Tag Archives: childrens books

Book Reviews April 2020

2 May

It’s been a while since I did a monthly book review, so get ready to add some books to your To-Read pile! I’ve honestly been having a hard time finding a book that really grabs  me and pulls me into its world that I don’t finish in just a couple of days! I’m thinking it just might be time to get back into the Wheel Of Time series (I’m only on book 7..or 8..or 9…).  

One last thing, these aren’t all from this past month- I’ve not read quite that much in four weeks!

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Little Princes by Conor Grennan – I shared a full review here if you’d like to go check it out. This was such a great read that it made it to my 2020 Favorites List.

Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson –    …. I also have a full review here if you’d like to read it. And I have since bought all three books so that I CAN read them yearly, or bi-yearly, whenever the mood strikes.

None Like Him : 10 Ways God is Different from Us (and Why That’s a Good Thing) by Jen Wilkin – While humans were created to reflect God’s image, there are several ways that we do not – unlimited power, knowledge and authority. This book delves into those attributes, shining a light on how realizing these limitations of ours compared to a limitless God can help us in our daily lives.

~This is the second study book that I’ve read by Wilkin. (In His Image being the other one.)This was insightful in highlighting the incredible attributes of God. As with the other of hers, I was a little disappointed how she stayed, what I felt, was surface level, with the topics and chapter questions. So while it was good and well worth the time, I would have appreciated a deeper delve into the topic. 

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (Chronicles of Narnia #4 -chronological order) by C.S. Lewis – King Caspian has built the first ship that Narnia has seen in centuries. He sails to find the lost Lords of Narnia – and Lucy, Edmund and cousin Eustace travel with him.

The Silver Chair  (The Chronicles of Narnia #5- chronological order)  by C.S. Lewis -Narnia is in need again, and this time Eustace and Jill are the ones brought to help. They must help find (and then rescue) the lost Prince of Narnia, who has been put under an evil spell. 

~Forgive me for combining my thoughts for both these books into one section. But – IT’S Narnia. And that means adventures; Aslan; Magic; Lessons; and just a wonderful world to escape to. I fell in love all over again with Puddleglum (from the Silver Chair) and enjoyed all the different adventures on the islands in the Dawn Treader. Delightful reads all around.

The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo – Despereaux is not like the other mice, he loves stories and music and the gentle Princess Pea. Roscuro is a rat who isn’t like other rats because he likes light and soup. Miggery Sow is a serving girl who dreams of being a princess. These four – a mouse, princess, rat and serving girl- are about to enter each other’s lives in ways they never dreamed. And when that happens, the choices they make will lead them in dark twisty tunnels of a dungeon, in the glittering light of the castle and through Cook’s kitchen. 

~I’d been curious about reading this story after having seen the movie a few times (although it has been several years since I saw it last). When I saw this at Goodwill (quite a few months ago now), I snagged it right quick! It ended up being quite fun and Camillo’s way of writing TO the reader just added that extra little bit of uniqueness to the story. I can see this being a great read-aloud book with your kids. 

The Candymakers (The Candymakers #1) by Wendy Mass- When the yearly national candy competition nears, Logan Sweet is excited. He’s finally old enough – 12 – to enter and make his candy-making father proud. His family owns Life is Sweet candy factory. But he’s not the only contestant that will be making their entries at the factory – three other kids from his town will also be there. Daisy, Miles and Logan show up on the first day – she with a bounce to her step and encouraging. Miles with a backpack and nervousness. Phillip with a briefcase and attitude. Which one will create the most innovative new candy this year? 

~I had no idea this was a series! I also didn’t know what to expect when I picked it up, at first I felt that it was pretty formulaic but I quickly revised that opinion. I got sucked into the story so much I felt kind of silly since it IS a children’s book! Mass shares each child’s perspective of what’s going on in the competition and their own personal world and that just made it so cool to see each motivation and viewpoint. A very fun story.

I also read/started these two books but for various reasons didn’t like them/finish them. So they are both leaving my bookshelf to open up space for more books! 

Zorro by Isabel Allende

The Measure of a Lady by Deanne Gist

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Currently Reading: 

‘Tis Herself by Maureen O’Hara

Pillar of Fire by J.H. Ingraham

Virginia by Cathy Marie Hake

 

To Read: 

the next Narnia book

The Prairie Legacy Series by Janette Oke

Sold on a Monday by Kristina McMorris

the next Wheel of Time book (I just have to figure out which one I’m on!)

Children’s Book Lineup

23 Oct

While going through some boxes a few weeks ago, I ran across a children’s story that I started writing years and years ago. While the characters are a little unimaginative – a frog and mouse are friends – I still like the idea and feel like I could take these two friends through so many different adventures and create a fun and wonderful world for kids to explore.

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I’ve always liked the idea of writing children’s books – I LOVE checking out this genre whenever I go into a bookstore. I inspect the flow of words, the artistry, the pictures themselves (do they tell the story without the words??) , is it a fun and engaging story for even the adult who is reading it to enjoy? When I find one that hits all of these marks for me, I get excited and have to show whoever I’m with (my mom gets it a bit more, my OH doesn’t quite understand the importance of it, heh).

So, I thought I would share some of my favorite children’s stories with you all today. I actually have started missing reading these regularly ( i worked with kids for about 10 years, so i read A LOT)

Pumpkin Soup by Helen Cooper – three friends- cat, squirrel and duck live in the woods and make their soup the same way everyday. but one day, duck wants to stir the soup instead of adding the salt and a terrible fight ensues. When duck leaves in a huff, his friends begin to worry about him.

Delicious by Helen Cooper – the three friends have another problem – there are no ripe pumpkins in their garden! So cat and squirrel make other soups to try and make duck happy, but all he wants is pumpkin soup. can his friends get him to try, and like something else? (Me and the little guy I nannyed years ago took to quoting part of this book, it is that wonderful)

A Pipkin of Pepper by Helen Cooper– you didn’t really think I was past these books by helen cooper did you??? Once again, the three friends have a soup problem, they are out of salt! They travel to the city to buy some but duck gets into trouble when he stays at the pepper shop too long and gets left behind. What follows is a delightful tale of cat and squirrel searching for him and finding him. i love the way they get back home too.

Frog and Toad Are Friends by Arnold Lobel  – classics right here folks.  In 5 delightful short stories, we see the wonderful friendship of frog and toad as they go through sickness, losing a button, funny swimming suits and no mail in the mailbox. The pictures in these are simple but i adore their style. (yes, I own a ‘vintage’ copy!)

Corduroy by Don Freeman –  please tell me you already know this story! this has been a favorite for years. Poor Corduroy wants a person all his own and just when it looks like a little girl is going to buy him off the department store shelf, he has lost a button! That night, he goes in search of it, only to be dissuaded by the night guard! The happy outcome of this story is so sweet. I also love the other books in this set. (yes, I own this one as well!)

Laura’s Star by Kaus Baumgart – laura is lonely one night and wishes for a friend. when she sees a star fall, she hurries outside and finds it lying hurt on the sidewalk. she bandages it and tells it all her secrets. but when she wakes in the morning, it is gone.  i mean, really, how can you go wrong with a storyline like this?? plus, my middle name is Starr, so it was a perfect gift from a friend. =)

and this last one is a suggestion from my OH –

Benjamin’s Balloon by Alan Baker – Benjamin blows up a balloon and so begins a traveling adventure that causes him a certain amount of worry. i want to read it now, don’t you??

There you are, folks, a completely-unplanned list of some of my favorite picture books.

What are some of your favorite children’s books? Are any of you also slightly obsessive about this genre?

A Musing Maverick

"What good amid these, O me, O life? - Answer: That you are here—that life exists and identity, That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse." - Walt Whitman

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