Thursday, August 21, 2014

Review #1719 Bink and Gollie Best Friends Forever

Review: #1719
Book: Bink and Gollie Best Friends Forever
Author: Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee
Illustrator: Tony Fucile
Rating: three stars (out of four)
Release date: April 23, 2013
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Pages: 96
Source: Library

Really thought this was pretty cute. I loved the interaction between the two best friends and thought it resembled a sweet and endearing friendship. I also might have been portraying a bit of my own friendship with my old roommate. I noticed a lot of similarities and that made me feel nostalgic! But overall an entertaining continuation in this series.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Review #1707 My New Friend Is So Fun! by Mo Willems

Review: #1707
Book: My New Friend is So Fun!
Author: Mo Willems
Rating: four stars (out of four)
Release date: June 3, 2014
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Pages: 58
Source: Barnes & Noble

Such a cute book. I don't think there's an Elephant & Piggie book I don't like. I loved the interaction between Gerald and the snake. It was hilarious to watch how the situation unfolded and how Elephant and the snake jumped to all sorts of conclusions before realizing the truth. It had a sweet message at the end and I would definitely recommend.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Review #1706 Rosie's Magic Horse by Russell Hoban

Review: #1706
Book: Rosie's Magic Horse
Author: Russell Hoban
Illustrator: Quentin Blake
Rating: two stars (out of four)
Release date: February 26, 2013
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Pages: 40
Source: Library

This story was pretty whimsical and imaginative, but still fell a little flat for me. It was a little far-fetched, but I can see other people enjoying it. I thought it was kind of a crazy idea to run with, but I did enjoy the illustrations and appreciated that it had a happy ending.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Review #1705 Humans of New York by Brandon Stanton

Review: #1705
Book: Humans of New York
Author: Brandon Stanton
Rating: three stars (out of four)
Release date: October 15, 2013
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Pages: 304
Source: Barnes & Noble

I've been following HONY for years and I love seeing his portraits and quotes online. Some of them are quite moving and I love how he captures ordinary people and makes them extraordinary. Everyone really does have a story and Brandon has given it a visual element. He does an excellent job of giving a brief glimpse of what it's like to be in someone else's shoes.

So you can imagine my excitement when I heard he was publishing a book. This collection was filled with beautiful photographs and several made me tear up. I love the honesty and depth of his pictures. I love how people open themselves up to him and I love that we're allowed to share in the moment. This book was also cool because I'm moving to Brooklyn and soon I'll be calling this city home.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Review #1704 Working by Studs Terkel

Review: #1704
Book: Working
Author: Studs Terkel
Rating: two stars (out of four)
Release date: February 28, 1997
Publisher: The New Press
Pages: 640
Source: Library

We were assigned this book for one of my graduate courses. We ended up reading about half of the book because of its length. The interviews were fairly engaging. As a whole, it was an interesting project and I thought Studs did a good job of making people feel at ease and talk about their occupations. It gave a great picture of what people working in America at that time period was like. But it was also a little depressing. The people interviewed didn't seem to have much love for their lives and careers. They were only doing it because they needed to provide for families or they were trapped in a cycle. It was an interesting read, but not something I'd go out of my way to recommend.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Review #1703 Penguin in Love by Salina Yoon

Review: #1703
Book: Penguin in Love
Author: Salina Yoon
Rating: two stars (out of four)
Release date: December 3, 2013
Publisher: Walker Books for Young Readers
Pages: 36
Source: Barnes & Noble

This book had such a sweet looking cover. How can you ignore a penguin and knitting? You can't. Unfortunately, I wasn't as impressed with the story inside. I Felt like a page was missing in the middle because of the abrupt transition and random story line. The illustrations throughout were pretty cute, but the story was disjointed and needed something threading it together besides the yarn theme.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Review #1702 You Just Don't Understand by Deborah Tannen

Review: #1702
Book: You Just Don't Understand
Author: Deborah Tannen
Rating: two stars (out of four)
Release date: February 6, 2007
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Pages: 352
Source: Library

I read this for one of my graduate courses. It was an interesting book and I can see why it was assigned for the class, but I didn't feel like it was mind-blowing or anything like that. A lot of the stuff described in the book felt like common sense to me. But during our discussion a lot of classmates said this book was immensely helpful in understanding the opposite sex. I just didn't find it that engaging. And I thought it was a little repetitive. Probably not something I'd recommend. 

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Review #1701 Rules of Summer by Shaun Tan

Review: #1701
Book: Rules of Summer
Author: Shaun Tan
Rating: two stars (out of four)
Release date: June 1, 2014
Publisher: Holder Children's Division
Pages: 48
Source: Barnes & Noble

The large eye and casually placed dinosaur on the cover were what initially caught my attention. It was a very striking cover. The illustrations inside were beautiful, but sometimes a little dark. I loved that you could see the individual brushstrokes. It seemed to be telling a story that got more and more ominous and then strangely ended happily. It was kind of bizarre. I'm not sure I understood what was going on or what the author wished to portray.  I wasn't sure how I felt though, at the end of my reading.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Review #1700 How to Not Write Bad by Ben Yagoda

Review: #1700
Book: How to Not Write Bad
Author: Ben Yagoda
Rating: three stars (out of four)
Release date: February 5, 2013
Publisher: Riverhead Trade
Pages: 192
Source: Library

I read this for one of my graduate classes. I had seen this around Goodreads and it had been on my radar for a little while, so it seemed like a good choice for my individual picks for the class. The material was presented in an engaging and easily digestible format. There was also some humor throughout and the examples did a good job of highlighting what to avoid and what to do instead. It reminded me a little bit of The Elements of Style. It was fairly short but still managed to pack a decent amount in the book. I'd recommend especially for writers and editors. 

Friday, August 1, 2014

Review #1699 What Do You Do with an Idea by Kobi Yamada

Review: #1699
Book: What Do You Do with an Idea
Author: Kobi Yamada
Illustrator: Mae Besom
Rating: two stars (out of four)
Release date: February 1, 2014
Publisher: Compendium Inc
Pages: 36
Source: Barnes & Noble

I loved the simple black and white illustrations with the bursts of color. The idea of an idea was also pretty great and it kept me interested throughout the story. It was fairly whimsical and I appreciated that, but I did like the first half of the book a lot more than the second half.