Thumbs up for It’s a Book by Lane Smith. Children’s.
The donkey wants to know what a book can do. Very amusing, and you’ll laugh out loud on the last page. A children’s book, but the humor will possibly be better appreciated by older people.… >> Read more
Thumbs way up for The Sea of Monsters, The Titan’s Curse, The Battle of the Labyrinth, and The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan. Children’s fantasy.
Percy Jackson – dyslexic teenage son of Poseidon – and his friends Grover the satyr and Annabeth, the daughter of Athena, have to fight the rising Titans and save Western Civilization. These books are like coke, and I don’t mean cola.… >> Read more
Thumbs up for Christina Katerina & the Box by Patricia Lee Gauch, illustrated by Doris Burn. Children’s.
Oh, simply lovely. This is childhood in a book.
Best of all she liked big boxes. So she was happy indeed one sleepy summer day – when even her sometimes-friend Fats Watson was out of town – to see a truck deliver a great, tall box.
… >> Read more
Neither thumbs up nor thumbs down for We Were Tired of Living In A House by Liesel Moak Skorpen, illustrated by Doris Burn. Children’s.
There is a brilliant book called Andrew Henry’s Meadow. It’s written and illustrated by Doris Burn and it’s one of my favorite books of all time. Apparently, Skorpen wanted to write a book with almost exactly the same concept, and when she did, she thought, “Oh, Doris Burn should illustrate this, since after all it’s almost exactly like Andrew Henry’s Meadow!” Since it was Ms.… >> Read more
Thumbs up for Moominland Midwinter by Tove Jansson. Children’s.
Moomintroll wakes up from hibernation and can’t get back to sleep. Oh my! Possibly, I would have tracked the characters better had I not started with the sixth book in the series. Still, an entertaining, pleasingly quirky book with evocative descriptions of the Finnish winter.
Moomintroll was already on his way out to her rescue [on the ice].
… >> Read more
Neither thumbs up nor thumbs down for Hour of the Olympics by Mary Pope Osborne. Children’s fantasy.
I appreciate the historical accuracy – good on Osborne for making sexism the major conflict in a book for little kids. But, man, you need to be really little to enjoy the prose. It feels like it’s been filtered through a committee to drain it of all artistic verve.… >> Read more
Thumbs up for Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman. Children’s fantasy.
Dear Mr Gaiman: You had me at the dinosaur professor in a hot air balloon. Multiple time travel paradoxes? I am yours forever.
“You are charged with breaking into people’s planets and redecorating them,” said a noble and imposing-looking Tyrannosaurus Rex. “And then with running away and doing it again somewhere else, over and over.
… >> Read more
Thumbs up for Where the Sidewalk Ends: Poems and Drawings by Shel Silverstein. Children’s poetry.
For some unknown reason I never read Silverstein as a kid; a lack that tends to make people in my cohort gasp in horror and pity, as if I’d said my family ate puppies for dinner. In light of that, I have picked up his books several times over the years and dipped in randomly, but it was my luck to never hit on any of the really good stuff.… >> Read more