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Viewing Blog: lucie's thoughts, Most Recent at Top
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1. 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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2. 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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3. 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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4. 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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5. 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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6. 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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7. 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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8. 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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9. 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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10. 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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11. 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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12. 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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13. 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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14. 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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15. 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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16. Book 508


In our house we strive for lofty ideals, elegance, and gentility.  But sometimes there just have to be farts.  Especially if you have a seven-year-old boy.  And I MUCH prefer a book of the recorded sounds over the real item.  I am also grateful that this isn't a scratch-n-sniff book.

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17. Book 507


The First Thanksgiving, by Linda Hayward, illustrated by James Watling, Random House, 1990.


This is a solid book for first grade readers.  It is not exactly interesting.  It is not exactly complete in information.  It is not exactly entertaining.  And the illustrations are not exactly brilliant.  But kids can read it on their own and understand most of it.



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18. Thomas' Third 701st Story -- Illustrated


1.     Once upon a time, there was Beethoven music.  It was scary, because it was low, like the rumble of a gray-cloud storm.  And it was sad, like the rain that falls, and disappears back into the rivers. And it was beautiful, like a thunderstorm at night.
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The End.


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19. Thomas' Third 369 Story -- Illustrated


1.     Once upon a time, there was lightning from the moon.  The lightning melted the stars, and the stars dripped into the ocean.

The End.


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20. Thomas' Third 458th Story -- Illustrated


1.     Once upon a time, there was magic in the world.  But, over time, the magic began to leak out.  You need magic in the world.  You need magic to make cuckoo clocks walk.  And you need magic to turn roads into islands that sail on the sea.  And you need magic to hear the song the stars sing every night.  You need magic because magic comes from the heart, and not from the head.  You need magic because, without magic, the world seems sad.

The End.


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21. Thomas' Third 547th Story -- Illustrated


1.     Once upon a time, there was a mustache of light.  It was caught in the bottom of the curtain.  It was very cool.  And it was very funny.

The End.


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22. Thomas' Third 523rd Story -- Illustrated


1.     Once upon a time, there was a Thomas named Thomas.  He wanted to learn to speak Egyptian.  So he could talk to the pyramids.

The End.


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23. Thomas' Third 478th Story -- Illustrated


1.     Once upon a time, there was a wandering octopus.  The octopus wandered out of the Atlantic Ocean.  The octopus wandered into Thomas’ house, and then it disappeared.  Thomas went looking for the octopus.  He found it in Daddy’s room, reading eight books. 

The End.


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24. Thomas' Third 612th Story -- Illustrated


1.     Once upon a time, there was a star.  The star looked like a shoe.  The star looked like a dancing and kicking shoe.  The star danced across space and kicked Jupiter right out of its rings.  Now the star is the ringmaster.

The End.


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25. Thomas' Third 697th Story -- Illustrated


1.     Once upon a time, there was a floating mustache.  The mustache floated into Thomas’ room, and landed on the white rabbit.  The rabbit turned into a magic white rabbit.  And he was French.

The End.


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