Young Reader in the Making

Young Reader in the Making

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Book 554: 1066 and All That

1066 and All That, by W.C. Sellar and R.J. Yeatman, illustrated by John Reynolds, E.P. Dutton, 1931.

In England, I was dreadful at History.  English History started with the Early Stone Age, and went on from there, so the American Revolution (or Rebellion) was a mere tiff, a trifle.  As an American, it was hard to recast my mind.

Also, this from the book, helps explain my confusion:  "The Scots (originally Irish, but by now the Scotch) were at this time inhabiting Ireland, having driven the Irish (Picts) out of Scotland; with the Picts (originally Scots) were now Irish..."  While this is humorously written, it is also true.

I can't say this book helps me keep my British History straight, but it does make me feel better about being so dreadful at it.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Book 553: Galileo's Daughter

Galileo's Daughter, by Dava Sobel, HarperCollins, 1999.

This book is NOT about Galileo's daughter.  This book is about Galileo, his writings, his beliefs, his trial, and it includes letters written by his daughter to him.  I usually finish a book in a day or two, and this one took me WEEKS to wade through.  In fact, I even set it aside during the holidays because it was a bit heavy for that time of the year.  I am glad I read it; I feel now I can separate more of the myth from the man when hearing or reading about Galileo, but it definitely is not light reading by any definition.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Book 552: Goodbye Mog

Goodbye Mog, by Judith Kerr, HarperCollins, 2003.

Every time my son saw Santa this year, he asked for a Mog Cat.  I may not be the quickest person in the world, but I knew what he was getting for Christmas.  Since he was getting the cat, I wanted him to have some of the books, too.

Our little hamster, Fred, started showing signs of slowing down shortly after Thanksgiving.  By this time he was around three years old, which is remarkably old for a hamster.  I wanted to prepare my son for the inevitable, so I made sure that Goodbye Mog was among the Mog books.

The inevitable happen late on New Year's Eve.  By this time, my son had already read Goodbye Mog a few times.  As we were digging the hole to bury Fred, my son told me Fred was tired and he wanted to go to sleep forever.  So he did.  And that Fred's body was dead on Earth but his spirit alive in heaven.  There were a few tears -- OK, mostly from me -- but my son accepted that Fred had had a good long life and now he was at peace.  So, thank you, Goodbye Mog, for bringing my little boy some comfort.


Thursday, December 29, 2016

Book 551: Mog, the Forgetful Cat

Mog, the Forgetful Cat, by Judith Kerr, Harper Books, 1970.

I seriously loved this book.  Although I'm wondering why I never heard of it until now.  I lived in England from the late 70s to the early 80s, and, although I was a little old for picture books by then, I did read to my younger sister.  She would have loved the heck out of this book.

Well, at least I discovered the book in time to give it to my son.  He read it last night to his Mog Cat, and I was allowed to listen.  Occasionally, he even showed me some of the delightful illustrations.  Now I quite agree with him:  We need more Mog Books!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Book 550: Dawn of the Century

Dawn of the Century, 1900 - 1900, Time/Life Books, 2000.

I have NO idea why my in-laws gave this book to my son for his eighth birthday -- except that he likes photography, and history, and geography.  OK, maybe I do know.

The black and white photographs in the book are phenomenal.  And my little boy loved seeing how people lived a hundred years before he was born.


Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Book 549: Mog in the Dark

Mog in the Dark, by Judith Kerr, Collins Picture Lions, 1986.

Despite having lived in England for a few years during my youth, and then, much later, growing up to be a children's librarian, I wasn't familiar with Mog books.  At least I wasn't until last year, and that infamous, glorious Sainsbury advert.  I was so in love with Mog from the advert, I had to buy my own Mog the cat.  Then my son wanted one.  And one thing led to another and to this book.

Even though this book isn't the strongest outing for Mog the cat, my son still loved it.  I suspect, however, he will love the ones he is getting for Christmas even more.


Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Book 548: Clara and the Bookwagon

Clara and the Bookwagon, by Nancy Smiler Levinson, illustrations by Carolyn Croll, HarperTrophy, 1988.

This book is delightful, from the sweet story to the absolutely charming illustrations.  There is even a hefty dose of humor in it, for those who know where to look for it.  My second grade son used this book as a study in comparing and contrasting -- it worked quite well.