Oh, I’ve been a slow, slow reader of late and it shows with this pitiful stack of books for the past two weeks. Can I blame the nice weather we’ve been having in the Seattle-area this month? The preoccupation with preparations for back-to-school that looms just around the corner? I’d like to think so. I’ll have you know that I’m chugging away on a book for adults, so I’ve not been completely idle! Look for that review, which I will highly recommend, next week. I do have a healthy To Be Read pile on my nightstand, that I’m hoping to get to over the next week.
My Goal: 75 Books in 75 Days
Days so Far: 70
Read, so far: 59
- The Boy in the Garden, written and illustrated by Allen Say: Magical illustrations as you can always expect from Allen Say. This story has the element of fantasy in it as the boy, Jiro, becomes part of a Japanese folk tale through a dream. Better for kids, 8 and up, so that they can smoothly make the transitions from fantasy to reality.
- Amos and Boris, written and illustrated by William Steig: A lovely tale of two unlikely friends and their friendship that proves to last a lifetime. Love, love, this tale. Great for 4 and up. Despite the younger age recommendation, I think this one’s worth a re-read with older kids especially when you talk about finding friends in unlikely places.
Children’s Graphic Novels
- Geronimo Stilton: The Great Ice Age, written by Geronimo Stilton, Elisabetta Dami, and Flavio Ferron and illustrated by Demetrio Bargellini: This series is wildly popular with kids in grades 2-4 and I’m now just reading my first Geronimo book. Geronimo and his friends must prevent their nemesis, The Pirate Cats from disrupting history, which I gather is a recurring theme in the Geronimo books. This time, the Pirate Cats have gone back in history and are attempting to bring a Wooly Mammoth back to present day. A couple of times I got a bit confused as I failed to make a couple of transition leaps, but I chalk that up to being newer to reading graphic novels and the fact that several of the characters in this book looked a lot alike. I did find it an interesting way to introduce the historical event and the associated vocabulary. Boys will like the adventure element. Good for grades 2-4.
Children’s chapter books
- Abel’s Island, written and illustrated by William Steig: A tale of adversity, as Abel finds himself swept far away from the comforts of home and family. Despite the difficult situation, Abel does an amazing job of being positive and persistent as he tries to solve his dilemma of getting off of the deserted island. Great story with a marvelous positive message. Does involve an extraneous scene of Abel getting drunk, which I found strange but could certainly be a talking point with any reading audience. Good for ages 8 and up.
- The Twits, written by Roald Dahl and illustrated by Quentin Blake: I usually adore Roald Dahl, but I just didn’t appreciate this one. It has a very mean and spiteful tone, which frankly I just wasn’t in the mood for, so I’m sure it rubbed me wrong. Another reading at another time, might yield a different response. The Twits are a very horrible couple who are most cruel to their pets and neighborhood animals. The animals unite to outwit the Twits in a clever fashion. I did take delight in a few Dahl gems like referring to the Twits as “those fearful frumptious freaks”. Recommended ages: 8 and up as a read-aloud, 10 and up for independent readers.