Young Reader in the Making

Young Reader in the Making

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Book 566: Humphrey's School Fair Surprise

I recently won an auction that benefited a public library.  What I won was a copy of this book, signed by the illustrator, and a print of the artwork from this book, also signed by the illustrator.  The reason I entered the contest in the first place, besides wanting to benefit the library, was because my second grade son loves books and has a hamster.

My second grade son has found a new favorite series.

Humphrey the hamster has such a charming voice, and is every bit as clever as our 'Houdini Hamster'.  In fact, he is more clever, because our hamster isn't much of a reader, and has yet to make sign.  Still, my little boy sees a lot of his Benjamin the Houdini Hamster in Humphrey, and can't wait to read more of the series.


Friday, April 14, 2017

Book 565: Here Comes the Easter Cat

Here Comes the Easter Cat, written by Deborah Underwood, illustrated by Claudia Rueda, Dial Books, 2014.

This book is an excellent example of the ideal relationship between the text and the illustrations.  The text on its own would not make sense, and the illustrations on their own would not make sense, but put them together and you have one adorably hilarious Easter book.



Friday, April 7, 2017

Book 564: Hallowe'en Party

Hallowe'en Party, by Agatha Christie, Berkley Books, 1969.

I love Hercule Poirot -- of course -- and Ariadne Oliver, and the mystery itself was quite good, but there were still some rather large flaws in this book. 

All the charm was sucked out of Agatha Christie's writing by her rants (through several characters) about the 'youth of today', the mental health system, and the criminal justice system. I might have been fine if only one or two characters spouted negativity of their choice, but they all did, repeatedly, and that grew tiresome. 




Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Book 563: Mr. Parker Pyne, Detective

Mr. Parker Pyne, Detective, by Agatha Christie, Berkley Books, 1934.

Mr. Parker Pyne seems like a cross between Poirot, Lord Peter Wimsey, and a plain ordinary accountant.  He is quite charming.  The stories, however, do not quite measure up to Christie at her best.


Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Book 562: Dumb Witness

Dumb Witness, by Agatha Christie, Berkley Books, 1937.

I found this Agatha Christie mystery especially engaging. Possibly because I am partial to small dogs named Bob. And partially because I did not guess the ending. But mostly because it was a well-crafted, engaging story.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Book 561: How to Read a Story

How To Read a Story, written by Kate Messner, illustrated by Mark Siegel, 2015.

This delightfully illustrated book is absolutely charming.  My eight-year-old son's favorite chapter was the chapter about using different voices for different characters.  He took that advice straight to heart.


Sunday, March 26, 2017

Book 560: The Road Less Traveled

The Road Less Traveled, by M. Scott Peck, M.D., Touchstone Books, 1978.

I found this book in a thrift store, so I paid my 65 cents and took it home.

This book starts out well enough.  In fact, if the author had stopped after the first half of this book, I would recommend it to just about anyone.  The first half does not really contain any profound truths, but summing up listening as love is not a bad place to start.

But the second half is problematic to the point of being dangerous.  It is contradictory and murky, and unsettlingly theocratic.