Young Reader in the Making

Young Reader in the Making

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Book 366: The Queen's Lover

The Queen's Lover, by Francine Du Plessix Gray, Penguin, 2012.

I bought this book because I found a brand new copy for a dollar.  It was marked "bestseller", and it looked intriguing.

Did this book amuse me?  Um, yeah, sort of.  Until the TMI line was crossed.  Ew.  And most the time I wanted to slap Axel's dandified face.

Did I learn anything from this book?  Um, no.  To me, the French Revolution is one of the most confusing chapters in history.  I have read many books on the topic -- both fiction and non-fiction -- to try to understand what was going on at that time in history.  This book only muddied the issue.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Book 365: The Emperor's New Clothes

The Emperor's New Clothes, adapted by Rebecca Bondor, and illustrated by Richard Walz, Little Golden Books, 1993.

There were some dark years for The Little Golden Books when the text was too convoluted for the LGB format and the illustrations lacked the whimsical charm that usually is standard in a Little Golden Book.

This book came out of that era.

I bought this book because I've loved Andersen's fairy tales for as long as I've been reading, and I've loved reading Little Golden Books when I first started reading.  This book falls a bit short on both counts.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Book 364: The Hundred and One Dalmatians

The Hundred and One Dalmatians, written by Dodie Smith, Viking, 1957.

Before there was an animated movie, and Disney books based on the animated movie, and a live-action movie based on the animated movie, and sequel live-action movie that really had nothing to do with anything, there was the original The Hundred and One Dalmatians by Dodie Smith.

The original book doesn't read very much like the copy.  Or the copy of the copy.  Or the copy of the copy of the copy.  And that is a very good thing.  What feels silly and trite in the movie, feels fresh and original in the book -- Starlight barking.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Book 363: Little Golden Book Rumpelstiltskin

Rumpelstiltskin, from Grimm's Fairy Tales, illustrated by William Dugan, Little Golden Book, 1958.

Rumpelstiltskin has never been my favorite Fairy Tale.  The miller was a braggart, the daughter was kind of whiney, and the king was horrible.  The only person who seemed halfway decent was Rumpel.  And he didn't fare very well.  Although in the daughter's defense, I would have schemed to keep my firstborn, too.

This telling of the fairy tale is quite good.  I was very amused by the William Morris reference. The illustrations for this version of Rumpelstiltskin are quite lovely and make the story worth the re-read.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Book 362: Morning Thoughts

Morning Thoughts, by Louise Nottingham, 2014.

I have odd chunks of time throughout the day -- five minutes when I am waiting for the bus to circle the neighborhood after picking up my son; fifteen minutes when I am waiting for the bus to drop off my son; five minutes here and there when I'm baking or waiting for a load of laundry to finish.  There is not really enough time to get immersed in a book with a story.  But these poems are a perfect length for that time.

I grab my coffee if it's still morning, or water if it's afternoon, and I sit down with this book.  It's like sitting down with an old friend.  It's like those short snippets of conversation you have when you only have a few minutes, but it feels like enough because you are talking with a friend.

That is exactly what these poems are like.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Book 361: Thomas and Gordon

Thomas and Gordon, by The Rev. W. Awdry, Scholastic, 2001.

This story was one of the first Thomas stories we read to our son when he was very young -- around one or so.  Now his is five and reading a bit on his own, and this story is still charming.  And funny.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Book 360: Thomas' Train

Thomas' Train, by The Rev. W. Awdry, Scholastic, 2001.

Such a fun book for a young Thomas fan!  Especially a Thomas fan named Thomas.  My five-year-old Thomas could read quite a bit of this book just by knowing a few words and being able to recognize his name.  And, as in all good Thomas books, there is a gentle moral to the story.