Young Reader in the Making

Young Reader in the Making

Friday, July 31, 2015

Book 469: American Lady -- The Life of Susan Mary Alsop

American Lady:  The Life of Susan Mary Alsop, Viking, 2012.

I like reading about fascinating people, so when I saw this book, I bought it.

This book presents a interesting slice of history and politics.  I felt like history was brought to life, but the woman who was the subject of the book was not.  After reading this book, I know whole lot about Susan Mary Alsop's, but still very little about Susan Mary Alsop.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Book 468: A Murder, A Mystery, and a Marriage

A Murder, A Mystery, and a Marriage, by Mark Twain, published in book form in 2001, by W.W. Norton & Company.

I read this story back when it appeared in the Atlantic Monthly (complete with illustrations from Peter de Seve.)  When I saw the story in book form, I bought it, although I did not re-read it right away.  I have to say that the Foreword and the Afterword by Roy Blount, Jr., add much to the story by giving it a context and a history.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Book 467: Tom Sawyer and the Buried Treasure

Tom Sawyer and the Buried Treasure, by I. M. Richardson, Troll Publication, 1984.

I found this book in a thrift store for less than a dollar.  It looked interesting, so I bought it.  While the text in this book doesn't have the flair of Twain's original, it is a good introduction to the Tom Sawyer character for younger readers.  It is of one of the most memorable scenes in Tom Sawyer.  And the illustrations are appropriately dark and tension-filled.

I'm hoping that since my son likes this book at six, he will love Mark Twain's Tom Sawyer at ten.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Book 466: Bye-Bye, Mom and Dad

Bye-Bye, Mom and Dad, by Mercer Mayer, HarpersFestival, 2004.

Little Critter has a pretty great day with his grandparents while his mom and dad are away.  He even made lunch for them all.  It is the expressions of the grandparents, however, that make this book truly funny.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Book 465: The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins

The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins, by Dr. Seuss, Random Books, 1938.

Unlike most Dr. Seuss books, this one doesn't rhyme.  And also unlike most Dr. Seuss books, this one has a hint of violence and a threat of danger -- a near-beheading of a child -- oh my!  Maybe that is why this is one of my favorite Dr. Seuss books.  Or maybe because it is shot through with fantasy and magic.  Whatever the reason, this is a great book.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Book 464: The Purple Shroud

The Purple Shroud, by Stella Duffy, Puffin Books, 2012.

I bought this book for a dollar because it looked interesting. 

This novel took me FOREVER to read -- OK, maybe it was only three days but it felt SO much longer. 

I kept waiting for the portrayal of Theodora to become sympathetic -- that never happened.  Instead we are reminded at every turn that she used to be a prostitute.  And an actress-prostitute.  And an acrobat-prostitute.  And now she is an empress (who used to be a prostitute), who wears purple and makes people kiss her feet.  And, in case you missed it, she used to be a prostitute.  Honestly, Wikipedia gives a more sympathetic portrayal of Theodora than this book gives. 

I want my dollar back. 

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Book 463: The Happy Prince and other stories

The Happy Prince and other stories, by Oscar Wilde, illustrated by Norman Bancroft Hunt, Templar Books, 1995.

My six-year-old son has decided that his favorite story is The Happy Prince by Oscar Wilde -- it is mine, too.   We had one version at home, but he wanted more, so I found this edition.

This collection is only lacking The Selfish Giant, but the stories contained are perfect, and the artwork in gorgeous in an Art Nouveau sort of way.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Book 462: Merry Christmas, Splat

Merry Christmas, Splat, by Rob Scotton, HarperCollins, 2009.

My six-year-old son finished the library reading program last week so he was allowed to pick out a book.  Since it was the beginning of July, naturally he picked out a Christmas book.  I couldn't really blame him, though, because Splat is so darn adorable.

I kind of really liked that Splat didn't have earn his Christmas present -- although he did try -- his family gave him a present because they loved him.  I probably wouldn't have received too many Christmas presents either if they truly were given on the basis of merit.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Boo 461: And to Think I Saw It on Mulberry Street

And to Think I Saw It on Mulberry Street, by Dr. Seuss, Random House, 1964.

Just in time for the Fourth of July parades, And to Think That I Saw it on Mulberry Street.

As the mother of a highly imaginative six-year-old boy, I get this book.  It makes perfect sense to me.  Our house often sails away to exotic locations, so why should a parade suddenly appear on Mulberry Street.