Young Reader in the Making

Young Reader in the Making

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Book 497: The Prince of Ravenscar

The Prince of Ravenscars, by Catherine Coulter, G.P. Putnam and Sons, 2011.

I bought this book for a dollar at my local thrift store.  I want my dollar (and four hours of my life) back.

If you have ever been wondering was a strangely-written, poorly-researched, badly-edited historical story with a plot so ridiculous it borders on insane would read like, this is the book for you.  There are flashes of brilliance and sparks of repartee that are sharp enough to slay, so this novel isn't a torturous waste of time, but it is a waste of time, all the same.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Book 495: There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly

There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly!  by Lucille Colandro, illustrated by Jared Lee, Cartwheel Books, 2014.

This book is probably my favorite version of that ridiculous children's song that everyone knows and loves.  Why?  The illustrations are hilarious, and everyone lives!

Friday, October 9, 2015

Book 494: No Roses For Harry

No Roses For Harry, written by Gene Zion, illustrated by Margaret Bloy Graham, HarpersCollins, 1976.

I remember reading this book to my younger sister and being amused by it, although I was far too cool to show my amusement.  Now I can laugh openly because I'm a mom.

Harry is an adorable white dog with black spots.  Grandma made him a green sweater with pink roses on it for his birthday.  Silly Grandma.  Kudos, though, to Grandma for not getting upset when she saw what Harry did with his sweater, and even more Kudos to Grandma for giving Harry exactly the right present for Christmas.

Book 493: Dracula

Dracula, by Bram Stoker (with illustrations by Edward Gorey), text originally published in 1897, illustrations in 1979.

My edition of Dracula is decorated with illustrations by Edward Gorey, which is exactly why I bought that particular edition.  The illustrations came from Dracula's Toy Theatre.

I remember not being able to finish this book the first time I tried to read it -- I was that caught up in it and terrified.  Finally, I read it completely some time in my 20s, before the painful Gary Oldham movie version was released.  And now, about twenty years later, I've re-read it. Bram Stoker wasn't a brilliant wordsmith, but he knew how to tell an incredibly dramatic, suspenseful, and rather ghastly tale.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Book 492: I Can Fly

I Can Fly, written by Ruth Krauss, illustrated by Mary Blair, Golden Book 1951.

An entire college course, if not curriculum, could be taught using Mary Blair's illustrative style. Her artwork is sheer perfection.

I had this book when I was very young -- maybe four or five -- and I didn't remember the text entirely, but I never forgot the illustrations.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Book 491: Harry, the Dirty Dog

Harry, the Dirty Dog, written by Gene Zion, illustrated by Margaret Bloy Graham, originally published in 1956.

This book was every bit as charming tonight when I read it to my son as it was when I first read it myself about forty years ago -- the very definition of a timeless classic.