What is JacketFlap

  • JacketFlap connects you to the work of more than 200,000 authors, illustrators, publishers and other creators of books for Children and Young Adults. The site is updated daily with information about every book, author, illustrator, and publisher in the children's / young adult book industry. Members include published authors and illustrators, librarians, agents, editors, publicists, booksellers, publishers and fans.
    Join now (it's free).

Sort Blog Posts

Sort Posts by:

  • in
    from   

Suggest a Blog

Enter a Blog's Feed URL below and click Submit:

Most Commented Posts

In the past 7 days

Recent Comments

MyJacketFlap Blogs

  • Login or Register for free to create your own customized page of blog posts from your favorite blogs. You can also add blogs by clicking the "Add to MyJacketFlap" links next to the blog name in each post.

Blog Posts by Date

Click days in this calendar to see posts by day or month
new posts in all blogs
Viewing Blog: Becky's Book Reviews, Most Recent at Top
Results 26 - 50 of 5,622
Visit This Blog | Login to Add to MyJacketFlap
Blog Banner
Mainly reviews of children's and young adult literature. Primarily focuses on new literature, 2004-present, but may feature older titles if they are "favorites" of mine. Feel free to leave comments. I always enjoy reading what others have to say!
Statistics for Becky's Book Reviews

Number of Readers that added this blog to their MyJacketFlap: 68
26. Top Ten Nonfiction Titles I Read in 2015

Ketzel, The Cat Who Composed. Leslea Newman. Illustrated by Amy June Bates. 2015. Candlewick. 40 pages. [Source: Review copy]

Frankie Liked To Sing. John Seven. Illustrated by Jana Christy. 2015. Harry N. Abrams. 32 pages. [Source: Review copy]

Gingerbread for Liberty: How A German Baker Helped Win the American Revolution. Mara Rockliff. Illustrated by Vincent X. Kirsch. 2015. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 32 pages. [Source: Review copy]

 
Jump Back, Paul: The Life and Poetry of Laurence Dunbar. Sally Derby. Illustrated by Sean Qualls. Candlewick Press. 128 pages. [Source: Review copy] 


Breakthrough: How Three People Saved "Blue Babies" and Changed Medicine Forever. Jim Murphy. 2015. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 144 pages. [Source: Review copy]

Enchanted Air. Margarita Engle. Illustrated by Edel Rodriguez. 2015. Simon & Schuster. 208 pages. [Source: Library]


Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography. Laura Ingalls Wilder. Edited by Pamela Smith Hill. 2014. South Dakota State Historical State Society. 400 pages. [Source: Library]
 
When Books Went to War: The Stories That Helped Us Win World War II. Molly Guptill Manning. 2014. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 288 pages. [Source: Library]

The Armstrong Girl: A Child for Sale: The Battle Against the Victorian Sex Trade. Cathy Le Feuvre. 2015. Lion. 224 pages. [Source: Review copy]

Gut: The Inside Story of Our Most Underrated Organ. Giulia Enders. Illustrated by Jill Enders. 2014/2015. Greystone Books. 288 pages. [Source: Library]

© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

0 Comments on Top Ten Nonfiction Titles I Read in 2015 as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
27. The Sword of Summer

The Sword of Summer (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard #1) Rick Riordan. 2015. Disney Hyperion. 528 pages. [Source: Library]

I haven't read any Rick Riordan in a year or two, so I was quite happy to pick up The Sword of Summer, the first book in his new series. I was hoping that it would be just what I needed: an exciting blend of action, drama, and humor. And it was. For the most part.

Magnus Chase, the hero, or almost-hero, is surrounded by a wild, diverse cast of sidekicks. Slowly but surely this team comes together in an almost-ultimate showdown between good and evil. There are plenty of tests put into place throughout the book to get the team to be a TEAM, ready to work together for the good of mankind.

Magnus Chase has just turned sixteen when the action begins. He's homeless, but, he's not friendless, and he's been warned that trouble is heading his way. Always thinking to stay a couple of steps ahead of trouble, he decides to investigate. Surely he can get close enough to trouble to see what's going on, and stay far enough away that he can slip away, right?! Wrong. But it's just what readers expect. After all, when the narrator tells you on page one that he dies, it's a sign that he actually dies...

Most of the book features Magnus in the after-life. And the focus of this fantasy series is on Norse mythology--Asgard. So there are fire giants, frost giants, wolves, and so much more...

Can Magnus and his friends prevent Doomsday from coming?

© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

0 Comments on The Sword of Summer as of 1/21/2016 8:37:00 PM
Add a Comment
28. My top ten Dr. Seuss books

I spent all of 2015 reading and rereading Dr. Seuss. I meant to write a top ten list the last week of December. But. Life happened...dramatically...as a few of you know! So here it is a few weeks late.

10. You're Only Old Once! Dr. Seuss. 1986. Random House. 56 pages. [Source: Library]

This one was new-to-me. I definitely loved it. This is probably the only one on the list more for adults than for children.

9. Because A Little Bug Went Ka-Choo! (Rosetta Stone) Dr. Seuss. Illustrated by Michael Frith. 1975. Random House. 64 pages. [Source: Library]

This one was decidedly NOT new-to-me. A favorite from childhood. 

8. The King's Stilts. Dr. Seuss. 1939/1967. Random House. 56 pages. [Source: Library]

This early-Seuss was new to me. It was a DELIGHTFUL book.

7. Green Eggs and Ham. Dr. Seuss. 1960. Random House. 62 pages. [Source: Library]

One of my favorites. 





6. The Sneetches and Other Stories. Dr. Seuss. 1961. Random House. 65 pages. [Source: Library]


I enjoyed all the stories in this collection. It has "The Sneetches" of course. But also: "The Zax," "Too Many Daves," and "What Was I Scared Of."


5. Sleep Book. Dr. Seuss. 1962. Random House. 64 pages. [Source: Library]

Love this "bedtime" book. It makes me yawn just thinking about reading it.


4. Horton Hatches An Egg. Dr. Seuss. 1940/1968. Random House. 64 pages. [Source: Library]

I love Horton the Elephant. I really, really do. 


3. Fox in Socks. Dr. Seuss. 1965. Random House. 72 pages. [Source: Library]

Need I say more than...
When tweetle beetles fight,
it's called
a tweetle beetle battle.
And when they
battle in a puddle,
it's a tweetle
beetle puddle battle.
AND when tweetle beetles
battle with paddles in a puddle,
they call it a tweetle
beetle puddle paddle battle.
AND...

2. Horton Hears A Who! Dr. Seuss. 1954. Random House. 64 pages. [Source: Library]

I love the moral of this one...and it's Horton. How can it not be on my list?!


1. The Cat In the Hat Comes Back. Dr. Seuss. 1958. Random House. 63 pages. [Source: Library]

Without a doubt my favorite. It is so quotable. 

© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

0 Comments on My top ten Dr. Seuss books as of 1/20/2016 2:25:00 PM
Add a Comment
29. Top Ten Books Recently Added to my TBR List


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish
Raymie Nightingale. Kate DiCamillo. Comes out in April 2016. 

Echo. Pam Munoz Ryan. Recently merited a Newbery Honor.

Last Stop on Market Street. Matt de la Pena. Recently won a Newbery, and merited a Caldecott Honor AND a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor.

Death on the Riviera: A British Library Crime Classic by John Bude. Being republished in March, I believe, by Poisoned Pen Press.

Serpents in Eden: A British Library Crime Classic. Collection of short stories compiled by Martin Edwards.

Murder of a Lady. Anthony Wynne. Being republished in February by Poisoned Pen Press.

My Name is Not Friday by Jon Walter. Released in January.

Lizzie and the Lost Baby by Cheryl Blackford. Released in January.

Ruby Lee and Me. Shannon Hitchcock. Released in January.

Saving Wonder. Mary Knight. Releases February.

© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

0 Comments on Top Ten Books Recently Added to my TBR List as of 1/19/2016 5:01:00 PM
Add a Comment
30. Alas, Babylon

Alas, Babylon. Pat Frank. 1959/2005. Harper Perennial Modern Classics. 323 pages. [Source: Bought]

I spent the whole year of 2015 meaning to read Pat Frank's Alas, Babylon. So I decided that this year, it would be one of the very first books I read. I wasn't going to let another year pass before I sat down to reread this sci-fi classic.

Alas, Babylon was originally published in 1959. I think it is crucial to remember that fact as you're reading. The book is set during the Cold War, published during the Cold War, and asks the question: WHAT IF the Soviet Union uses nuclear warfare and attacks various cities and bases across the whole United States. Would there be survivors? How would people survive? What would they eat and drink? Not just in the initial weeks following the nuclear war, but, more long-term than that. How would they cope--how would they manage--without electricity, without batteries (once they ran out), without cars (once all the gas was gone), without new supplies arriving by truck or plane, etc. Would communities come together or be torn apart? How would people deal with one another, treat one another? Would lawlessness prevail? Would fear and anger and greed win the day? Or would people still look out for one another?

Alas, Babylon is not just a what-if story, however. It is a personal story, that I felt remained character-driven. It stars Randy Bragg and his family. His brother, Mark, sends Randy a warning in a telegram, "Alas, Babylon" their code for the end is coming, war is inevitable, be prepared. Randy prepares to receive his sister-in-law, niece, and nephew into his Florida home. The book is set in a small community in Florida, a community that is fortunate in some ways--many ways. Readers get a chance to know quite a few of the locals in addition to this one family. For example, the local librarian who finds herself most necessary to the community. The library COMES ALIVE after the attack, as people become desperate for information and news, for entertainment, etc.

I liked the practical aspects of Alas, Babylon. Unlike Life As We Knew It, I felt it handled the situation practically, logically. One of the big issues I had with Life As We Knew It, a book I love despite its flaws, was the fact that it got a few practical things wrong: for one, how people get water. It has the heroine's family getting well water through their pipes without an (electric) pump! Not the case with Alas, Babylon. If it has flaws, they didn't leap out at me.

Alas, Babylon is a thought-provoking novel. One I'd definitely recommend.

© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

0 Comments on Alas, Babylon as of 1/19/2016 12:21:00 PM
Add a Comment
31. Library Loot: First Trip in January

New Loot:
  • Innocents Abroad (& Roughing It) by Mark Twain 
  • The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
  • Pain Free by Peter Egoscue
  • A Woman Unknown by Frances Brody
  • Beatrice and Benedick by Marina Fiorato
Leftover Loot:
  • Nurse Matilda the Collected Tales by Christianna Brand
  • The Doldrums by Nicholas Gannon
  • Confessions of an Imaginary Friend by Michelle Cuevas
  • Mio, My Son by Astrid Lindgren
  • The Odds of Getting Even by Sheila Turnage
  • Collected Tales, Sketches, Speeches, and Essays by Mark Twain
  • A Dangerous Mourning by Anne Perry
        Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Linda from Silly Little Mischief that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post-feel free to steal the button-and link it using the Mr. Linky any time during the week. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries

© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

0 Comments on Library Loot: First Trip in January as of 1/18/2016 3:10:00 PM
Add a Comment
32. Joan of Arc

Joan of Arc. Mark Twain. 1895/1896. 452 pages. [Source: Library]

Did I enjoy reading Mark Twain's Joan of Arc? Yes, very much. Though perhaps not quite as much as A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. But that isn't exactly fair to try to compare the two really; they are very different from one another.

Joan of Arc is narrated by Sieur Louis de Conte in his old age, 82 in the year 1492. He is attempting to tell the behind-the-scenes story of Joan of Arc. This telling begins in their childhood. He grew up with her, and, remained close to her and witnessed (almost) all the "big" events. He was even witness to her trials and served as a secretary or note-taker, I believe.

Is the book a comedy? Far from it. (Though there is that one scene about if a stomach can help in the committing of a crime that is funny. And also some great Paladin scenes. He's one of the companions--soldiers--and he's a STORYTELLER if ever there was.) Though a few asides from "the translator" (aka Mark Twain) do pack a little something. The book is properly a tragic history.

Some of my favorite quotes:
It was not my opinion; I think there is no sense in forming an opinion when there is no evidence to form it on. If you build a person without any bones in him he may look fair enough to the eye, but he will be limber and cannot stand up; and I consider that evidence is the bones of an opinion. 
And it is my thought that if one keep to the things he knows, and not trouble about the things which he cannot be sure about, he will have the steadier mind for it--and there is profit in that.
Discretion hasn't anything to do with brains; brains are an obstruction to it, for it does not reason, it feels. Perfect discretion means absence of brains. Discretion is a quality of the heart--solely a quality of the heart; it acts upon us through feeling.
Well, well a good and wholesome thing is a little harmless fun in this world; it tones a body up and keeps him human and prevents him from souring. 
© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

0 Comments on Joan of Arc as of 1/17/2016 9:12:00 AM
Add a Comment
33. Best Friends Wear Pink Tutus

Best Friends Wear Pink Tutus. Sheri Brownrigg. Illustrated by Meredith Johnson. 1993. Scholastic. 32 pages. [Source: Bought]

First sentence: I'm Amanda, and this is Emily. We're best friends, and we were pink tutus.

Premise/plot: Amanda and Emily are excited that their ballet class will be performing The Nutcracker. Both Amanda and Emily want to be Marie.Even though Marie doesn't wear a tutu for the show. But knowing that her best friend wants the part really badly makes life difficult for both girls. What should they do?

My thoughts: I liked this one. I did. I think it's a very good early reader. I like the story. As I've mentioned several times this year alone, I do love the Nutcracker!!! So this one works for me!

© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

0 Comments on Best Friends Wear Pink Tutus as of 1/15/2016 11:33:00 AM
Add a Comment
34. The Log Cabin Wedding

The Log Cabin Wedding. Ellen Howard. 2006. Holiday House. 64 pages. [Source: Gift]

The Log Cabin Wedding was a pleasant discovery to me. I found the book among my mom's over thanksgiving weekend. It was a short read that felt so comfy-cozy right. It would pair quite well with Sarah, Plain and Tall.

Elvirey is the young heroine of this historical chapter book. Out of necessity, two families come together to harvest the crops on their farms. One family is a widow woman and her young family. The other, as you might have guessed, is a widower with a family of his own. Elvirey is the daughter of the widower, and, this let's-get-together-with-the-neighbors idea was her own. Unfortunately, Elvirey didn't foresee that the two might just fall for each other in the process! The last thing she wanted was a replacement for her mother...

I liked this one very much. I like that Widow Aiken, among other things, teaches Elvirey how to read.

This one is easy to recommend.

© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

0 Comments on The Log Cabin Wedding as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
35. The Face of a Stranger

The Face of a Stranger. (William Monk #1) Anne Perry. 1990. 352 pages. [Source: Library]

The Face of a Stranger is a great little mystery, and a fine start to a series, a series that I now want to read more of!

The hero of The Face of a Stranger is William Monk. Readers are just as clueless as to who he is as he is himself. Monk wakes up from an accident with amnesia. He doesn't remember his name, his face, what he does, where he lives. He's clueless. He finds out from others that his name is William Monk and that he's a police detective. Within a few weeks of his release, he's back at work and back to detecting. Just as important to him as getting back to working on cases is solving the mystery of who he is, what kind of man he is. The clues are leading him to suspect that he hasn't been a very nice or kind man. That he's treated others--including his own sister--poorly. He's woken up with a conscience or a change of heart, you might say. His morals have been reset, if you will! He realizes that not many people--if any--actually like him. And that's hard to take, but, he does it well, for the most part. He is not willing to tell everyone that he's clueless, that he has no clue as to his own past. One thing is clear: he's good at noticing details, of finding clues, of putting together theories based on those clues. So along with his own private agenda of finding out WHO he is, he's on an official case with a partner (Evans, I believe). Somebody murdered Major Joscelin Grey. The murder coincidentally enough happened around the same time as his own accident that landed him in the hospital.

Can he solve the murder case? Will he allow pressure from others to influence him into making a quick arrest?

I enjoyed this one oh-so-much!!!!

© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

0 Comments on The Face of a Stranger as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
36. Silent Nights

Silent Nights. Edited by Martin Edwards. 2015. Poisoned Pen Press. 298 pages. [Source: Review copy]

Love mystery and detective stories? Love British mystery and detective stories? Treat yourself to this collection of SHORT STORIES edited by Martin Edwards. Each mystery is set during the holidays. So many authors are included in this collection, you're almost sure to find your favorite author. But what I loved even more than finding "favorite authors" was finding new-to-me authors. Edwards introduces each story by providing readers with a little information about the author and the story included. Some of these stories are rare and almost forgotten. All are "vintage" or "classic" stories. I think the most recent being from the 1940s.

The book includes:
  • The Blue Carbuncle by Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Parlour Tricks by Ralph Plummer
  • A Happy Solution by Raymund Allen
  • The Flying Stars by G.K. Chesterton
  • Stuffing by Edgar Wallace
  • The Unknown Murderer by H.C. Bailey
  • The Absconding Treasurer by J. Jefferson Farjeon
  • The Necklace of Pearls by Dorothy L. Sayers
  • The Case Is Altered by Margery Allingham
  • Waxworks by Ethel Lina White
  • Cambric Tea by Marjorie Bowen
  • The Chinese Apple by Joseph Shearing
  • A Problem in White by Nicholas Black
  • The Name on the Window by Edmund Crispin
  • Beef for Christmas by Leo Bruce
Probably my favorite short story was Waxworks by Ethel Lina White. I also enjoyed Cambric Tea by Marjorie Bowen.

Short stories aren't my favorite thing to read. But I do love a good mystery. I thought this one was worth reading because it introduced me to some new-to-me authors. And it talked about what else they'd written--including novels. The book gives readers a taste of various authors and their detectives.

© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

0 Comments on Silent Nights as of 1/9/2016 7:15:00 PM
Add a Comment
37. 2016 Challenges: Victorian Reading Challenge

2016 Victorian Reading Challenge
Host: Belle's Library (sign up)
Dates: January - December 2016
# of books: I hope to read 8

What I Read for the Challenge:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.

© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

0 Comments on 2016 Challenges: Victorian Reading Challenge as of 1/9/2016 7:15:00 PM
Add a Comment
38. 2016 Challenges: Back to the Classics

Back to the Classics 2016 Reading Challenge
Books and Chocolate (sign up)
January - December 2016
# of Books at least six

What I Read for the Challenge:

1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.

The Categories:

1.  A 19th Century Classic - any book published between 1800 and 1899.

2.  A 20th Century Classic - any book published between 1900 and 1966. Just like last year, all books MUST have been published at least 50 years ago to qualify. The only exception is books written at least 50 years ago, but published later.


3.  A classic by a woman author


4.  A classic in translation.  Any book originally written published in a language other than your native language. Feel free to read the book in your language or the original language.


5.  A classic by a non-white author. Can be African-American, Asian, Latino, Native American, etc.


6.  An adventure classic - can be fiction or non-fiction. Children's classics like Treasure Island are acceptable in this category. 


7.  A fantasy, science fiction, or dystopian classic. Dystopian could include classics like 1984, and children's classics like The Hobbit are acceptable in this category also. 


8.  A classic detective novel. It must include a detective, amateur or professional. This list of books from the Golden Age of Detective Fiction is a great starting point if you're looking for ideas.


9.  A classic which includes the name of a place in the title.  It can be the name of a house, a town, a street, etc. Examples include Bleak House, Main Street, The Belly of Paris, or The Vicar of Wakefield.


10. A classic which has been banned or censored. If possible, please mention why this book was banned or censored in your review.


11. Re-read a classic you read in school (high school or college).  If it's a book you loved, does it stand the test of time?  If it's a book you disliked, is it any better a second time around?


12. A volume of classic short stories. This must be one complete volume, at least 8 short stories. It can be an anthology of stories by different authors, or all the stories can be by a single author. Children's stories are acceptable in this category also.


© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

0 Comments on 2016 Challenges: Back to the Classics as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
39. December Reflections

In December, I read books 38 books.

Board books:

  1. Board book: Christmas At Last! Sam Hearn. Illustrated by Penny Dann. 2015. Scholastic. 16 pages. [Source: Review copy] 
Picture books:
  1. There's No Such Thing As Little. LeUyen Pham. 2015. Random House. 48 pages. [Source: Library] 
  2. Click, Clack, Ho! Ho! Ho! Doreen Cronin. Illustrated by Betsy Lewin. 2015. Simon & Schuster. 40 pages.
  3. When Santa Was A Baby. Linda Bailey. Illustrated by Genevieve Godbout. 2014/2015. Tundra Books. 32 pages. [Source: Library]  
  4. Santa's Sleigh Is On Its Way to Texas. Eric James. Illustrated by Robert Dunn. 2015. Sourcebooks. 32 pages. [Source: Library]
  5. Oh, the Places You'll Go. Dr. Seuss. 1990. Random House. 44 pages. [Source: Library]
  6. Daisy-Head Mayzie. Dr. Seuss. 1994. Random House. 56 pages. [Source: Library]
  7. My Many Colored Days. Dr. Seuss. Illustrated by Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher. 1996. Random House. 32 pages. [Source: Library]
  8. Hooray for Diffendoofer Day! Dr. Seuss and Jack Prelutsky. Illustrated by Lane Smith. 1998. Random House. 64 pages. [Source: Library]
  9. The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories. Dr. Seuss. 2011. Random House. 72 pages. [Source: Library]
  10. Horton and the Kwuggerbug and More Lost Stories. Dr. Seuss. 2014. Random House. 56 pages. [Source: Library] 
  11. What Pet Should I Get? Dr. Seuss. 2015. Random House. 48 pages. [Source: Library]
  12. The Nutcracker. Susan Jeffers. 2007. HarperCollins. 40 pages. [Source: Library]   
  13. Waiting for Santa. Steve Metzger. Illustrated by Alison Edgson. 2015. Tiger Tales. 32 pages. [Source: Library]
  14. Complete Tales by Beatrix Potter. 1986/2006. 400 pages. [Source: Library] 
Middle grade fiction and nonfiction:
  1. Can't You Make Them Behave, King George? Jean Fritz. Illustrated by Tomie dePaola. 1977/1996. 48 pages. [Source: Library] 
  2. The Wind in the Willows. Kenneth Grahame. Illustrated by David Roberts. 1907/1983. Simon & Schuster. 244 pages. [Source: Library] 
  3. Adam and Thomas. Aharon Appelfeld. Translated by Jeffrey Green. 2015. Triangle Square. 160 pages. [Source: Library]  
  4. Escape from Baxters' Barn. Rebecca Bond. 2015. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 256 pages. [Source: Review copy]
  5. The Joy of a Peanuts Christmas: 50 Years of Holiday Comics. Charles M. Schulz. Introduction by Don Hall. 2000. Hallmark Books. 119 pages. [Source: Bought]
  6. The Cabin Faced West. Jean Fritz. Illustrated by Feodor Rojankovsky. 1958. 124 pages. [Source: Bought]
  7. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. C.S. Lewis. 1952. HarperCollins. 248 pages. [Source: Bought]
  8. House Without a Christmas Tree. Gail Rock. 1974. 84 pages. [Source: Bought] 
  9. Clementine for Christmas. Daphne-Benedis-Grab. 2015. Scholastic. 256 pages. [Source: Review copy] 
  10. The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. Barbara Robinson. 1972. HarperCollins. 128 pages. [Source: Bought]
Adult fiction and nonfiction:
  1. The Tale of Hill Top Farm. Susan Wittig Albert. 2004. 286 pages. [Source: Bought]
  2. Tale of Holly How (The Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter #2) Susan Wittig Albert. 2005. 320 pages. [Source: Library]
  3. Doomsday Book. Connie Willis. 1992. Random House. 592 pages.  [Source: Book I Bought]
  4. A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. Mark Twain. 1889. 258 pages. [Source: Bought] 
Christian fiction:
  1. The Photograph. Beverly Lewis. 2015. 320 pages. [Source: Review copy]
  2. The Painter's Daughter. Julie Klassen. 2015. Bethany House. 464 pages. [Source: Review copy]  
  3. Keeping Holiday. Starr Meade. Illustrated by Justin Gerard. 2008. Crossway. 192 pages. [Source: Review copy] 
  4. The Coming of the King. Norman Vincent Peale. Illustrated by William Moyers. 1956. Prentice-Hall. 32 pages. [Source: Bought]
  5. Silent Night. Joseph Mohr. Illustrated by Susan Jeffers. 1984/2003. Penguin. 32 pages. [Source: Bought] 
Christian nonfiction:
  1. Then Sings My Soul. Robert J. Morgan. 2010. Thomas Nelson. 310 pages. [Source: Bought]
  2. 52 Little Lessons from It's A Wonderful Life. Bob Welch. 2012. Thomas Nelson. 224 pages. [Source: Bought]
  3. Behold the Lamb of God. Russ Ramsey. 2011. Rabbit Room Press. 160 pages. [Source: Bought]
  4. Faith Alone: A Daily Devotional. Martin Luther. Edited by James C. Galvin. 2005. Zondervan. 400 pages. [Source: Bought]

© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

0 Comments on December Reflections as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
40. Week in Review: December 20-31

Horton and the Kwuggerbug and More Lost Stories. Dr. Seuss. 2014. Random House. 56 pages. [Source: Library]
What Pet Should I Get? Dr. Seuss. 2015. Random House. 48 pages. [Source: Library]
Clementine for Christmas. Daphne-Benedis-Grab. 2015. Scholastic. 256 pages. [Source: Review copy]
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. Mark Twain. 1889. 258 pages. [Source: Bought]   

My favorite was A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. 

© 2015 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

0 Comments on Week in Review: December 20-31 as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
41. Seuss on Saturday #52

Horton and the Kwuggerbug and More Lost Stories. Dr. Seuss. 2014. Random House. 56 pages. [Source: Library]

Horton and the Kwuggerbug and More Lost Stories contains "Horton and the Kwuggerbug," "Marco Comes Late," "How Officer Pat Saved The Whole Town," and "The Hoobub and the Grinch." These stories were published, I believe, in magazines throughout the 1950s.

Horton and the Kwuggerbug
First sentence:
It happened last May, on a very nice day
While the Elephant Horton was walking they say,
Just minding his business...just going his way...
When a Kwuggerbug dropped from a tree with a plunk
And landed on Horton the Elephant's trunk!
Premise/plot: Horton makes a deal with the Kwuggerbug, but, it's a deal that he comes to regret making because the Kwuggerbug isn't exactly honest and fair. The deal is this: The Kwuggerbug will give Horton half the nuts off the Beezelenut tree, if Horton will carry him to the tree on his trunk. But a deal is a deal, right? Will justice be done?

My thoughts: This is the "second" Horton story. It was published in 1951 in Redbook several years before Horton Hears a Who. Horton is just as LOVABLE as always. I love, love, love Horton as a character. And this one is just as great as Horton Hatches the Egg and Horton Hears a Who! Definitely not as well known perhaps. But if it had been published as a book in the 1950s, no doubt in my mind that it would be just as beloved.

Marco Comes Late
First sentence:
 "Young man!" said Miss Block. "It's eleven o'clock! This school begins promptly at eight-forty-five. Why this is a terrible time to arrive!"
Premise/plot: Marco Comes Late is the sequel to And To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street. "Something" is happening on Mulberry Street once again, and this time it's on his way TO school.

My thoughts: This is a much shorter adventure for Marco. But I liked it. I don't think it would have been "enough" for a book of its own perhaps. But it isn't a disappointment either. It was originally published in 1950.

How Officer Pat Saved the Whole Town
First sentence:
The job of an Officer of the Police
Is watching for trouble and keeping the peace.
He has to be sharp and he has to be smart
And try to stop trouble before it can start.
Premise/plot: This little story is all about TROUBLE and how it can start out small but grows and grows. That's what the "moral" of it is, I suppose. But it is GREAT fun in the telling. And it's set on Mulberry Street.

My thoughts: I loved, loved, LOVED How Officer Pat Saved the Whole Town. This story also appeared in Redbook in 1950. Seuss signed a contract to have Officer Pat published as a book, but it was later replaced in the contract with the publisher with Yertle the Turtle and Other Stories. Here's one little bit from the story:
The trouble with trouble is...trouble will spread. The yowl of that cat will wake Tom, Tim, and Ted, Those terrible triplets of Mrs. McGown. Then they'll yowl a yowl that'll wake this whole town. When trouble gets started, it always starts more! Those kids with their racket and ruckus and roar will frighten the bird, and the birds will come flapping down Mulberry Street with a yipping and yapping!
The Hoobub and the Grinch
First sentence:
The Hoobub was lying outdoors in the sun,
The wonderful, wonderful warm summer sun.
"There's nothing," he said, "quite as good as the sun!"
Then up walked a Grinch with a piece of green string.
"How much," asked the Grinch, "will you pay for this thing?"
Premise/plot: The Grinch is trying to sell the Hoobub a piece of string....will the Hoobub be deceived by the Grinch's clever use of words?

My thoughts: It may be short--just TWO PAGES. But don't underestimate it's cleverness. Not that I love, love, love it. But it worked for me!

Have you read Horton and the Kwuggerbug and More Lost Stories? Did you like it? love it? hate it? I'd love to know what you thought of it!

What Pet Should I Get? Dr. Seuss. 2015. Random House. 48 pages. [Source: Library]

First sentence:
We want a pet.
We want a pet.
What kind of pet
should we get?
Premise/plot: Siblings--a boy and a girl--have trouble deciding which pet to get. Their parents said, "yes" to one pet, but, not to two, or, three, or four. The problem? The kids have only to see an animal in the pet store, and, then they WANT it. This book is all about having to make up your mind...

My thoughts: I liked it. I didn't love, love, love it. But I liked it. It ends with the reader not knowing what pet they finally picked. I'm not sure I like the mystery ending. Is it wrong that I almost preferred the notes from the publisher to the actual text?! I found the notes from the publisher to be fascinating. In particular,
Dr. Seuss's first "pet" was a brown stuffed toy dog given to him by his mother. Ted--whose real name was Theodore Seuss Geisel--named it Theophrastus. Ted would keep Theophrastus for the rest of his life. The dog was often perched near his drawing board. In 1991, just days before his death at the age of eighty-seven, Ted gave Theophrastus to his stepdaughter Lea Grey. "You will take care of the dog, won't you?" he asked her.
Have you read What Pet Should I Get? Did you like it? love it? hate it? I'd love to know what you thought of it!

I'll be posting a list of my TOP TEN books by Dr. Seuss later this week.

© 2015 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

0 Comments on Seuss on Saturday #52 as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
42. Clementine for Christmas

Clementine for Christmas. Daphne-Benedis-Grab. 2015. Scholastic. 256 pages. [Source: Review copy]

Did I enjoy reading Daphne Benedis-Grab's Clementine for Christmas? Yes, very much! Was I a tiny bit worried about the contents since there was a dog on the cover? Yes, I admit to being a tiny bit worried. Can the book be trusted? Will it break my heart and make me cry?!

There are three narrators in the book: Josie, Oscar, and Gabby. The three are unlikely friends, in many, many ways. Josie is at best invisible, and, at worst, unpopular. Gabby seems to have it all, and to have it easy. She may be the new kid, but, she has more friends, more popular friends, than Josie who's lived there forever. And Oscar's story? Well, he can be trouble. In fact, it is because he is IN trouble that he comes to meet Josie and get to know her.

What brings these three together? Besides the fact that they all attend the same school, I mean. A hospital. Josie volunteers at the hospital. She dresses up. She sings. She dances. She listens. She talks. She comforts. Oscar? Well, he's "volunteering." He's doing community service for a month. He's the opposite of Josie. He's like Oscar the Grouch. He doesn't want to sing. He doesn't want to dance. He doesn't want to do ANYTHING at all that other people think it's fun to do. (Can you tell I listened to this record growing up.) Josie gets VERY tired of him refusing to sing, dance, and dress up. He's her volunteer partner, so she's stuck with him. Some of the patients are cheerier than he is! Of course, readers know why Oscar is a bit out of sorts. And it has to do with his home life....

Gabby, the third narrator, is a patient at the hospital. She's super-shocked to see Josie and Oscar show up in her room one day. Her illness is supposed to be a major secret. NO ONE at school is supposed to find out about her health. Will Josie and Oscar prove trustworthy?

Will these three unlikely friends become close friends, hang-out-in-public friends?

Several things connect the three. More than just the hospital. The fact that it's CHRISTMAS and there is a show to produce, for one. And also Clementine, the dog. Josie and Clementine are the true partners who brighten everyone's day....

I did enjoy this one. And Clementine is still alive and well at the end of the book. 

© 2015 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

0 Comments on Clementine for Christmas as of 12/21/2015 12:13:00 PM
Add a Comment
43. A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. Mark Twain. 1889. 258 pages. [Source: Bought]

It was in Warwick Castle that I came across the curious stranger whom I am going to talk about. He attracted me by three things: his candid simplicity, his marvelous familiarity with ancient armor, and the restfulness of his company—for he did all the talking.

Did I enjoy reading Mark Twain's A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court? Yes!!!! Very, very much!

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court is a story within a story. The narrator meets a talkative stranger, the stranger begins to relate a strange-but-true story--so we're told--and finally, the stranger hands the narrator an old manuscript to finish the tale. Most of the book except for the beginning and ending frames, IS the manuscript written by the talkative stranger.

Here is how that manuscript begins:
I am an American. I was born and reared in Hartford, in the State of Connecticut--anyway, just over the river, in the country. So I am a Yankee of the Yankees--and practical; yes, and nearly barren of sentiment, I suppose--or poetry, in other words.
Readers learn that this Yankee was mysteriously transported BACK in time to the days of King Arthur's Court. This manuscript is his story of those events: the people he met, the dangers he faced, the near-misses and close-calls of his adventures, the friendships he formed, and the nearly successful, progressive experiments he conducted. For this time-traveler, THE BOSS, as he came to be called, had lofty goals once he realized where he was and the unique opportunity he had to shape or reshape society. These goals, for example, included introducing technology and establishing education for all.

The book is quite entertaining and at times very amusing!!! There is some action to be sure, but, it is a comedy through and through.

Some of my favorite quotes:
The mere knowledge of a fact is pale; but when you come to realize your fact, it takes on color.
The only right way to classify the majestic ages of some of those jokes was by geologic periods. But that neat idea hit the boy in a blank place, for geology hadn't been invented yet. However, I made a note of the remark, and calculated to educate the commonwealth up to it if I pulled through. It is no use to throw a good thing away merely because the market isn't ripe yet.
Inherited ideas are a curious thing, and interesting to observe and examine. I had mine, the king and his people had theirs. In both cases they flowed in ruts worn deep by time and habit, and the man who should have proposed to divert them by reason and argument would have had a long contract on his hands. 
Spiritual wants and instincts are as various in the human family as are physical appetites, complexions, and features, and a man is only at his best, morally, when he is equipped with the religious garment whose color and shape and size most nicely accommodate themselves to the spiritual complexion, angularities, and stature of the individual who wears it. 
There never was such a country for wandering liars; and they were of both sexes. Hardly a month went by without one of these tramps arriving; and generally loaded with a tale about some princess or other wanting help to get her out of some far-away castle where she was held in captivity by a lawless scoundrel, usually a giant. Now you would think that the first thing the king would do after listening to such a novelette from an entire stranger, would be to ask for credentials—yes, and a pointer or two as to locality of castle, best route to it, and so on. But nobody ever thought of so simple and common-sense a thing at that. No, everybody swallowed these people's lies whole, and never asked a question of any sort or about anything. Well, one day when I was not around, one of these people came along—it was a she one, this time—and told a tale of the usual pattern. Her mistress was a captive in a vast and gloomy castle, along with forty-four other young and beautiful girls, pretty much all of them princesses; they had been languishing in that cruel captivity for twenty-six years; the masters of the castle were three stupendous brothers, each with four arms and one eye—the eye in the center of the forehead, and as big as a fruit. 
Would you believe it? The king and the whole Round Table were in raptures over this preposterous opportunity for adventure. Every knight of the Table jumped for the chance, and begged for it; but to their vexation and chagrin the king conferred it upon me, who had not asked for it at all.
Indeed, I said I was glad. And in a way it was true; I was as glad as a person is when he is scalped.
There, there, never mind, don't explain, I hate explanations; they fog a thing up so that you can't tell anything about it.
But that is the way we are made: we don't reason, where we feel; we just feel.
Take a jackass, for instance: a jackass has that kind of strength, and puts it to a useful purpose, and is valuable to this world because he is a jackass; but a nobleman is not valuable because he is a jackass. It is a mixture that is always ineffectual, and should never have been attempted in the first place. 
You can't reason with your heart; it has its own laws, and thumps about things which the intellect scorns.
Many a small thing has been made large by the right kind of advertising. 
They are common defects of my own, and one mustn't criticise other people on grounds where he can't stand perpendicular himself. 
Words realize nothing, vivify nothing to you, unless you have suffered in your own person the thing which the words try to describe.
Clarence was with me as concerned the revolution, but in a modified way. His idea was a republic, without privileged orders, but with a hereditary royal family at the head of it instead of an elective chief magistrate. He believed that no nation that had ever known the joy of worshiping a royal family could ever be robbed of it and not fade away and die of melancholy. I urged that kings were dangerous. He said, then have cats. He was sure that a royal family of cats would answer every purpose. They would be as useful as any other royal family, they would know as much, they would have the same virtues and the same treacheries, the same disposition to get up shindies with other royal cats, they would be laughably vain and absurd and never know it, they would be wholly inexpensive; finally, they would have as sound a divine right as any other royal house, and "Tom VII, or Tom XI, or Tom XIV by the grace of God King," would sound as well as it would when applied to the ordinary royal tomcat with tights on. "And as a rule," said he, in his neat modern English, "the character of these cats would be considerably above the character of the average king, and this would be an immense moral advantage to the nation, for the reason that a nation always models its morals after its monarch's. The worship of royalty being founded in unreason, these graceful and harmless cats would easily become as sacred as any other royalties, and indeed more so, because it would presently be noticed that they hanged nobody, beheaded nobody, imprisoned nobody, inflicted no cruelties or injustices of any sort, and so must be worthy of a deeper love and reverence than the customary human king, and would certainly get it. The eyes of the whole harried world would soon be fixed upon this humane and gentle system, and royal butchers would presently begin to disappear; their subjects would fill the vacancies with catlings from our own royal house; we should become a factory; we should supply the thrones of the world; within forty years all Europe would be governed by cats, and we should furnish the cats. The reign of universal peace would begin then, to end no more forever.... Me-e-e-yow-ow-ow-ow—fzt!—wow!" Hang him, I supposed he was in earnest, and was beginning to be persuaded by him, until he exploded that cat-howl and startled me almost out of my clothes. But he never could be in earnest. He didn't know what it was. He had pictured a distinct and perfectly rational and feasible improvement upon constitutional monarchy, but he was too feather-headed to know it, or care anything about it, either.
© 2015 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

0 Comments on A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court as of 12/20/2015 10:53:00 AM
Add a Comment
44. House Without A Christmas Tree

House Without a Christmas Tree. Gail Rock. 1974. 84 pages. [Source: Bought]

Carla Mae and I were sitting in our little kitchen at the old wooden table, with our spoons poised in mid-air. In front of each of us was a hard-boiled egg perched in an egg cup. We both stared intently at the faces we had drawn on our eggs. The longer the stare, the better the hex. "Who's yours today?" she asked. "Billy Wild," I said, making a face. 

The House Without a Christmas Tree is a nice holiday read. Addie Mills is the ten-year-old heroine in the novel. As Christmas approaches, she has one thing on her mind. Will this be the year that her Father gives in her begging--her pleading, her imploring--and buys a Christmas tree? Or will this be another disappointing Christmas season? She can't ever recall having a tree of her very own. She's not sure she completely believes her father's excuse that since they'll be spending Christmas day at her uncle's house--and he has a tree--that there is no need for a tree of their own. Her grandmother is on her side. But both seem a bit timid, and hesitant, to speak their full minds in front of Father.

Here are some other things it's nice to know about Addie:
  • She is best, best friends with Carla Mae.
  • She is worst friends with Tanya Smithers.
  • She definitely does not like-like Billy Wild. (Or does she?)
  • She loves her Grandma, and feels fiercely protective of her.
  • She loves but does not understand her Father at all.
  • She feels very misunderstood by her Father.
  • She's curious about the mother she never knew.
The book is set in a small town in 1946.

© 2015 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

0 Comments on House Without A Christmas Tree as of 12/14/2015 11:15:00 AM
Add a Comment
45. Doomsday Book (1992)

Doomsday Book. Connie Willis. 1992. Random House. 592 pages.  [Source: Book I Bought]

Mr. Dunworthy opened the door to the laboratory and his spectacles promptly steamed up.
"Am I too late?" he said, yanking them off and squinting at Mary.
"Shut the door," she said. "I can't hear you over the sound of those ghastly carols."
Dunworthy closed the door, but it didn't completely shut out the sound of "O Come, All Ye Faithful" wafting in from the quad. "Am I too late?" he said again.  

This is my fourth time to read and review Connie Willis' Dooms Day Book.  This not-so-little novel combines my love of historical fiction and my love of science fiction. It does so, of course, through time travel. Kivrin, the heroine, will be the first historian--first time traveler--sent to the fourteenth century. The century has just recently, and perhaps unadvisedly, been opened up to time travel. Kivrin will be traveling to a "safe" year: 1320. But Mr. Dunworthy fears that there is no such thing as a SAFE year within the fourteenth century. She's studied and prepped for this for years now, this is HER ONE BIG LIFE-DREAM. And certainly the worries of an "old professor" like Mr. Dunworthy won't stop her from going. But is Mr. Dunworthy right to worry?!

It is set--in the future and the past--during the Advent-Christmas-Epiphany season. The book examines the role of faith and religion, at the very least during this season of the year. But, in particular, it addresses the question of God and suffering. I would never say it is a "religious" book, but, Kivrin, in particular is sent to a century where belief in God IS a matter of fact and the church had more power and influence. Christian readers should note that Mr. Dunworthy and Kivrin both misunderstand much of who God is and what the Christian faith is all about.

Doomsday Book might be "just right" for you if...

  • You enjoy science fiction, in particular time travel
  • You enjoy historical fiction
  • You enjoy medical mysteries
  • You enjoy compelling dramas
  • You enjoy character-driven novels 
© 2015 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

0 Comments on Doomsday Book (1992) as of 12/15/2015 1:03:00 PM
Add a Comment
46. Santa's Sleigh Is On Its Way To Texas

Santa's Sleigh Is On Its Way to Texas. Eric James. Illustrated by Robert Dunn. 2015. Sourcebooks. 32 pages. [Source: Library]

First sentence: The moon over Sixth Street gives off a cool glow. The stars twinkle like there's a secret they know! The evening sky is especially bright. "Hey Santa! Hey Santa! Please visit tonight."

Premise/plot: A Christmas book that celebrates place-names in Texas. The framework of the story is that there is one little Texan who won't go to bed, so, Santa keeps postponing his visit to his house and makes all his other deliveries in Texas first. But essentially, just a book with a lot of Texas locations mentioned.
In Dallas the yawns become stronger and stronger. The children of Plano can't stay up much longer. From Fort Worth to Lubbock, and San Antone too, They're soon sleeping soundly, all children but you!
My thoughts: I find this an awkward read. I'm not sure if it's the fact that most of it is written in second person. Or if its because the rhythm or rhyme is just off for me. There were things I liked about it. The first five pages aren't written in second person and addressed directly to the reader. And the illustrations for one spread in particular show that Texas is diverse.

Text: 2 out of 5
Illustrations: 3 out of 5
Total: 5 out of 5

© 2015 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

0 Comments on Santa's Sleigh Is On Its Way To Texas as of 12/16/2015 11:11:00 AM
Add a Comment
47. When Santa Was a Baby

When Santa Was A Baby. Linda Bailey. Illustrated by Genevieve Godbout. 2014/2015. Tundra Books. 32 pages. [Source: Library]

First sentence: When Santa was a baby, he was soft and round and cuddly, and his parents thought he was wonderful.

Premise/plot: Ever wondered what Santa was like as a baby or a child? This picture book aims to tell just that. There are clues throughout the text that Santa has always been very Santa-like even as a baby. For example, as a baby his mom notes, "And his dear little nose, like a cherry!" And instead of cooing or making other gentle, baby noises, Santa booms loudly and strongly: Ho, Ho, Ho!

My thoughts: I don't know honestly what I think of this one! Just when I think, yes, I like this one, I'll keep reading and change my mind again. I think I changed my mind two or three times as I was reading and rereading. There are definitely some cute instances in this book, if nothing else.

For example,
What a lovely time Santa had opening his presents! He had an even lovelier time wrapping them up again and putting them in a sack. "What's he doing?" asked his mom. "Beats me," said his dad. They watched in amazement as Santa rode down the street, giving away his presents to all the boys and girls.
The illustrations are unusual. Delightful at times, and, just a bit strange at other times. There were things I definitely liked, and things I definitely didn't like about the illustrations. Just so you know, there are at least two naked baby bottoms, and quite a few diaper bottoms.

Text: 3 out of 5
Illustrations: 3 out of 5
Total: 6 out of 10

© 2015 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

0 Comments on When Santa Was a Baby as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
48. Click Clack Ho Ho Ho

Click, Clack, Ho! Ho! Ho! Doreen Cronin. Illustrated by Betsy Lewin. 2015. Simon & Schuster. 40 pages.

First sentence: Snow is falling. Lights twinkle. A few creatures are stirring. It is Christmas Eve. There is a jingle in the air. Farmer Brown stops to listen. Santa is on his way.

Premise/plot: Farmer Brown is settling in to enjoy a nice Christmas. He's blissfully unaware of what some of the "creatures" on his farm are plotting or planning. Readers should pay careful attention to all the illustrations. They can track Santa's journey as well. But my guess is that the repetitive refrain: Ho, Ho, Uh-oh, might just be their favorite part.

My thoughts: I think it must be really difficult to write a really, actually, GOOD Christmas-themed picture book. You can read a dozen or so Christmas books, and, only find one or two that stand out as being entertaining, or, FUNNY. (Funny as opposed to being sentimental, or, a book that is supposed-to-make-you-cry.) You also encounter plenty of books with awkward, forced rhymes. Or books where you're left asking, "And the point of this was....?!"

But Doreen Cronin's Click, Clack, Ho! Ho! Ho! was good, really, really good. I liked the beginning, the middle, and the end. It was predictable in all the right ways. I love how the text and illustrations work together to build a suspenseful story. The readers definitely are more aware than poor Farmer Brown!!!

Text: 4.5 out of 5
Illustrations: 4.5 out of 5
Total: 9 out of 10

© 2015 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

0 Comments on Click Clack Ho Ho Ho as of 12/18/2015 10:39:00 AM
Add a Comment
49. Seuss on Saturday #51

Hooray for Diffendoofer Day! Dr. Seuss and Jack Prelutsky. Illustrated by Lane Smith. 1998. Random House. 64 pages. [Source: Library]

First sentence:
I've always lived in Dinkerville,
My friends all live here too.
We go to Diffendoofer School--
We're happy that we do.
Premise/plot: Diffendoofer School is different from other schools. The teachers teach their students to think. And the teachers are all unique and have their own way of teaching and celebrating knowledge. But one day, the school is threatened by a TEST. If their students don't do well on the test, then, the students will have to go to other schools. Will the students do well on the test? Even if they haven't spent time especially preparing for it?

My thoughts: I liked it. I wish I knew how much of the text was by Dr. Seuss and how much was by Jack Prelutsky. The art is certainly different and unique and complements the text quite nicely.

Have you read Hooray for Diffendoofer Day? Did you like it? love it? hate it? I'd love to know what you thought of it! 

The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories. Dr. Seuss. 2011. Random House. 72 pages. [Source: Library]

The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories contains seven "lost" stories by Dr. Seuss. They include: "The Bippolo Seed," "The Rabbit, the Bear, and the Zinniga-Zanniga," "Gustav, The Goldfish," "Tadd and Todd," "Steak for Supper," "The Strange Shirt Spot," and "The Great Henry McBride." All stories were originally published in magazines in the 1950s.

The Bippolo Seed
First sentence:
One bright sunny day, a young duck named McKluck
Had a wonderful, wonderful piece of good luck.
He was walking along when he spied on the ground
A marvelous thing that is quite seldom found.
Premise/plot: A duck finds a magical bippolo seed, but, unfortunately is led astray by a cat. The bippolo seed grants wishes when planted, but, the cat is strongly encouraging the duck to wish for more and more and more. Nothing good ever comes from such greediness, and such is the case here...

My thoughts: I liked it. I did. It didn't wow me with this is the best story ever. But it was good.

The Rabbit, the Bear, and the Zinniga-Zanniga
First sentence:
Once of upon of a time, way down south,
Lived a very big bear with a very big mouth
And very big teeth in his very big jaws
And very big claws in his very big paws.
Premise/plot: Can a rabbit outsmart a bear?

My thoughts: It didn't make the best first impression on me. But once the story really got started, once the rabbit started talking--quick-talking--it improved. I still can't say I loved, loved, loved it. But it was a nice enough story.

Gustav, The Goldfish
First sentence:
The man who sold Gustav the Goldfish to us
Had warned us, "Take care! When you feed this small cuss
Just feed him a spot. If you feed him a lot,
Then something might happen! It's hard to say what."
Premise/plot: What do you think might happen if you feed a fish too much?!

My thoughts: I really love A Fish Out of Water. Seuss's story came first, of course. Seuss's story rhymes. I don't know which is the "better" of the two. Because one is super-familiar to me, and the other is not.

Tadd and Todd
First sentence:
One twin was named Tadd
And one twin was named Todd.
And they were alike
As two peas in a pod.
Premise/plot: Do both twins like being "as two peas in a pod"? Maybe. Maybe not.

My thoughts: It was okay. I didn't especially dislike it. I just wasn't especially impressed either.

Steak for Supper
First sentence:
When I'm all by myself and there isn't a crowd,
I guess that I sometimes get thinking-out-loud.
Premise/plot: Do you know the consequences of bragging? Read Steak for Supper and find out!

My thoughts: I enjoyed this one. I did. It was very silly and fun. When a boy happens to "think out loud" that his family always has steaks for supper every Saturday night, someone--an Ikka--starts following him. The Ikka is soon joined by others--all with fanciful names, of course. They are all super-excited by the thought of eating STEAK. What will his parents think when they all arrive home?!

The Strange Shirt Spot
First sentence:
My mother had warned me:
"Stay out of the dirt."
But there, there I was
With a spot on my shirt!"

Premise/plot: A boy finds it nearly impossible to remove a stubborn spot from his shirt.

My thoughts: This idea was used again, and, perhaps used better in The Cat and the Hat Comes Back. I love, love, love that book. This one was fun, but, mainly because you could see where the idea came from.

The Great Henry McBride
First sentence:
"It's hard to decide,"
Said young Henry McBride.
"It's terribly, terribly hard to decide.
When a fellow grows up and turns into a man,
A fellow should pick the best job that he can."

Premise/plot: Henry McBride can't pick just one job he wants to have when he's all grown up...so he imagines having lots of jobs.

My thoughts: It was okay. I liked it fine.

Have you read The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories? Did you like it? love it? hate it? I'd love to know what you thought of it! 

If you'd like to join me in reading or rereading Dr. Seuss (chronologically) I'd love to have you join me! The next book I'll be reviewing is Horton and the Kwuggerbug and More Lost Stories and What Pet Should I Get. I'll be doubling up for the rest of the year each Saturday.

© 2015 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

0 Comments on Seuss on Saturday #51 as of 12/19/2015 5:35:00 PM
Add a Comment
50. Week in Review: December 13-19

Hooray for Diffendoofer Day! Dr. Seuss and Jack Prelutsky. Illustrated by Lane Smith. 1998. Random House. 64 pages. [Source: Library]
The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories. Dr. Seuss. 2011. Random House. 72 pages. [Source: Library]
Click, Clack, Ho! Ho! Ho! Doreen Cronin. Illustrated by Betsy Lewin. 2015. Simon & Schuster. 40 pages.
When Santa Was A Baby. Linda Bailey. Illustrated by Genevieve Godbout. 2014/2015. Tundra Books. 32 pages. [Source: Library]
Santa's Sleigh Is On Its Way to Texas. Eric James. Illustrated by Robert Dunn. 2015. Sourcebooks. 32 pages. [Source: Library]
House Without a Christmas Tree. Gail Rock. 1974. 84 pages. [Source: Bought]
Doomsday Book. Connie Willis. 1992. Random House. 592 pages.  [Source: Book I Bought]
The Cabin Faced West. Jean Fritz. Illustrated by Feodor Rojankovsky. 1958. 124 pages. [Source: Bought]
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. C.S. Lewis. 1952. HarperCollins. 248 pages. [Source: Bought]
Behold the Lamb of God. Russ Ramsey. 2011. Rabbit Room Press. 160 pages. [Source: Bought]
52 Little Lessons from It's A Wonderful Life. Bob Welch. 2012. Thomas Nelson. 224 pages. [Source: Bought]

This week's recommendation(s): I loved The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, The Cabin Faced West, and Doomsday Book.

© 2015 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

0 Comments on Week in Review: December 13-19 as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment

View Next 25 Posts