Ronyell (a.k.a Rabbitearsblog)

Ronyell (a.k.a Rabbitearsblog)

Hey everyone!!! I'm Ronyell aka Rabbitearsblog and I just recently joined this site because I love to read so much!!! I can't wait to chat about various books with other people!

 

 

Review
5 Stars
The Gingerbread Man by Rana Giglio
Harcourt School Publishers Signatures: Rdr: The Gingerbman K the Gingerbread Man - Harcourt Brace

Title:  The Gingerbread Man

Author:  Rana Giglio

Artist: Henrik Drescher

Genre:  Fantasy / Humor / Retelling / Fairy Tale

Year Published: 1997

Year Read: 2017

Publisher:   Harcourt Brace & Company

Source:  Purchased

Content Rating:  Ages 4+  (Some Mischievous Behavior and Scary Imagery)

 

Gingerbread

I have this weird confession to make: I once had a dream about a book that was illustrated by Henrik Drescher that was obscured and in my dream, I ended up buying the book since I am a huge fan of Henrik Drescher’s works. Well, I have to say that that dream actually came TRUE since I just recently bought this rare and obscure book called “The Gingerbread Man” which was retold by Rana Giglio along with artwork by Henrik Drescher and I have to admit that this book was a blast to read!

This book is basically a short version of the original fairy tale “The Gingerbread Man” and it pretty much retells the story about how an old couple bakes a gingerbread man and the gingerbread man ends up coming to life and running away from the couple, while yelling out:

“Run, run,
As fast as you can.
You can’t catch me.
I’m the gingerbread man!”


Will the gingerbread man escape the couple, the horse, the cow and the fox?

Read this book to find out!
 


Wow…just wow...this had to be the weirdest yet most creative version of “The Gingerbread Man” I had ever read! I have to warn you though that this little children’s book is only EIGHT PAGES LONG! Not the usual 63 pages you get from most children’s books…EIGHT!!! So, I was quite surprised at how much of the original “Gingerbread Man” story they were able to get in such a short book, but it eventually worked out alright as this book serves to be an outline of sorts about how the “Gingerbread Man” story is told. Rana Giglio did a great job at retelling this classic fairy tale as the narrative is short and simple enough to read through and it really conveys the true story of the Gingerbread Man through just a few words on each page. But, the true highlight of this book is none other than Henrik Drescher’s colorful and bizarre illustrations as they bring this book to life and we are treated to a livelier version of the “Gingerbread Man” than ever before! I was intrigued with the artwork of the gingerbread man itself as it is drawn much more differently than the average look for the character as the gingerbread man is much more human like in appearance and it has wobbly limbs instead of short and thick limbs like it usually does in most adaptations.

I will admit that I was a bit disappointed that this book was a bit too short since I wanted to see more of Henrik Drescher’s artwork through a much more extended version of the story. I also will admit that I was a bit freaked out by the gingerbread man itself as while it is quite a unique design for the character, the fact that it has such wobbly limbs and oddly shaped eyes just put me on edge. I mean, just look at this thing!

Gingerbread

Overall, “The Gingerbread Man” is an instant treat for anyone who wants to read a more obscure version of the classic fairy tale! I would recommend this book to children ages four and up since the images of the gingerbread man might scare some small children.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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Review
5 Stars
The Frog Prince by Mike Klaassen
The Frog Prince: The Brothers Grimm Story Told as a Novella (Klaassen's Classic Folktales) - Mike Klaassen

Title:  The Frog Prince

Author:  Mike Klaassen

Genre: Fairy Tale Retelling / Historical Romance

Year Published: 2016

Number of Pages:  114 pages

 

Date Read: 9/24/2017

 

Publisher:  Bookbaby

Source:  eARC (Book Unleashed)

Content Rating:  Ages 8+ (Some Intense Moments and Rude Behavior)

 

I would like to thank Book Unleashed and Bookbaby for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Now, I have been reading the Brothers Grimm fairy tale classics for many years and I have seen many retellings of their fairy tales such as “Rumpelstiltskin,” “The Bremen Town Musicians” and “Snow White.” But, I had never read a retelling of the “Frog Prince” before and when Book Unleashed gave me a free copy of Mike Klaassen’s retelling of “The Frog Prince,” I just had to check this book out and man was I blown away by this interesting retelling of the classic story!

Young Prince Gerit was out playing around the bog near his father’s kingdom when suddenly, he falls into the bog and could not get out of the water. Then, an old woman named Wibke came along and noticed that Gerit was in trouble. Gerit desperately asks the old woman to help him out of the water and Wibke promised that she will help the prince if the prince promises her that he will take care of her for the rest of his life. Of course, Gerit does not want to take care of the woman, but he agreed to the bargain anyway and Wibke helped Gerit out of the water. Then Gerit tried to break his promise to Wibke by running off to the castle, until Wibke transformed Gerit into a frog and she states that the only way that Gerit will turn back into a prince again is if a princess comes along and kisses him three times. So, Gerit goes on a long journey to find a princess who is willing to kiss him three times and Gerit stumbles upon a kingdom that is ruled by his father, King Egon’s enemy, King Torsten and he finds out that King Torsten has a daughter named Anneliese. Now, Gerit tries to make an effort to get Princess Anneliese to kiss him three times or else, he will remain a frog forever!

Wow…just wow…I never would have thought that I would read a retelling of “The Frog Prince” with so much energy and emotion! Mike Klaassen has done a fantastic job at retelling this classic fairy tale as he gives a more contemporary and in-depth spin to the story. I loved the fact that the story is told from the point of view of the Frog Prince himself and this made Gerit into an extremely interesting character as we get to see how he was like before he turned into a frog and we also get to see his struggles in becoming a frog and trying to find a way to change himself back into a prince. I also loved the character development that both Prince Gerit and Anneliese go through as they both started off as royal brats who only thought about themselves and believe that they will get anything they want because they are of royalty. However, the events of the story caused the characters to grow and understand the harsh situations that they are thrown into, such as the fact that their kingdoms are being involved in a war and how both Gerit and Anneliese may have to sacrifice their happiness in order to save their kingdoms. I loved the way that Mike Klaassen developed Gerit and Anneliese’s relationship with each other as I enjoyed the interactions that the two had with each other, such as playing ball together and talking about their favorite books. I also felt that Gerit and Anneliese’s growing relationship with each other was developed in a natural way and it felt more real than in the original fairy tale as the two did not love each other at first, but started developing feelings for each other over the course of the story, which I found to be pretty refreshing!

The only problem I had with this book was that the ending felt a bit rushed. It felt like they wanted to quickly skip to the ending of the original fairy tale and did not developed the resolution of the story a bit further to see how the actions of the characters would affect the overall scheme of the story. 

Overall, “The Frog Prince” is a brilliant retelling of the original fairy tale and anyone who is a huge fan of the “Frog Prince” will easily enjoy this book!

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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Review
4 Stars
When a Texan Gambles by Jodi Thomas
When a Texan Gambles - Jodi Thomas

Title:  When a Texan Gambles

Author:  Jodi Thomas

Genre: Historical Romance

Year Published: 2003

Number of Pages:  304 pages

 

Date Read: 3/11/2011

Series: Wife Lottery #2

Publisher:  Berkley Books

Source:  Library

Content Rating:  Ages 16+ (Some Language and Gun Violence)

 

I have been currently reading Jodi Thomas's “Wife Lottery” series and after I have just finished the first book of the series, “The Texan's Wager,” which starred Bailee Moore and Carter McKoy, I finally got the chance to read the second book of the series, “When a Texan Gambles.” “When a Texan Gambles” stars Sarah Andrews and Sam Gatlin and boy, do they have wild adventures throughout this book! Expect a whole lot of drama, adventure and romance in this exciting sequel to “The Texan's Wager!”

After Sarah Andrews confessed to the murder of Zeb Whitaker along with her friends Bailee and Lacy, she was auctioned off in a “Wife Lottery” and ends up with a man named Sam Gatlin. Things were not going well for Sarah until she realized that Sam was stabbed in the back with a knife! Now that Sarah has taken care of Sam's wounds, she will soon discover that she is probably married to the most dangerous man the west have ever known!

Wow! I think this had to be the most action-packed story out of the entire “Wife Lottery” series so far! Jodi Thomas has done an awesome job at providing action throughout this novel, which just had me sitting on the edge of my seat every time I read about Sam and Sarah's escapades in escaping from various crooks who are after Sam's neck! What I really loved about this book were the characters themselves and my favorite characters in this book were Sam Gatlin and Sarah Andrews! I will admit that I really adored Sarah's spunk and kindness towards others as she is an innocent yet kind-hearted woman and I loved the way that she is willing to help anyone in their time of need, which includes helping various families reunite with each other. I also loved the little arguments that Sarah has with Sam because they were so cute and they always seem to make up at the end. Now, I am saving the best character for last and that is the sexiest and bravest cowboy to ever walk the planet, Sam Gatlin! Sam Gatlin is probably the most amazing romance heroes ever created because he is one-hundred percent all muscle on the outside and has a huge heart on the inside and that is what I like about my romance heroes! Here's what I think Sam Gatlin might look like:

cowboy

Now, this book does not just have adventure, it also has hot and sizzling romantic scenes! The sexual moments between Sarah and Sam were just so steamy that I was literally fanning myself every time I read these scenes between Sarah and Sam!

The reason why I gave this book a four star rating is because I often got a little frustrated with Sarah throughout the book because she does not seem to trust Sam enough and she rarely reciprocates her feelings for Sam. Now, I do understand that she is a little reluctant in loving someone again because of her empty relationship with Mitchell, her first husband, but sometimes I think that Sarah tends to go a little overboard with telling off Sam about showing his love for her and also the fact that Sarah keeps telling Sam about the rules of love sort of makes me a little uncomfortable because I always love seeing how love comes naturally to romance heroes and heroines, rather than base it on a set of rules.

Overall, “When a Texan Gambles” is a great sequel to “The Texan's Wager” that romance fans of Jodi Thomas's works will greatly enjoy. I am definitely looking forward to reading the third book in the series “A Texan's Luck” next!

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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Review
4.5 Stars
The Tooth That's on the Loose! by Chris Robertson
The Tooth That's On the Loose! - Chris   Robertson

Title:  The Tooth That's on the Loose!

Author:  Chris Robertson

Genre:  Teeth / Humor / Western / Parody

Year Published: 2017

Year Read: 2017

Publisher:  Xist Publishing

Source:  eARC (NetGalley)

Content Rating:  Ages 4+  (Some Mischievous Behavior)

 

Tooth

I would like to thank NetGalley and Xist Publishing for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

4.5 stars
 


I will admit that I had only read a few children’s books that dealt with the theme of children losing their baby teeth (mainly Marc Brown’s “Arthur’s Tooth”). So, when NetGalley offered a children’s book called “The Tooth that’s on the Loose!” by Chris Robertson that has a creative take on children losing their baby teeth, I knew that I had to get this book as soon as possible!

Who is that toothy and wiggly varmint who is running around town, causing mayhem wherever he goes? Tooth Be Wiggly (T.B. Wiggly, for short) that’s who! This outlaw goes around leaving holes in people’s mouths (in other words, taking people’s teeth and causing a hole in their mouths where the teeth used to be) and Sheriff Tex is trying to recruit some kids to help him bring down this outlaw!

Can the kids bring down T.B. Wiggly?

Read this book to find out!
 


I must admit that I was quite impressed with this creative and odd little book! Chris Robertson has done a great job at making a dilemma that kids would have, which is losing their baby teeth at a young age and turn that dilemma into an outlaw villain named T.B. Wiggly, which made this book truly creative and interesting to read! I also liked the fact that Sheriff Tex was the one narrating the story and telling the audience who T.B. Wiggly is and why he has to be stopped as it allows us to explore the world through the characters’ point of view. I really like the way that Chris Robertson is able to incorporate so much humor in this book as I cannot help but laugh at the idea about a living tooth going around causing mayhem wherever he goes! Chris Robertson’s artwork is hilarious and exaggerated to look at, especially of the image of T.B. Wiggly himself as he is a tooth that has a large black mustache and tiny beady eyes that portrays his rugged personality. I also loved the mischievous looks that T.B. Wiggly gives to the audience as it helps lets the audience know that T.B. Wiggly is up to no good! 

Tooth

The reason why I took off half a point from the rating was because I felt that more could have been done with T. B. Wiggly himself as he felt like a one-sided villain of the story whose only purpose of being in this story is to be the generic bad guy who steals people’s teeth. While I understand that T.B. Wiggly is representing the dilemma that young children go through, which is losing their baby teeth, I sort of wished that there was more development to his character besides being the bad guy that would make him stand out more in the story.

Overall, “The Tooth that’s on the Loose!” is a truly creative story for children who are going through losing their baby teeth and want to read a story that tackles this issue in a humorous and creative way! I would recommend this book to children ages four and up since there is nothing inappropriate in this book.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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Review
5 Stars
Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake by Sarah MacLean
Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake - Sarah MacLean

Title:  Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake

Author:  Sarah MacLean

Genre: Historical Romance

Year Published: 2010

Number of Pages: 397 pages

Date Read: 12/15/2010

Series: Love By Numbers #1

Publisher: Avon 

Source:  Library

Content Rating:  Ages 18+ (Sex Scenes)

 

Nine

After reading so many romance novels with a generous and kind hero, I have finally stumbled upon a romance novel where we have here a “bad boy” hero. “Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake” is an amazing tale by Sarah MacLean about romance, drama, betrayal and lots of love making scenes that will have romance fans flipping over with excitement!

Lady Calpurnia Hartwell (Callie for short) has always wanted more out of her life since her life as a spinster to make a list of nine rules to break to make her life more interesting. While completing her list, Callie meets notorious and handsome rake Gabriel St. John, the Marquess of Ralston (Gabriel or Ralston for short) who she seems to have feelings for since ten years ago. Now Callie’s notorious list will either break her and Gabriel apart or bring them together.

Oh my goodness! Oh my gosh! I have never read a romance novel quite like this before! Sarah MacLean has certainly done an awesome job at writing this wonderful tale of love and betrayal! Now, I will talk about what I loved about the characters and the story. Sarah MacLean has probably created the most controversial yet most memorable characters in romance novels history! Callie is such a headstrong and passionate character, that I just loved her from the beginning! I loved the way that Callie was willing try something different in her life; even if it meant that she has to break the rules of the society she lives in to be a more daring person. Another character that really grew on me was Gabriel St. John and I will admit that when I first read about him, I was so annoyed by his rude and arrogant behavior towards Callie, but once I found out about how his mother had abandoned his family when he was small which caused him to distrust the power of love, I actually felt sympathy for him and when he stood up for Callie, watch out because Ralston truly shows his “bad” side when it comes to Callie! I also loved the fact that Gabriel is a true “bad boy” hero of the story as he has one rude and arrogant attitude, but he truly does have a heart of gold when it comes to protecting Callie. Now onto the juicy parts of this story! There are plenty of love-making scenes in this book from the very beginning to the very end and each love scene in this book will make you literally sweat and tingle all over as the scenes really go into great detail.

This book is basically filed to the brim with sex scenes, so anyone who is uncomfortable with reading about sex scenes might find it a bit difficult to read through this book.

Overall, “Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake” is definitely one of the most irresistible and unique romance novels ever written and any romance fans looking for pure love scenes and “bad boy” heroes will definitely get a kick out of this book!

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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Review
5 Stars
Need by Carrie Jones
Need - Carrie Jones

Title:  Need



Author:  Carrie Jones



Genre: Paranormal Romance



Year Published: 2008



Number of Pages: 306 pages



Date Read: 6/17/2010



Series: Need #1



Publisher: Bloomsbury  



Source:  Library



Content Rating:  Ages 15+  (Some Language)

 

 

Need

“Need” is one of the first paranormal books I have read in my life and I can tell you that I really enjoyed reading this book! “Need” is a paranormal book written by Carrie Jones and it is about how Zara White realizes that a mysterious stranger has followed her from her hometown Charleston to her new home in Maine. “Need” is a brilliant book that will be a huge hit for paranormal fans.

What can I say? Carrie Jones has really brought life to this paranormal romantic story. Carrie Jones has made the book extremely intense yet charming at the same time as Zara White is a truly wonderful character in this book. Zara is not afraid to speak her mind as she is genuinely interested in World Peace and she tells everyone her desire to be a pacifist with such passion that it makes her a truly admirable and courageous character. Another character who is truly memorable in this book is Nick Colt as he seems like a mysterious character, but as the story progresses, he becomes a close friend to Zara as he is willing to protect her from any danger. Carrie Jones brings creativity to this book as each chapter is named after various types of phobias that Zara experiences in her adventures in Maine such as one chapter being called “Didaskaleinophobia – fear of going to school” and another chapter is called “Sitophobia – fear of eating.”

For adults who do not like bad language in books, this book has a couple of mild profanities, but the profanities in this book are not as strong as some of the books and it might not affect many adults who dislike bad language in books.

“Need” is a truly mesmerizing book full of mystery and romance that any hardcore paranormal fan will for ages.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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Review
5 Stars
Need by Carrie Jones
Need - Carrie Jones

Title:  Need



Author:  Carrie Jones



Genre: Paranormal Romance



Year Published: 2008



Number of Pages: 306 pages



Date Read: 6/17/2010



Series: Need #1



Publisher: Bloomsbury  



Source:  Library



Content Rating:  Ages 15+  (Some Language)

 

 

Need

“Need” is one of the first paranormal books I have read in my life and I can tell you that I really enjoyed reading this book! “Need” is a paranormal book written by Carrie Jones and it is about how Zara White realizes that a mysterious stranger has followed her from her hometown Charleston to her new home in Maine. “Need” is a brilliant book that will be a huge hit for paranormal fans.

What can I say? Carrie Jones has really brought life to this paranormal romantic story. Carrie Jones has made the book extremely intense yet charming at the same time as Zara White is a truly wonderful character in this book. Zara is not afraid to speak her mind as she is genuinely interested in World Peace and she tells everyone her desire to be a pacifist with such passion that it makes her a truly admirable and courageous character. Another character who is truly memorable in this book is Nick Colt as he seems like a mysterious character, but as the story progresses, he becomes a close friend to Zara as he is willing to protect her from any danger. Carrie Jones brings creativity to this book as each chapter is named after various types of phobias that Zara experiences in her adventures in Maine such as one chapter being called “Didaskaleinophobia – fear of going to school” and another chapter is called “Sitophobia – fear of eating.”

For adults who do not like bad language in books, this book has a couple of mild profanities, but the profanities in this book are not as strong as some of the books and it might not affect many adults who dislike bad language in books.

“Need” is a truly mesmerizing book full of mystery and romance that any hardcore paranormal fan will for ages.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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!!! spoiler alert !!! Review
5 Stars
Madeline and the Bad Hat by Ludwig Bemelmans
Madeline and the Bad Hat - Ludwig Bemelmans

Title:  Madeline and the Bad Hat

Author:  Ludwig Bemelmans

Genre:  France / Friendship / Manners 

Year Published: 1956

Year Read: 1993

Series:  Madeline #3

Publisher: The Viking Press

Source:  Library

Content Rating:  Ages 5+  (Some Mild Violence and Mischievous Behavior)

 

Bad

“Madeline and the Bad Hat” is another book created by Ludwig Bemelmans’ famous “Madeline” collection (and was also transformed into an episode for the “Madeline” cartoon series) that details Madeline’s adventures in France. This time, Madeline meets up with Pepito, the Bad Hat, who causes trouble for Madeline and the other girls. This book might be the darkest of all the “Madeline” books, but its exciting storyline and cute illustrations make up for that. 

Ludwig Bemelmans does an excellent job on both illustrations and writing Madeline’s newest adventure. Ludwig Bemelmans writes the story in a rhyming text, the most memorable lines being: 

“And lo and behold, the former Barbarian, 
turned into a vegetarian.” 


Ludwig Bemelmans chooses his words carefully to make sure that the story moves along smoothly without making the rhyming text sound like nonsense. Ludwig Bemelmans’ illustrations are also highlighted in this book as he draws the characters in simplistic yet colorful images. I especially like the way that he makes some of the images be shown in yellow and white coloring and some images where he uses all types of colors such as the image where he shows the landscape of Paris. 

Bad

Parents should know that there are some violent and sad scenes in this book. Children might see the scenes where Pepito cuts off the chickens’ heads and eats them (even though we do not see the chickens’ heads being cut off but we do see a guillotine and chickens being dragged by their necks towards the guillotine) and the scene where he is attacked by dogs (this is more graphic as we see dogs jumping on top of Pepito) as both sad and violent. Parents who do not want their children to be exposed to this type of violence might want to skip these pages to avoid any discomfort from the children. 

“Madeline and the Bad Hat” is one of the most deep and darkest of all the “Madeline” books, but is also a cute story about the consequences of being bad and how one can redeem his or herself if they have done horrible things to other people such as Pepito trying to make things right after his bad behavior. I would strongly recommend this book to children ages five and up due to the smaller children being a bit worried about the violent and sad scenes displayed in this book.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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Review
4.5 Stars
Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas by Jun Asuka
Tim Burton's the Nightmare Before Christmas (Manga) - Tim Burton

Title:  Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas


Author:  Jun Asuka (Original Script by Tim Burton)


Artist:  Jun Asuka


Genre: Horror / Adventure / Romance / Halloween / Christmas / Adaptation 


Year Published: 2004


Year Read: 2017



Publisher: Tokyopop


Source: eARC (NetGalley and Edelweiss)



Content Rating:  Ages 8+ (Some Scary Images and Scary Situations)

 

 

Nightmare

I would like to thank NetGalley, Edelweiss and Tokyopop for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

4.5 stars 

Introduction: 

Now, I will start going into fangirl mode here since I will be talking about one of my most favorite animated movies of all time! I will admit that when I was little, I was actually terrified of Tim Burton’s classic animated movie “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” due to the scary visuals presented in the film. But, when I started watching this film way back in high school, I suddenly fell in love with this creepy yet memorable movie and it has become one of my most favorite films to watch during Halloween (next to “Hocus Pocus,” of course)! So, when both NetGalley and Edelweiss gave me a copy of the manga adaptation of “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” which was adapted by Jun Asuka, I was jumping around with glee since I never would have thought that a manga version of “The Nightmare Before Christmas” would ever be made!

What is this story about? 

Based off the classic animated film, Jack Skellington is the scariest creature in Halloween Town, but unfortunately, he has started to get tired of doing the same old things every year for Halloween and he goes out into the woods to discover more things to do. One day, while he was out in the woods, he discovers a door that has a Christmas tree on it and he ends up going through the door and discovering Christmas Town and Santa Claus. It was then that Jack decided to become Santa Claus that year and deliver some “presents” to all of the girls and boys in the world. Unfortunately, Sally, the ragdoll that loves him, has a terrible premonition about Jack’s Christmas turning into a disaster and Sally has to stop Jack from becoming Santa Claus and delivering the presents to the kids before it is too late!

What I loved about this story: 

The story: Wow! I was quite impressed with this story! “The Nightmare Before Christmas” has always been one of my most favorite animated movies of all time and I was so excited to finally be able to check out the manga version of this movie! As I come to expect, the manga version of “The Nightmare Before Christmas” was completely faithful to the original movie, from the dialogue to the situations that happened in the film. I loved revisiting the movie in manga format since it was quite unexpected for me to see this movie in manga form rather than in a regular graphic novel format and it just made this manga so original to read through! I also loved the fact that this manga focused more on Jack and Sally’s relationship with each other than the movie did and I loved the fact that we get more focus on Sally’s perspective of the whole situation in this manga since I wanted to see more from her character in the movie and this manga did a great job at fleshing out Sally’s character even further. 

Jun Asuka’s artwork: Jun Asuka’s artwork was both creative and adorable to look at! I loved how Jun Asuka’s artwork was faithful to original designs of the characters from “The Nightmare Before Christmas” movie as they look just as creepy as in the movie, but with a bit more anime style added for effect! I also loved the way that Jun Asuka designed Sally in this manga as Sally is drawn in a much cuter style than in the movie and it makes her into a more endearing character to read about in this manga!

Nightmare

What made me feel uncomfortable about this story: 

The reason why I took off half a point from the star rating was because the copy I got seemed a bit incomplete. It seemed like the bottom half of the pages were cut off a bit and there was a bit of dialogue that I ended up missing because it got cut off at the bottom. Luckily, I have seen the movie enough times to figure out what is going on and I probably would have given this manga a five-star rating if I had not received an incomplete copy of this manga.

Final Thoughts: 

Overall, “The Nightmare Before Christmas” manga is a joy to read if you are a fan of “The Nightmare Before Christmas” and of manga in general! I would highly recommend it to manga and horror fans alike!

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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Review
5 Stars
The Book that Jack Wrote by Jon Scieszka
The Book that Jack Wrote - Jon Scieszka, Daniel Adel, Dan Adel

Title:  The Book that Jack Wrote

Author:  Jon Scieszka

Artist:   Daniel Adel

Genre:  Children's / Humor / Surrealism / Poetry


Year Published: 1994


Year Read:  2009

Publisher: 
 Viking

Source:  Library

Content Rating:  Ages 5+ (Some Violent Imagery)

 

 

Jack

“The Book that Jack Wrote” is one of Jon Scieszka’s books that the illustrator is not Lane Smith but Daniel Adel. This book is based off the nursery rhyme, “The House that Jack Built,” except it has a more comic twist to the classic rhyme as all the characters in this book are either hit, pushed, or chased by other characters. Surely, this book is easily one of Jon Scieszka’s most sophisticated books ever written. 

Jon Scieszka has written a more far-fetched version of this classic nursery rhyme by adding in various characters that came from various children’s books such as “Alice in Wonderland” and “Humpty Dumpty” and he makes the story even more creative when he starts the book off with the ending of the man in the tattered coat getting squashed by this book. Jon Scieszka also made this book extremely funny to read as each character gets clobbered in a slapstick way, such as the Hatter accidentally pushing the Egg over the wall when he tripped on the rug that the bug was eating. Daniel Adel’s illustrations are surreal and dark as all of the characters have large and realistic looking heads, while their bodies are also realistic, but very small. The image that really stood out the most in this book is the image of the man in the tattered coat as he has large glasses and a large head on a small body, which is the same man on the cover of the book. 

“The Book that Jack Wrote” is a silly book that plays a surreal twist on one of Mother Goose’s lovable nursery rhyme and will surely be an instant treat for many children for many years. I would recommend this book to children ages five and up due to the fact that smaller children might not like the violent images displayed in this book.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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Review
4 Stars
Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss
Green Eggs and Ham - Dr. Seuss

Title:  Green Eggs and Ham

Author:  Dr. Seuss

Genre:  Children's / Food / Humor / Surrealism


Year Published: 1960


Year Read:  2010

Publisher: 
 Beginner Books

Source:  Library

Content Rating:  Ages 3+  (Nothing Objectionable)

 

 

Green

“Green Eggs and Ham” is another brilliant classic from the creative mind of Dr. Seuss and it is about how Sam-I-Am tries to convince a furry guy in a black top hat to try out green eggs and ham. “Green Eggs and Ham” is an excellent book for children of all ages, but the repeating verses can be a bit painful to read over and over again if you are not used to reading the same verses over and over again.

Dr. Seuss’ illustrations are colorful and hilarious as they show images of Sam-I-Am and the tall furry creature in the black top hat going on outrageous adventures such as riding a car into a tree and then having the car drive on top of a train, while the images follow the repeating verses that Sam-I-Am proposes different ways of eating the green eggs and ham. Also, the characters themselves are creatively drawn, especially of the images of Sam-I-Am wearing a yellow shirt and a red hat, indicating that he is laid back, while the tall creature, who is nameless, wears a black top hat and is furry, which indicates that he has a somewhat reluctance to accept anything different. Dr. Seuss’ story is highly creative and hilarious as it details how Sam-I-Am tries to get the tall furry creature to eat green eggs and ham in a humorous way and children will easily be drawn to the wackiness of this story.

Green

Some children and parents might be a little annoyed at the constant repeating verses that the furry creature with the black top hat makes each time Sam-I-Am mentions a new way to eat green eggs and ham such as eating on a train and then eating on a boat. Some children might be a little bored with the repeating verses as they might complain that they already heard what the tall furry creature is complaining, while parents might find it a bit of a hassle to read the same verses over and over again.

“Green Eggs and Ham” is a wonderful book for children who are huge fans of Dr. Seuss and who want to read books about trying out new things in a creative way. I would recommend this book to children ages three and up since there is nothing inappropriate about this book and the verses are easy for small children to understand.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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Review
5 Stars
Two Bad Ants by Chris Van Allsburg
Two Bad Ants - Chris Van Allsburg

Title:  Two Bad Ants

Author:  Chris Van Allsburg

Genre:  Animals / Insects / Community / Obedience / Children's 


Year Published: 1988


Year Read:  2009

Publisher: 
 Houghton Mifflin Company

Source:  Library

Content Rating:  Ages 5+  (Some Dangerous Situations)

 

 

Ant

“Two Bad Ants” is a unique little book by Chris Van Allsburg, author of “Jumanji” about how two ants learn the hard way about the consequences of disobeying your elders. “Two Bad Ants” is definitely a book about danger that will excite children for a long time. 

Chris Van Allsburg has done a terrific job with both the illustrations and the story as he makes the story as dramatic as he can. Chris Van Allsburg’s story is exciting and intense at the same time as he makes it seem that the story is being told from an ant’s point of view as everything that the two ants encounter are monstrous in size compared to them. Also, Chris Van Allsburg does an excellent job with detailing the theme of this story about the consequences of being disobedient and how important the comforts of home are. Chris Van Allsburg’s illustrations are different from his other books as he illustrates everything with bold black linings including the ants and the man. 

Ants

Parents should know that there are many intense scenes in this book that involves the two ants being thrown into dangerous situations such as almost drowning in the coffee and almost being cooked in the toaster. Parents might want to read this book before they show it to their children and also they should take some time to talk about the dangerous situations that the ants get into and what the consequences of being disobedient towards your elders can lead you to. Also, parents may need to explain to children about the dangers of being in the outside world by yourself and how their children must prepare themselves for anything that might happen in the outside world. 

“Two Bad Ants” is a great cautionary tale about the importance of being obedient towards your parents or your elders and how one must prepare themselves for the dangers that awaits them in the outside world. I would recommend this book to children ages five and up due to the intense scenes of the ants getting into danger. 

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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Review
5 Stars
Made You Up by Francesca Zappia
Made You Up - Francesca Zappia

Title:  Made You Up


Author:  Francesca Zappia


Genre: Contemporary Romance / Mental Illness


Year Published: 2015


Number of Pages: 428 pages


Date Read: 8/29/2017



Publisher:   Greenwillow Books



Source:  Library


Content Rating:  Ages 16+ (Strong Language)

 

 

Made

5.5 stars!!!

“Sometimes I think people take reality for granted.” 


For many years now, I have been hearing many good things about Francesca Zappia’s book “Made You Up” and for a long time, I had wanted to check this book out and see what all the excitement was about. So, when I finally got around to reading “Made You Up” by Francesca Zappia, I was seriously on cloud nine after finishing this book, because this was seriously one of the most unique and awesome books I had ever read!

Alex Ridgemont is just your average girl trying to make it into college and get through the tough trials of high school, except for one thing: she has schizophrenia and is prone to seeing things that do not really exist and usually becomes extremely panicked whenever these delusions pop up. However, despite Alex having schizophrenia, she does not let that get in her way of trying to live a normal life such as maintaining a job and going out with her friends. One day however, Alex meets up with a mysterious and intimidating boy named Miles Richter and she believes that he may be the boy she met when she was younger. However, Alex thought that the mysterious boy she met when she was younger was a part of her hallucinations and she tries to figure out if Miles is real or not. 

Wow…just wow… This novel was simply amazing! I just cannot get over the romantic, mysterious and intensifying tone of this novel! Francesca Zappia’s writing is both witty and intense at the same time as I got immersed into the mystery plot of the story that involves Principal McCoy’s secret dealings within the school and also trying to figure out what events is Alex hallucinating and what events are actually real. I also loved the way that Francesca Zappia explored schizophrenia through Alex’s character as we get to see firsthand how schizophrenia works and how it affects the people who have it and we get to see Alex struggle with her condition as she is trying to distinguish between reality and fantasy and how she feels so conflicted because of this. I was also shocked by the huge twist that happens in the plot towards the end of the story as I was thrown off by this revelation and it took me quite by surprise! But probably the best part of this story were the characters themselves! I really enjoyed the witty bantering going on between Alex and Miles as they constantly bicker with each other, but they really understand each other’s situations and they try to be there for each other, no matter how difficult the situation gets. I also liked the fact that both Miles and Alex have so much interest in world history that the scenes where they are reciting certain parts from history, especially World War II with such ease, are truly adorable to read through! I really enjoyed Alex herself as a character because she represents the conditions of having schizophrenia and I like the fact that despite her occasional temper tantrums, Alex always tries to look on the bright side of things and tries to live a normal life, despite her condition, which is extremely uplifting! Now, Miles is probably my most favorite character in this book since he also has a condition where he cannot distinguish emotions from other people and tends to act rude towards other people, because he does not understand about how he affects other people. I just loved the fact that despite arguing with Alex through most of the book, Miles really does care about Alex and he is always trying to be there for Alex during her rough moments and seems to really understand Alex’s condition.

Made

For anyone who does not like strong language, this novel has a surprising amount of strong language for a young adult novel, including words like the “s” word and the “f” word. 

Overall, “Made You Up” is seriously one of the best books about mental illness that I had ever read and I cannot wait to read more of Francesca Zappia’s other works!

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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Review
4.5 Stars
Rapunzel by Bethan Woollvin
Rapunzel - Bethan Woollvin, Bethan Woollvin

Title:  Rapunzel

Author:  Bethan Woollvin

Genre:  Fairy Tale / Retelling / Feminism / Humor / Adventure


Year Published: 2017


Year Read:  2017

Publisher:  Peachtree Publishers

Source: eARC (Edelweiss)

Content Rating:  Ages 4+ (Death)

 

 

Rapunzel

4.5 stars 

I would like to thank Edelweiss and Peachtree Publishers for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

I had read many fairy tale retellings where the female protagonists (usually, “Rapunzel,” “Cinderella,” “Little Red Riding Hood”) are rewritten as strong protagonists who are able to get themselves out their horrible situations using their wits and action skills. So, when I stumbled upon this new children’s book on Edelweiss called “Rapunzel” by Bethan Woollvin, which is also about Rapunzel becoming an action girl, I just had to get this book and man was this a truly interesting book!

The story starts off with the wicked witch trapping Rapunzel in a tall and dark tower and every day, the witch would come into the tower and cut some of Rapunzel’s hair off to make some money off of it. Also, the witch would threaten to put a terrible curse on Rapunzel if she tried to escape the tower.

Was Rapunzel frightened by the Witch’s threats?

Oh no, not she!
 


I must admit that I was quite intrigued with the premise of this book! I have always loved reading fairy tale retellings where a different spin is taken on the fairy tale and I will admit that this was not the first time that I had read a “Rapunzel” tale where Rapunzel turns into an action girl (Shannon Hale’s “Rapunzel’s Revenge” anyone)? Bethan Woollvin has done a great job at retelling this story as I loved the fact that Rapunzel becomes a resourceful girl who used her wits to outsmart the witch in this story and I also loved the fact that she was never scared of the witch’s threats since she is always one step ahead of the witch. Bethan Woollvin’s artwork is adorable and creative to look at as Rapunzel is shown as being a small girl with long golden hair, while the witch is shown wearing a large black top hat that makes her outfit look so unique! I also loved the fact that the artwork is mostly in black and white with Rapunzel’s hair being one of the few things that has yellow colorings in this book, which makes her hair really stand out in the book!

Rapunzel

The reason why I took off half a star from the rating was because I felt that the story was a bit bland at some place. I wished that more was fleshed out on Rapunzel herself and even though I like the fact that Rapunzel is much more resourceful in this book, her actions did not seem to have much weight at times because I wanted to learn more about her backstory to really sympathize with her character.

Overall, “Rapunzel” is a great read for anyone who wants to read a fairy tale retelling that features a strong female protagonist! I would recommend this book to children ages four and up since the narrative is easily accessible for younger readers.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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Review
4 Stars
Tikki Tikki Tembo by Arlene Mosel
Tikki Tikki Tembo - Arlene Mosel, Blair Lent

Title:  Tikki Tikki Tembo

Author:  Arlene Mosel

Artist:  Blair Lent

Genre:  China / Family / Drama / Parental Favoritism


Year Published: 1968


Year Read:  1993

Publisher: 
 Holt, Rinehart and Winston

Source:  Library

Content Rating:  Ages 5+ (Some Intense Scenes and themes of Child Mistreatment)

 

 

 

Tikki

I actually first heart of this book on a Weston Woods video and I really enjoyed this story! “Tikki Tikki Tembo” is an old Chinese folktale retold by Arlene Mosel along with illustrations by Blair Lent and it is about how a young boy named Tikki tikki tembo-no sa rembo-chari bari ruche-pip peri pembo (what a name!) gets into big trouble because of his long name. “Tikki Tikki Tembo” is certainly a great book for children who are fans of Chinese folklore!

I have always found this book extremely interesting to read, especially about the part where the first sons are given long and extravagant names, while the second sons are always given short names in Ancient China. Arlene Mosel has done an excellent job at retelling this ancient Chinese folktale as the story is cute and somewhat intense at the same time. I really loved the way that Arlene Mosel repeats Tikki tikki tembo’s long name (Tikki tikki tembo – no sa rembo - chari bari ruchi – pip peri pembo) over and over again in the book since it is a huge tongue twister to say fast! I also loved the close relationship between Tikki tikki tembo and his brother Chang as they loved to play with each other all the time and they are always willing to help each other out during their time of need. Blair Lent’s illustrations are simplistic since there are only yellow, blue, white, black, grey and green colors on each page, but the illustrations still make the story entertaining to read, especially as they capture the true essence of Ancient China and it was also interesting to see a big contrast in clothing between Tikki tikki tembo and Chang as Tikki tikki tembo is dressed in a blue royal looking outfit while Chang is always dressed in a yellow country styled outfit, which indicates to the audience about the importance of their names.

Tikki

The reason why I gave this book a four star rating instead of a five star rating is because of the way that Chang was treated in this book. Since Chang is the second born son of the family, his mother never really noticed him and they also seemed to lack any concern for when Chang fell into the well. Also, near the end of the story, it was unclear whether Chang was treated any better after the incident in the well. I usually do not approve of children being treated less kindly than their older or younger siblings, so this was a big issue for me in this book. Also, some children might feel like that their parents are paying more to their younger or older sibling and that might upset them, so parents should tell their children that they will always love all of their children equally.

All in all, “Tikki Tikki Tembo” is a great book for fans of Chinese folklore and for children who enjoy reading about some good sibling bonding! I would recommend this book to children ages five and up since the scenes where the boys fall into the well might be too intense for smaller children.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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Review
5 Stars
Is a Worry Worrying You? by Harriet May Savitz and Ferida Wolff
Is a Worry Worrying You? - Marie LeTourneau, Ferida Wolff, Harriet May Savitz

Genre:  Inspiration / Horror / Humor / Monsters


Year Published: 2005


Year Read:  2017

Publisher:  Tanglewood Publishing Inc

 

Source: eARC (NetGalley)

 

 

Worry

I would like to thank NetGalley and Tanglewood for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Now, I have read many children’s books that is usually either a straight up horror story or a straight up morality tale. But, I had never come across a children’s book that had both horror and life lessons for children all combined into one story until I had requested another children’s book from NetGalley called “Is a Worry Worrying You?” “Is a Worry Worrying You?” is a children’s book written by Ferida Wolff and Harriet May Savitz along with illustrations by Marie Letourneau and it is definitely one of the most creative and haunting children’s books I had ever read!

This book is basically about helping children deal with being worried about certain situations by showing their worries in the form of a monster that is constantly hounding the characters in the book. The book would put the characters in certain situations such as worrying about a hundred elephants coming for tea and you realize that you ran out of tea for the elephants to drink. So, the solution to the problem would be to offer the elephants lemonade instead, helping you not to worry so much during that situation and finding a reasonable solution to your problem.

Wow! I cannot believe that I just got around to reading this book (it was published in 2005, and I just discovered it on NetGalley)! Ferida Wolff and Harriet May Savitz both did a fantastic job at writing this book as I loved the idea about the concept of worry being portrayed as a scary monster that invades the characters’ homes every time the character in the story is dealing with a problem that causes them to worry! I also loved the fact that the story helps give out advice to young children about how to deal with worrisome situations such as finding a solution to take when dealing with such a situation. Probably my most favorite problem-solving situation that was shown in this book was the one where you have a group of elephants in your home who all want to have some tea and you do not have any tea left to give them. Instead, you decided to give the elephants some lemonade in place of the tea to solve the problem! Marie Letourneau’s artwork is surprisingly creepy in this book, which is much different from her work in “Argyle Fox.” I loved the fact that Marie Letourneau’s artwork is highly reminiscent of the character designs from the Tim Burton films with the characters having large rounded eyes with dark shadings underneath the eyes and also having tall and lanky bodies that make them look unnatural. I also loved the image of the worry monster itself as it is drawn as a blue monster with a mischievous evil grin on its face and it was quite entertaining seeing the monster pop up on each page whenever someone faces a situation that worries them.

Worry

Parents should know that the illustrations in this book might be a bit too creepy for some small children to handle, especially the images of the worry monster as it looks pretty threatening in the pages it appears in; especially whenever it is stalking the characters in the book. Parents might want to read this book first to see if their children can handle such creepy images.

Overall, “Is a Worry Worrying You?” is a truly fantastic and unique children’s book that would greatly help children overcome their worries in life and find reasonable solutions in conquering their worries! I would recommend this book to children ages five and up since the imagery might scare some small children.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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