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Viewing Blog: lucie's thoughts, Most Recent at Top
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1. Book 533


Beachy and Me, by Bob Staake, Random House, 2016.

My seven-year-old son LOVES Bob Staake's work, so whenever Mr. Staake has a new book out, I will, of course, buy it.

I also let my son review this book, so here it goes:

"I liked Beachy and Me because it was a good story.  It was a story about being friends, even though you might be different like the little girl and the whale.  The illustrations are beautiful because Bob Staake is an illustrator who makes beautiful illustrations."





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2. Book 532


The Story of Diva and Flea, written by Mo Willems, illustrated by Tony DiTerlizzi, Disney-Hyperion, 2015.

I bought this book for my seven-year-old son, and took it with us on vacation, and every night I read a chapter or so to him.  The next morning, he would re-read the same passages himself.  He LOVED this book, so I'm letting him write the review:

"I liked this book because Flea is a beautiful black and white cat like our Buster.  And Diva is a white dog that looks like Piper, but is white like Ellie.  She was more like Piper than Ellie, though.  My favorite part was when Flea and Diva became friends.  And I really liked the cloud-cutter because Paris is my favorite city.  And I liked the friendly feet at the end of the book.  The drawings were SO good."

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3. Book 531


The Trojan Horse:  How the Greeks Won the War, Emily Little, Random House, 1988.


This book simply, but thoroughly, tells the story of the Greek and Trojan War.  Since I didn't learn about the Greek and Trojan War until I was twelve and was studying Latin, this book is MUCH easier for kids to read than what I read.

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4. Book 530


Sylvester and the Magic Pebble, by William Steig, Simon & Schuster, 1969.

This book is so very nearly perfect.  A little traumatizing for kids who can empathize, but, still, very nearly perfect.

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5. Book 529


Tut's Mummy, Lost... and Found, by Judy Donnelly, Random House, 1988.

We used this book in my son's first grade History class -- obviously when we were studying Ancient Egyptians.  This book, however, brings ancient history into modern history, which makes it very interesting for (sometimes morbid) seven-year-old boys.

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6. Book 528


Come Look With Me, World of Play, by Gladys Blizzard, Charlesbridge, 1993.

This book is great for getting young children to look, really look, at famous works of art.  The text is straightforward and comprehensible, and the art pieces were well chosen.

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7. Book 527


Bedtime for Frances, written by Russell Hoban, illustrated by Garth Williams, HarperCollins, 1960.

This is one of the books my son would have had to read for his first grade class if we had started schooling at home at the beginning of the year instead of after the first quarter.  I'm rather glad he didn't read this book for a class. 

Honestly, the book didn't bother me too much until the father threatened Frances, but then I had to look at the parents' past behavior to see the problem.  The parents indulged her over and over and over again, and, when they had enough, the father threatens her.  Not exactly great parenting. 

So, even though we own this book right now, I will have no problem returning it to the online school.

(Great illustrations, though.)

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8. Book 526


Frog and Toad are Friends, by Arnold Lobel, HarperCollins, 1970.

It it hard to imagine a better book for emergent readers than a Frog and Toad book.  The stories are short.  And funny.  And quirky.  And easy to read.  And easy to understand.  And all the stories fit together to form a larger story.  And Frog and Toad both have such well-formed personalities. And the illustrations are perfection.  And who wouldn't want to sleep until half past May?

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9. Book 525


Harry and the Lady Next Door, written by Gene Zion, illustrated by Margaret Bloy Graham, HarperCollins, 1960.

I think this Harry book is even more fun and funny than the original Harry, The Dirty Dog.  Harry has a problem -- the lady next door fancies herself an opera singer.  She has all of the volume, but she is short on talent.  Harry tries to solve his problems, with rather hilarious results, but, in the end, everything works out.  There are actually four very short stories in this book, that all fit together to form a larger story.

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10. Book 524


Mummies, by Joyce Milton, Penguin Young Readers, 1996.

My first grade son read this book for a part of his History lesson.  He finds mummies to be a bit icky/scary and a bit intriguing/funny.  And that is exactly how he found this book to be.


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11. Book 523


A Picture for Harold's Room, by Crockett Johnson, originally published in 1960 by HarperCollins.

Harold is magical.  There is no other way to describe him.  Sure, he is creative, imaginative, and talented, (and adorable), but it really all comes down to him being magical. 

My son is very much like Harold -- he is magical.


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12. Book 522

Will You Carry Me?, by Helen van Rossum, illustrated by Peter van Harmelen, Kane/Miller Publishing, 2005.

I bought this book about ten years ago -- before I became a mommy, or even knew that I was becoming a mommy -- because I saw the artwork featured in an exhibition of children's book illustrations.  I wasn't disappointed in the story then; in fact, I donated the book to the library where I was working as a children's librarian.  Fast-forward ten years, and my own son picked this book out (on his own) from another library.  And it is still good.

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13. Book 521


Who Will Be My Friends, by Syd Hoff, HarperCollins, 1960.

It is very difficult for a shy child, an extreme introvert, to move to a new town and have to start making friends all over again.  I should know -- I was one.  Even so, I don't quite relate to the boy in this book.  You can't stay on the sidelines and expect to make friends, some effort is needed.  My son, who has moved to a new town, but who is not especially introverted, cannot relate to the boy in the book even less than I could.

The illustrations, however, are absolutely faultless, and the story -- such as it is -- is cute.


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14. Book 520


The Sandman and the War of Dreams, William Joyce, Atheneum Books, 2013.

This series has me enthralled.  It started off great, and grows more complex and stronger with each new book.  But two questions do arise:  When will the next book be released? and, Where was Jack Frost?!

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15. Book 519


The Only Child, by Goujing, Schwartz Wade, 2015.

This book is heart-stoppingly gorgeously illustrated.  The wordless story is poignant and conveys the sense of loneliness felt by a child growing up under China's one-child policy.  But my son, who is an only child, did not understand the child's deep loneliness and longing.  I kind of wish that the US title had been changed to "The Lonely Child", because, 1) not all only children are always lonely; and 2) children with multiple siblings can feel this depth of loneliness.



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16. Book 518


Toothiana, Queen of the Tooth Fairy Armies, by William Joyce, Simon & Schuster, 2012.

I really enjoyed the Rise of the Guardians movie; so much so, that I went out to find these books.  The books and movie, however, are very different.  Toothiana is even better in the book than she is in the movie because not only is she as beautiful as a hummingbird, she is as fierce as a warrior.

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17. Book 517


E. Aster Bunnymund and the Warrior Eggs, by William Joyce, Atheneum Book, 2012.

On very rare occasions, I watch a movie before I read the books.  In my defense, I didn't know about the books when I bought the movie The Rise of the Guardians for my son.  And, after the movie, I wanted to learn so much more about the characters.

I am LOVING this series.  E. Aster Bunnymund is rather different in the book than he is in the movie, but, in my mind, he still talks like Hugh Jackman.


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18. Book 516


The Day Our Teacher Went Batty, by Gervase Phinn, Puffin Books, 2002.

I'm not sure where I picked up this little book.  Or when.  I do know the "why", though.  I picked it up because the humor seemed charmingly British -- Yorkshire, in fact. 

So, however long it has been sitting on my shelf, I read it last week when I was feeling quite "poorly".  I can't say I loved, or even understood, every poem in this book, but the poems I loved, I loved very, very much.



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19. Book 509

No Fighting, No Biting!, by Else Holmellund Minarik, illustrated by Maurice Sendak, 1958, HarpersCollins. 

This book is almost as enchanting as the Little Bear series.  Probably because no matter how adorable the baby alligators look when created by Maurice Sendak, they just don't have the cuddliness of a bear cub.  A side effect of this book is that my seven-year-old son will point to our two older cats when they are tussling and say, "No fighting, no biting!"  I'd say he fully understands the story.

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20. Book 515


The Trumpet of the Swan, by E. B. White, illustrated by Fred Marcellino, HarperCollins, 1970.

My first grade son and I were reading this book a few chapters a day for a class project.  It is actually a rather lengthy book to read in seven day -- there were about ten pages per chapter -- but my son was enthralled.  At the end of each day's reading, he would illustrate his favorite part of what he had read. 
I do love this book, but it also makes me a bit sad.  It is about sacrifices for love, and, although everything worked out fairly well at the end, I was still sorry for some of the things that had been given up along the way.


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21. Book 514


Nicholas St. North and the Battle of the Nightmare King, by William Joyce and Laura Geringer, Athenium Books for Young Readers, 2011.

I bought this book because my son and I love the movie The Rise of the Guardians and wanted to know more about the central characters. 

What a great book, and what a great start to a series.  I want more, more, MORE.


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22. Book 513


Tales of Amanda Pig, written by Jean Van Leeuwen, illustrated by Ann Schweninger, Puffin Easy-to-Read Books, 1994.


My first grade son read this book for a Literature unit on family life.  He liked this book for two reasons:  1.  He could read it on his own, and 2.  It was funny, so he wanted to read it on his own.  

And those are two very good reasons for buying a book. 

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23. Book 512


The Saint in London, by Leslie Charteris, 1934.

These stories are ridiculously fun, and it is easy to see how The Saint could have paved the way for the just-on-the-right-side-of-the-law James Bond.  By the way, if you had the misfortune of seeing the movie The Saint starring Val Kilmer, put that right out of your mind because these stories and that movie are in no way related.


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24. Book 511


An Object of Beauty, by Steve Martin, Hachette Books, 2010.

I liked this book.  Of course, I worked (very briefly) in Art when I was in my twenties, so I understood much of it. 

The book has been compared to Edith Wharton's Age of Innocence.  I disagree.  I see much more of another Edith Wharton book in this one:  The House of Mirth.  Lacey Yeager is very much like Lily Bart.  Her character, while not likable, somehow still manages to engender sympathy. 

One more thing, the writing is sharp and crisp and witty.  After a while, I forgot that Steve Martin wrote this book and just enjoyed the writing.

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25. Book 510


Little Tree, by Loren Long, Philomel Books 2015,

Terrible alliteration (by me) aside, I have long loved Loren Long's illustrative work.  This book is another excellent example of his beautiful work.

The story itself is very sweet and simple, possibly a tad too simple, or possibly just right for the readers of this book.  Either way, my seven-year-old son read it on his own and had no trouble understanding the message.

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