Young Reader in the Making

Young Reader in the Making

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Book 389: Questions and Answers about Animal World

Questions and Answers about Animal World, Capelli, 2008.

This book is great for beginning readers, who are young enough to ask the questions in this book and old enough to understand the answers.

There are some really great photographs in this book for any kid who is interested in the natural world.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Book 388: Little Critter's Hansel and Gretel

Little Critter's Hansel and Gretel, by Mercer Mayer, Random House, 2010.

Again, three reasons to buy this book:

1. Little Critter

2. Lift-the-Flap

3. Fairy Tale. 

Add in the fact it was part of the Kohl's Cares program a while ago, that would be a fourth reason. 

I like how Mercer Mayer managed to stay true to the feel of the original while injecting humor, extracting goriness, and making the father's character a whole lot better. 

Monday, December 15, 2014

Book 387: Steam Train, Dream Train

Steam Train, Dream Train, by Sherri Duskey Rinker, illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld, Chronicle Books, 2013.

I bought this book for my six-year-old son for Christmas because there was a train, a giraffe, and a monkey on the cover -- in that order. I also bought it because I know a little of Rinker's writing. 

I can't comment on how much my son likes this book until after Christmas, but I loved it. 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Book 386: When We Were Very Young

When We Were Very Young, by A. A. Milne, illustrated by Ernest H. Shepard, Dutton Books, originally published in 1924.

Last month, for his sixth birthday, I gave my son Now We Are Six.  It seemed to make sense to get him When We Were Very Young for Christmas this year.

Again, I had a copy of this book as a child.  It was given to me by someone I loved very much.  I read the book to death.  I loved the book to death.  And I look forward to reliving my memories, and creating new ones, with my son.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Book 385: Little Critter Jack and the Beanstalk

Little Critter Jack and the Beanstalk, by Mercer Mayer, Sterling House Publishing, 2010.

I bought this book for my six-year-old son for a few reasons:

1.  It is a Mercer Mayer Little Critter book.

2.  It is a lift-the-flap book.

3.  It is a retelling of a classic fairy tale, one that he especially likes.

4.  He can read most of the words.

5.  It was offered through the Kohl's Cares program.

Five very excellent reasons for a book that cost me $5.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Book 384: Ralph Masiello's Robot Drawing Book

Ralph Masiello's Robot Drawing Book, by Ralph Masiello, Charlesbridge, 2011.

Christmas is less than three weeks away, so I'm writing about books that would make awesome gifts.

I love these "How to draw" books by Ralph Masiello.  Here is why:

First of all, because Masiello himself CAN draw -- amazingly well, in fact.  He is a remarkably gifted artist.

Second, Masiello breaks the drawings down into steps that a five- or six-year-old (active) boy can follow.  And by following the steps, my little boy has created some pretty great drawings.

Third, this particular book is about robots.  Robots!  Who doesn't love robots?  Who wouldn't want to create or at least draw his very own robot?  Pretty much every five- or six-year-old boy I know would.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Book 383: The Chaperone

The Chaperone, by Laura Moriarty, Riverhead Books, 2012.

I had read about this book about two years ago in a favorable review, so, when I found a copy at a local thrift store recently, I bought it.

I'll start off with what I like about the book.  The writing is deft and engaging.  The reader may not end up liking any of the main characters, but at least they, too, are engaging.  Because Cora was so long-lifed, this book does encompass many of the changing social mores in the US.

Cora being so long-lifed was also the problem with this book.  This book could have ended in 1942 and been complete with just a footnote about Brookes' book.  Instead, the book plodded forwarded, skipping over entire decades in a single breath at times, but somehow still managing to move at rather a ponderous rate.