for the illustrations. This book offered a quick way to gain information about the state, but nothing overly engaging. I might recommend.



Book Review #1185
Monsieur Durand's Grosse Affaire by Rose Anne St. Romain, illustrated by Joan Waites
Rating: two stars (out of four)

This was an interesting story, the title is a bit of a mouthful, but the book was pretty engaging. I thought the illustrations were nice, but they weren't my absolute favorite. At the end of the story I just had one question in mind: what was Monsieur Durand going to do with all of those spiders? I might recommend.



Book Review #1184
Annie Jump Cannon, Astronomer, by Carole Gerber, illustrated by Christina Wald
Rating: three stars (out of four)

I really liked this book. The story did a nice job of portraying the life of Annie Jump Cannon while making the story engaging. I also enjoyed the illustrations and thought they complimented the story. I had never heard of her before I read this book. I would recommend.