Monday, June 27, 2016

Reading Challenge 2016: Some Clever Title





Some Clever Title: A FoxTrot Collection blah blah blah
by Bill Amend


Love FoxTrot, not this collection

I love FoxTrot. I have loved FoxTrot for many years. Its geeky and nerdy and pop culture and funny. Its my favorite comic strip, so I was looking forward to this new collection. While this had the same things I love about FoxTrot, I don't care for this collection as much. A couple of the comics are not appropriate for children (particularly the ones featuring an actual photo of a bikini model and the one where beef jerky is fashioned into beef twerky) which was disappointing. Beyond that, though, this collection only features the Sunday strips. Now the full color strips are great, but there are no story arcs. Its just a collection of funny, punny, independent strips. One of my favorite things about FoxTrot are those little collections of hilarity, so I was sad for those not to be included here.

3 stars

This review appears as a part of the Reading Challenge 2016. To see other books in the series, click here.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Reading Challenge 2016: Bears in Wild


#vtReadingChallenge
Week 23: A book about the natural world


by Ada and Frank Graham

Dated

Super overarching story of bears and how we know what we know about them. This was written shortly after our knowledge of bears began expanding so the information is sparse. I actually didn't learn anything new reading this, which surprised me. The writing is sadly not that engaging - it reads almost like a textbook for young elementary students.

At the time of publication, this book was probably great, but now its dated. I'm sure there are better books out there if your child is interested in learning more about bears.
 

2 stars

This post appears as a part of the Reading Challenge 2016. To see other books in the challenge, click here

Monday, June 13, 2016

Reading Challenge 2016: Cricket in a Thicket


#vtReadingChallenge
Week 22: A book of poetry


Cricket in a Thicket
by Aileen Fischer

OK

Collection of poems about the outdoors for children. Some are really cute, others are just average, a few are meh. Children probably won't notice or care. The ink drawings were great for the time, but the print quality may be off-putting to some - definitely from a time past (but in a cute way) I wish they were colored. Cute for checking out of the library, but not a personal library must-have. I'll copy my favorite couple out of the book & then pass it along.

3 stars

This post appears as a part of the Reading Challenge 2016. To see other books in the challenge, click here.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Reading Challenge 2016: Daniel Webster



#vtReadingChallenge
Week 23: A biography



Daniel Webster: Defender of the Union
by Robert Allen

Engaging and Informative

This book is well written for school aged children. There are some parts of the book in which I question its accuracy because we are not told certain instances were recorded in a diary or otherwise. How can we know what Daniel though before he drifted off to sleep at age 5? The use of the quotes and other such instances makes the work appear unreliable to an adult - a child would not question it (which could be problematic). Thankfully, we are moved into a time where there is more resources documenting his life within a few chapters.

While I have different political persuasions from Daniel Webster, the book is still interesting to read and engaging, though at times it appears as an apologetic for Webster's beliefs. The sentiment that America is a Christian nation and great because of that is present, but not overwhelming.

I really enjoyed learning about this great man and his times. Honestly, seeing how the political situation was in his day gives me a little more hope than I had before this reading. This isn't the first time we've been faced with bad options, but if we all do our part maybe we can still pull through as have in the past.

3.5 stars. Recommend.

This review appears as part of the Reading Challenge 2016. To see other books in the challenge, click here.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Reading Challenge 2016: The Bravest Dog Ever


#vtReadingChallenge
Week 22: A book based on a true story


The Bravest Dog Ever: The True Story of Balto

by: Natalie Standiford

This is a great book in the Step into Reading series that does its job well. The text is large and easy to read, the illustrations are well done, and the language is easy to understand. While I'm not a fan of the hyperbolic title, the story of Balto and his team is certainly commendable. Good book for young readers.

4 stars.

This review appears as part of the Reading Challenge 2016. To see other books in the challenge, click here.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Reading Challenge 2016: Miss Hattie and the Monkey



#vtReadingChallenge
Week 21: A book by a female author



Miss Hattie and the Monkey 

by Helen D. Olds

Perfect for reading outloud

This beginning-to-read book is perfect for its intended audience and for reading outloud to children.

The big pictures engage while the sentences are simple. This is the story about how Miss Hattie and the monkey Jingles become friends, and young children are sure to be amused.

Recommend.

4 stars.


This review appears as part of the Reading Challenge 2016. To see other books in the challenge, click here.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Reading Challenge 2016: Stories Read from the Rocks


#vtReadingChallenge
Week 20: A book about science



Stories Read from the Rocks
by Bertha Morris Parker

Iffy

I picked this book up at a library sale because I love love love old book with the painted covers (I have the hardback of this book, the picture shown here is the pamplet cover).

Positive: This book is from the '50s and targeted to elementary aged children with very simple language and sentence structure. There are beautiful illustrations and full color photographs (of the era, so nothing crystal clear). This is really a great resource as a handbook for different kinds of rock and how they form.

Negative: There is a lot of assumptions in this book presented as fact. The age of the earth and evolution are presented as absolute truth, and that's unfortunate for a few reasons. 1. None of us saw it happen & we are fallible & should recognize that. 2. I believe there are reasons to doubt the theory of evolution. It just would've been nice for the author not to be so sure about what we cannot know with certainty. Otherwise it's a great very tiny book.

3 stars.

This review appears as part of the Reading Challenge 2016. To see other books in the challenge, click here.