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
Gregory and the Grimbockle by Melanie Schubert
Gregory and the Grimbockle - Melanie Schubert

Title:  Gregory and the Grimbockle

Author:  Melanie Schubert

Artist: Abigail Kraft

Book Soundtrack:  Jared Kraft

Genre:  Life / Children's / Drama / Family / Adventure / Fantasy

 

Year Published: 2017


Year Read:  12/29/2017 

Publisher: New Wrinkle Publishing

Source: eARC (NetGalley)

Content Rating:  Ages 7+ (Some Scary Imagery)

 

 

Gregory

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

YES! Another new book from the folks over at NetGalley! When I saw this book over at NetGalley, I just had to pick this beauty up as soon as possible! “Gregory and the Grimbockle” is a children’s book that is written by Melanie Schubert along with artwork by Abigail Kraft and it is definitely one fantasy read that children should check out!

Gregory is a ten-year-old boy who does not have many friends and his family often ignores him whenever he is home. But, probably the biggest sore spot about Gregory is that he has a large mole on his face that everyone keeps picking at, despite the fact that it causes him great painOne night however, Gregory’s enormous mole suddenly opens up and out stepped a Grimbockle who has a cockroach steed and it was then that the Grimbockle tells Gregory about his job in collecting thread like creatures called Exoodles that appear on human beings and repair them whenever they are damaged. Gregory then wanted to help the Grimbockle with his duties and the two of them go on a wild adventure to fix all the exoodles on humans before it is too late!

Wow! Just wow! I never would have thought that I would be able to read a children’s book that is so full of imagination and adventure that it wounded up being one of the most unique books I had read for this year! Melanie Schubert has done an excellent job at writing this book as the writing is both witty and exciting to read through. I loved the way that Melanie Schubert used various phrases like “Grimbockle” and “Exoodles” to explain the bizarre world that the Grimbockle lives in as it reminded me of the wacky phrases used in books that are written by Dr. Seuss and Roald Dahl. I also loved the way that Melanie Schubert had written Gregory as being an all loving hero who only wants to help the people he cares about and I like the fact that this story is set up as a coming of age story for Gregory himself as he learns to show compassion towards people, even towards people that treat him badly. The mysterious world of the Bockles was so magical and imaginative that I found myself fawning over the small world of the Bockles and how they are able to see the mysterious exoodles when no one else can! Abigail Kraft’s artwork is highly creative and detailed, especially of the images of Gregory himself as his facial expressions are usually drawn in an exaggerated way and yet, I have always loved the surprised look on his face as it reflects the bizarre situation he is thrown into quite well. I also loved the images of the Bockles themselves as they are portrayed as small purple creatures who have large eyes and have some features that make them look like little elves.

Gregory

Parents should know that there is some scary imagery in this book, which mainly consist of images of the dark exoodles, which are black worm like things that pop out of people’s heads. This may cause some small children to be terrified about the possibility of having strange worm like creatures in their heads, even though this book is purely fictional (yuck, even that makes me feel nauseous typing this down). Parents might want to read this book first to see if their children can handle the scary imagery in this book.

Overall, “Gregory and the Grimbockle” is a fantastic fantasy adventure for children both young and old! I would recommend this book to children ages 7 and up due to some of the scary imagery.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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Review
5 Stars
Bloom County Episode XI: A New Hope by Berkeley Breathed
Bloom County Episode XI: A New Hope - Berkeley Breathed

Title:  Bloom County Episode XI: A New Hope

Author:  Berkeley Breathed

Genre:  Humor / Politics / Satire / Animals / Friendship / Relationship

 

Year Published: 2016


Year Read:  12/28/2017 

Publisher: IDW Publishing

Series: Bloom County Relaunch #1

Source: eARC (NetGalley) and Library

Content Rating:  Ages 15+ (Some Language and Sexual Dialogue)

 

 

Bloom

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

Introduction: 

Now, I will admit that I had never read the “Bloom County” comics before, even though I had heard of the series way back in the 1990s. I guess it was because that by the time I started reading newspaper comics, “Bloom County” had all but vanished from the strips and I was not able to read the series then. So, imagine my surprise when I found out that a) the author of the “Bloom County” comics Berkeley Breathed, had decided to bring this comic series back to the pages in his newest comic book called “Bloom County Episode XI: A New Hope” and b) NetGalley has given out this book for readers to check out!

What is this story about? 

After twenty-five years of the “Bloom County” comic strips going out of the pages, the Bloom County gang has finally come back with new adventures and are trying to get used to all the new technology, such as social media and dealing with all the political drama in this modern-day world!

What I loved about this story: 

Berkeley Breathed’s writing: Wow! I never would have thought that there would be a day where I would actually read Berkeley Breathed’s legendary comic strip “Bloom County” and now that day has finally come! Berkeley Breathed has done a brilliant job at writing this comic book series as the humor is sharp and witty and I really enjoyed the way that the satire on the modern-day era is handled in this series as I found myself laughing at each jab at the current state of politics. Now, I will admit that I do not normally read many books or comic books that deal with politics because most of them tend to be a bit too one-sided for my tastes. However, Berkeley Breathed was able to make the political satires in this comic be more hilarious and memorable as it managed to poke fun at both liberals and conservatives and that really amused me! I really liked the fact that the comic is written in a way where you do not have to read the previous “Bloom County” comics to get the characters or the setting. The fact that the characters felt the same way as they did decades ago except for the fact that society has changed over time, really made reading this comic a pleasant experience for me! I also loved the way that Berkeley Breathed wrote each character, especially Bill the Cat and Steve Dallas as all the characters were hilarious and entertaining to read and I especially enjoyed their interactions with each other, especially with how Steve usually acts like a jerk towards the other characters, but is still on friendly terms with them.

Berkeley Breathed’s artwork: Berkeley Breathed’s artwork is hilarious to look at as all the characters are drawn in a semi-realistic way and yet, the images of Opus the Penguin and Bill the Cat are much more cartoonish than the human cast and they really stand out in the artwork.

Bloom

What made me feel uncomfortable about this story: 

For anyone who does not like language and sexual dialogue, this comic strip does have some language such as the constant usage of the “a” word and also there are some sexual dialogue littered throughout the comic, mainly coming from Steve Dallas himself as most of his story arcs involve him trying to get a date with various women.

Final Thoughts: 

Overall, “Bloom County Episode XI: A New Hope” is a fantastic continuation of the “Bloom County” comics and anyone who is a huge fan of the “Bloom County” comic series will surely enjoy this graphic novel!

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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Review
4 Stars
How Droofus the Dragon Lost His Head by Bill Peet
How Droofus the Dragon Lost His Head - Bill Peet


Title:  How Droofus the Dragon Lost His Head

Author:  Bill Peet

Genre:  Animals / Royalty / Friendship / Adventure


Year Published: 1971


Year Read:  2009

Publisher:  
Houghton Mifflin Company

Source:  Library

Content Rating:  Ages 4+  (Nothing Objectionable)

 

 

Droofus

“How Droofus the Dragon Lost His Head” is another classic book from the creative mind of Bill Peet and is about a friendly dragon named Droofus who ends up being the friendliest dragon ever. “How Droofus the Dragon Lost His Head” may be a bit tedious for some children who want action, but it is still an instant classic for many children to read.

Bill Peet’s story about a friendly dragon is a great tale for many children who love reading about dragons and mythical creatures. The scene in this book that stuck out the most was where Droofus saves a grasshopper from being eaten by a spider and that is where Droofus contemplates on whether or not he should eat the grasshopper. Of course, Droofus decides to not eat the grasshopper and goes on a diet of grass, which proves how humane Droofus becomes as the story progresses. Bill Peet’s illustrations are beautiful, especially of the images of Droofus flying over the countryside and you can see the old fashioned houses as Droofus flies over them.

“How Droofus the Dragon Lost His Head” is a great book about friendship and how kindness can make one a happy person that many children will read over and over again for many years. I would recommend this book to children ages four and up since I do not see anything that would be inappropriate for young children.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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Review
4 Stars
Nora's First Day at School by Tamar Bobokhidze
Nora's First Day at School - Tamar Bobokhidze

Title:  Nora's First Day at School

Author:  Tamar Bobokhidze

Artist:  Salome Eqizashvili 

Genre:  School / Children's / Animals


Year Published: 2017


Year Read:  2017


Series: My Teacher Hilda #1

Publisher: 
 
Lune Spark Books

Source:  eARC (Author)

Content Rating:  Ages 3+ (Nothing Objectionable)

 

 

Nora

I would like to thank the author Tamar Bobokhidze for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Now, I have been reading many children’s books that dealt with a child’s first day at school, but I was quite surprised and honored that the author Tamar Bobokhidze had given me a free copy of her newest children’s book “Nora’s First Day at School” along with artwork by Salome Eqizashvili and I must admit that it was quite a cute experience to read through!

The story begins with Nora going to Bumble Bee Academy Daycare for the first time and she is really nervous about going. Her father then comforts Nora and tells her that everything going to be alright. Nora then meets her new teacher Ms. Hilda and Ms. Hilda ends up making Nora extremely comfortable in the classroom. Nora was also able to make new friends with her classmates and introduce them to her special toy giraffe Raffee.

Tamar Bobokhidze has done a great job at writing this book as all the characters are extremely adorable to read and I liked how the setting of this book, which takes place at a daycare center, has an extremely friendly environment! I liked the fact that Tamar Bobokhidze focused on the issue about making children comfortable on their first day of school by encouraging both kids and teachers to be as helpful as they can to a new student. This book would be extremely helpful to both parents and teachers who are dealing with kids who are afraid of their first day at school and this book would help teach them how to allow the new students to get used to their new surroundings and make friends easily. I loved the fact that Tamar Bobokhidze made all the characters extremely helpful and friendly with each other, especially Ms. Hilda herself as she is probably one of the most helpful teachers I had ever read in any children’s book as she does all she can to make sure that Nora is comfortable at her new school. I really loved the fact that Nora’s classmates also played their part in making Nora’s first day of school a comfortable experience as they were willing to play games with her and made her feel welcome in the classroom. Salome Eqizashvili’s artwork is adorable to look at as all the animal characters have large and cute looking eyes and I loved the friendly atmosphere of the daycare center itself.

The reason why I gave this book a four-star rating was because I felt that the story was a bit slow at some places and sometimes it was hard for me to get through certain scenes because of the pacing.

Overall, “Nora’s First Day at School” is a truly cute book about going to school for the first time and about how you can conquer your anxiety on your first day of school by making friends and having a helpful teacher! I would recommend this book to children ages three and up since there is nothing inappropriate in this book.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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Review
4 Stars
It Takes a Cat Burglar by Cailin Briste
It Takes a Cat Burglar  - Cailin Briste

Title:  It Takes a Cat Burglar

Author:  Cailin Briste

Genre: Contemporary Romance / Interracial Romance

Year Published: 2017

Number of Pages:  81 pages

 

Date Read: 12/14/2017

 

Series: A Thief in Love Romance #1

 

Publisher:  Hot Sauce Publishing

Source:  eARC (Book Unleashed)

Content Rating:  Ages 18+ (Some Strong Language and Sex Scenes)

 

 

Cat

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

After I had read “The Frog Prince” from Book Unleashed, I just had to request another book to review and lo and behold, I found an interesting romance book called “It Takes a Cat Burglar” by Cailin Briste and I was quite interested in this story!

The story starts off with a young woman named Darcelle Lebeau who is training to become a great cat burglar and she is training under a mysterious man who goes by the name Matou. What Darcelle does not know is that the mysterious Matou is actually Sebastian St. Croix, a rich man who is also a cat burglar. After Sebastian observes Darcelle’s skills for a while now, he had decided to make Darcelle his partner in crime. But first, Darcelle must complete a mission that involves trying to save Sebastian’s niece Cheyenne from the clutches of a corrupted businessman. During Darcelle’s training though, Sebastian and Darcelle start falling in love with each other and they will have to keep their hands off of each other in order for the mission to go as smoothly as planned.

Wow! I was quite impressed with this story that was written by Cailin Briste since this would be the first romance novel I had read that dealt with cat burglars falling in love! I loved the fact that this story is centered on cat burglars because it makes this book so unique to read, since in most romance books, the characters I had read were either dukes, duchesses, businessmen and normal people. I also enjoyed the way that Cailin Briste wrote both Darcelle and Sebastian as they were pretty interesting characters, because of the fact that they are both cat burglars, and yet, you get to see them slowly bonding with each other, despite the fact that they both want to control the other. I like the fact that both Darcelle and Sebastian are shown as being strong protagonists as with the case of Darcelle, she refuses to let anyone run her life and she wants to be more independent, especially after the life she had to go through with her overbearing mother and her sister Cassie. I also liked Sebastian because even though he struts his authority throughout the book, it is clear that he has Darcelle’s best interests at heart and is willing to allow her to do whatever she desires. I really loved the way that Cailin Briste wrote the sexual scenes between Sebastian and Darcelle as they were hot and sexy and I was literally fanning myself whenever the sexual scenes would show up!

The reason why I gave this book a four-star rating was because I felt that because of the book’s short length, there was not enough character development going on with the characters. I wanted to learn more about Sebastian’s backstory and how he became a cat burglar since he seems a bit too mysterious for a character and I wanted to learn more about his character. I also felt that Darcelle and Sebastian’s relationship with each other fell into the “insta-love” category and there was not enough build up to their romance with each other that made me actually buy into how well developed their romance was.

Overall, “It Takes a Cat Burglar” is a cute story about thieves falling love that many fans of romance novels will enjoy!

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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Review
4.5 Stars
Herding Cats: A "Sarah's Scribbles" Collection by Sarah Andersen
Herding Cats - Sarah Andersen

Title:  Herding Cats: A "Sarah's Scribbles" Collection

Author:  Sarah Andersen

Genre:  Humor / Life / Art

 

Year Published: 2018


Year Read:  12/13/2017 

Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing, LLC 

Series: Sarah's Scribbles #3

Source: eARC (NetGalley)

Content Rating:  Ages 16+ (Some Language and Suggestive Humor)

 

 

Herding

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

4.5 stars
 


Introduction: 

I have been hearing so many good things about Sarah Andersen’s popular “Scribbles” series and yet, I was not able to pick up any of her books when they were coming out. Well, now I finally got the chance to pick up one of her books through NetGalley, which is the third book in the series called “Herding Cats” and I was quite amazed by the humorous antics shown in this book!

What is this story about? 

In this volume, Sarah shows her experiences in both real life and the internet life through her artwork (or scribbles as they are known as) to relate to the readers such as trying to get through one page in a book only to keep on reading the book even after you promised yourself to just read one more page or seeing some progress happen in the United States only for the 2016 elections to cause mayhem afterwards.

What I loved about this story: 

Sarah Andersen’s writing: Wow! I was quite amazed by how Sarah Andersen wrote this graphic novel series! I loved the way that Sarah Andersen relates her observations about real life both through her life and through the internet in a humorous yet thought provoking way as I found myself agreeing with a majority of her thoughts about real-life. I really loved the part about the 2016 elections as it was stated in one of the panels about how politics was making progress before 2016 and then the 2016 elections hit and there was chaos and mayhem! I was also impressed with the fact that this graphic novel series is similar to Allie Brosh’s series “Hyperbole and a Half” as both series have the authors relating their own lives through their artwork and both are done in a hilarious way! I also loved the fact that Sarah Andersen provided some advice at the end of the book about how to deal with the pressures of both the real world and the internet community and how if you encounter some struggles in your life, just keep on creating things that you love (in Sarah Andersen’s case, it is continuing to draw her comics no matter how hard things get in both the real world and the internet community).

Sarah Andersen’s artwork: Sarah Andersen’s artwork is truly hilarious to look at as the characters are drawn in a squat comic book fashion and I especially love the images of Sarah herself as she is drawn as having spiky hair and is wearing a black and white striped shirt. I also loved how Sarah Andersen conveyed some of the situations in real life through the images such as the state of politics being shown as a person with an American flag shaped head and then the next panel shows lots of people fighting each other in a fiery landscape after the results of the 2016 elections.

Herding

What made me feel uncomfortable about this story: 

The reason I took off half a point from the rating was because I felt that the story telling was a bit disjointed at times and it was hard for me to really follow what is really going on in the story, even though this is meant to take on different aspects of real life and put them in comic book format.

Final Thoughts: 

Overall, “Herding Cats: A Sarah Scribbles Collection” is a truly hilarious graphic novel to read, especially if you want to see a more humorous take on real life!

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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Review
5 Stars
The Deal of a Lifetime by Fredrik Backman
The Deal of a Lifetime: A Novella - Fredrik Backman

Title:  The Deal of a Lifetime

Author:  Fredrik Backman

Genre: Fantasy / Short Story

Year Published: 2017

Number of Pages: 65 pages

Date Read: 12/9/2017

Publisher: Atria Books   

Source:  Purchased

Content Rating:  Ages 15+ (Themes of Death and Parental Abandonment)

 

 

Deal


“The only thing of value on Earth is time. One second will always be a second, there’s no negotiating with that.” 

Now, I have been hearing so many good things about Fredrik Backman’s works for a while, especially “A Man Called Ove” and “Bear Town.” Even though I haven’t read either book yet (do not worry, that day will come), I still managed to stumble upon one of his books called “The Deal of a Lifetime” and man, was I totally blown away by this book!

The story starts out with a father telling his son the story about how he met a little girl in the hospital, who has cancer and about how he had actually taken a life away from someone. Well, that is not the full story: it turns out that the father had a dark past where he abandoned his wife and son for a life of fame and fortune many years ago. But, when the father ended up in the hospital and he find out that the little girl who was in the hospital because of her cancer, might not live long enough to experience life, the father decides that he must do something to ensure that the little girl survives, even if it means sacrificing his own life!

Wow! This book is simply amazing for one short novella! Fredrik Backman has done an excellent job at writing this story as I was seriously hoping that the father in the story would find some way to help out the little girl who has cancer, while trying to appreciate the importance of life and family. I loved the fact that Fredrik Backman focused on developing the father character in the book as it shows that the father went from thoughtlessly abandoning his family to pursue a life of fame and fortune to trying to sacrifice his own happiness to ensure that the little girl survives and it made me really connect to his character throughout the story. Despite the fact that this novel is extremely short (only sixty-five pages long) Fredrik Backman did a great job at writing out a full story about a father’s journey to becoming a more selfless person and it felt like the story really fleshed out the father’s character.

The only problem I had with this book is that the narrative tends to get a bit confusing at times, especially with the fact that the father is telling the story, but he is also telling the story to his son. Because of this, the story tends jump from the father’s point of view to the son’s point of view at the drop of a hat and it could confuse some readers about what is really happening in the story.

Overall, “The Deal of a Lifetime” is a truly fantastic story about redemption and learning about the importance of family and happiness that fans of Fredrik Backman’s works will enjoy!

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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Review
5 Stars
Randy's Dandy Lions by Bill Peet
Randy's Dandy Lions - Bill Peet

Title:  Randy's Dandy Lions

Author:  Bill Peet

Genre:  Circus / Animals / Training / Children's


Year Published: 1964


Year Read:  2010

Publisher:  
Houghton Mifflin Company

Source:  Library

Content Rating:  Ages 5+  (A Scene of Bullying)

 

 

Lions

“Randy’s Dandy Lions” is another classic book from the creative mind of Bill Peet about how Randy’s lions always had stage fright but they realized that there are things far scarier than stage fright. “Randy’s Dandy Lions” is a superb book about friendship that children will enjoy for many years.

Bill Peet has done it again with his brilliant illustrations and witty writing. Bill Peet’s writing is cleverly written in a rhyming prose, making this story similar to Dr. Seuss’ children’s books, thus making the story extremely creative to read as children will have fun putting the rhyming words together. Bill Peet’s illustrations are beautiful as usual in this book, especially in the images of the lions performing on stage as the lions are innocent looking yet also look a bit cowardly and scraggly, which fit the situation that the lions were in perfectly.

Lions

Parents should know that the new trainer that he Colonel hires to replace Randy may frighten smaller children, especially during the scenes where the new trainer starts whipping the lions relentlessly. Parents might want to tell their children that it is not good to mistreat pets in this manner and that one should not use brute force to get what he or she wants.

“Randy’s Dandy Lions” is another great classic from the brilliant mind of Bill Peet and will surely attract many children who are fans of Bill Peet’s marvelous work. I would recommend this book to children ages five and up since smaller children might be frightened by the new trainer who comes later on in the book.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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Review
4 Stars
The Caboose Who Got Loose by Bill Peet
The Caboose Who Got Loose - Bill Peet

Title:  The Caboose Who Got Loose

Author:  Bill Peet

Genre:  Trains / Traveling / Children's / Adventure


Year Published: 1971


Year Read:  2009

Publisher:  
Houghton Mifflin Company

Source:  Library

Content Rating:  Ages 4+  (Nothing Objectionable)

 

 

Caboose

“The Caboose Who Got Loose” is a great story from the creative mind of Bill Peet about a small caboose named Katy who wants to escape her life as a caboose and live happily in a peaceful place. “The Caboose Who Got Loose” may be a bit tedious for some children, but it is still a cute little story nonetheless. 

Bill Peet’s story about a caboose who wants to live a peaceful life in the countryside is a great tale for many children. Children will feel for Katy’s sadness at being a mere caboose and not having a peaceful life of her own. Bill Peet’s writing is highly creative as he narrates the story in a rhyming prose that fits the mood of the story perfectly. Bill Peet’s illustrations are always the highlights in his books and this is certainly no exception. The characters are drawn in a similar fashion as “The Brave Little Toaster” as the cabooses and the houses have windows for eyes. 

Caboose

“The Caboose Who Got Loose” is a cute story about how one must be satisfied with what life brings us and will definitely interest many children who love books about trains and how to love life. I would recommend this book to children ages four and up since there is nothing inappropriate about the story.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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Review
5 Stars
Cyrus the Unsinkable Sea Serpent by Bill Peet
Cyrus the Unsinkable Sea Serpent - Bill Peet

Title:  Cyrus the Unsinkable Sea Serpent

Author:  Bill Peet

Genre:  Animals / Children's / Sea / Adventure / Pirates / Traveling


Year Published: 1975


Year Read:  1994

Publisher:  
Houghton Mifflin Company

Source:  Purchased

Content Rating:  Ages 7+  (Some Intense Scenes)

 

 

Sea

“Cyrus the Unsinkable Sea Serpent” is an adventurous book from Bill Peet about how a friendly sea serpent who at first wanted to wreck a ship to have fun, ends up trying to protect a ship full of passengers looking for a new land. “Cyrus the Unsinkable Sea Serpent” may be tough for smaller children to read but older children would most likely enjoy the adventurous scenes contained in this book. 

Bill Peet’s writing is extremely inventive and exciting as he writes the story about a sea serpent that is willing to risk his life to protect the people on a voyage for a new life. Bill Peet is extremely inventive whenever he uses various words such as “doldrums” and “bedraggled” to make the story more clever and dramatic. Also, the idea that Cyrus is more like a friendly sea serpent rather than a vicious one makes the story more creative as people usually believe that sea monsters are meant to be scary. Bill Peet’s illustrations are beautiful and colorful, especially of the scenes where he illustrates the sea as a calm ocean for the water is beautifully blue and during the storm scenes, he makes the sky dark and the ocean smashing viciously at the Primrose. 

Sea

Parents should know that there are many advanced words in this book and that this book may be a bit too long for younger children to handle. Some of the advanced words mentioned are “pilings,” “doldrums,” and “bedraggled” and young children may not understand what those words mean. Parents should write down the advanced words down on a piece of paper and define them so that the younger children would understand what the word means and therefore, it would make it easier for them to read this book. Also, the length of this book is a bit too long than any normal children’s book and that may be a bit too tiresome for some small children to handle, so parents should read at least a few pages a day so that children would not get too tired of this book. 

“Cyrus the Unsinkable Sea Serpent” is a wonderful story about the power of friendship and how it is better to help people rather than be cruel towards them and children would easily enjoy this book for ages. I would recommend this book to children ages seven and up since the advanced words and the length of the book may be a bit too challenging for smaller children.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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!!! spoiler alert !!! Review
5 Stars
Encore for Eleanor by Bill Peet
Encore for Eleanor - Bill Peet

Title:  Encore for Eleanor

Author:  Bill Peet

Genre:  Animals / Children's / Circus / Artist


Year Published: 1981


Year Read:  2010

Publisher:  
Houghton Mifflin Company

Source:  Library

Content Rating:  Ages 4+  (Nothing Objectionable)

 

 

Eleanor

“Encore for Eleanor” is a cute story by Bill about an old elephant named Eleanor who was once a great circus performer, but was moved to the zoo when she got too old to play her part. It was then at the zoo that Eleanor learns a new special ability that might jumpstart her career again. “Encore for Eleanor” is a great book for children who want to discover new talents for themselves and realize that everyone is special in their own way.

Eleanor the elephant was once a great circus star who would stand on stilts and impressed the audience to no end. One day however, since Eleanor has been performing in the circus for forty years, Eleanor’s knees were weak and suddenly, she fell off the stilts and landed on the floor with a hard crash! Eleanor began to worry that her boss, Colonel T.J. Tinglehoffer was going to send her away because of her ruining her act by falling off the stilts. Sure enough, Colonel Tinglehoffer did send Eleanor away to the zoo and Eleanor bade a tearful goodbye to her friends at the circus. 
Even though Eleanor had plenty to eat and good home to stay in, she still missed the circus life and was miserable because she felt like she could not do anything extraordinary like she used to do in the circus. One day, however Eleanor awoke to find a teenage girl trying to draw a rhinoceros on her canvas. Of course, when the rhinoceros moved and girl could not draw the rhinoceros, the girl became angry and threw her charcoal to the ground. Eleanor was so interested in what the girl was doing, that she wanted to learn how to draw also. So, when the girl went off to see some ducks in the pond, Eleanor slyly picked up the charcoal and she decided to draw one of the clowns from the circus. However, Eleanor was soon discovered drawing the picture by the teenage girl and the teenage girl was so impressed by the drawing that she decided to show the picture to everyone. Everyone was impressed except for Mr. McJunkens, who did not believe that Eleanor drew the clown. Eleanor was so mad that she grabbed the charcoal and… 

What does Eleanor draw and will she able to convince Mr. McJunkens that she can really draw? 

Read the rest of the book to find out! 


Bill Peet’s story of an old elephant who wants to be special again is extremely cute and brilliant for children to read. The scene that stood out the most for me was the scene where Eleanor learns how to draw after she witnesses the teenage girl drawing the rhinoceros. That scene was so amazing because you would have never imagined an elephant drawing such a great picture and drew the picture in a matter of seconds. Bill Peet’s illustrations are beautiful and detailed, especially of the image of Eleanor herself as she looks beautiful in her circus outfit and yet, she maintains wise appearance throughout the story telling the audience that she has indeed aged after performing in the circus for forty years.

“Encore for Eleanor” is a great book about the importance of trying out new activities in life to keep your life going and will surely encourage many children to follow what they believe in and do many new things in their lives. 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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!!! spoiler alert !!! Review
5 Stars
The Spooky Tail of Prewitt Peacock by Bill Peet
The Spooky Tail of Prewitt Peacock - Bill Peet

Title:  The Spooky Tail of Prewitt Peacock

Author:  Bill Peet

Genre:  Animals / Bullying / Children's / Individuality


Year Published: 1973


Year Read:  2009

Publisher:  
Houghton Mifflin Company

Source:  Library

Content Rating:  Ages 6+  (Bullying)

 

 

Peacock

“The Spooky Tail of Prewitt Peacock” is a children’s book about self-confidence from the popular children’s author, Bill Peet. This book details Prewitt’s, a peacock, dilemma when his tail, at first was scrawny, becomes a horrifying looking tail over a matter of days! This children’s book is truly a unique treat to read as you would never imagine a tail forming into a scary face over time and that will definitely catch any child’s attention. 

Bill Peet does an excellent job with both the illustrations and the writing for the story. Bill Peet’s illustrations are vibrant and beautiful as he effectively draws the trees in the jungle in a scraggly way. The image that is the highlight in this book is the image of Prewitt’s tail. Prewitt’s tail is certainly a sight to see as Bill Peet draws Prewitt’s tail with two angry looking blue eyes and a frightening looking jagged mouth with sharp looking greenish teeth. Also, I thought that the clutching feathery claws added an even spookier effect as they really look like they are going to grab you real quick. Bill Peet’s writing is excellent as he tells the story of a peacock named Prewitt who at first lost confidence in himself because of his tail, but then gains it back when he realizes that his scary looking tail makes him unique from the other peacocks. I also loved the way that Prewitt defended his tail against the other peacocks stating that he would rather have a tai that is scary-looking than to have no tail. 

Peacock

Parents should know that the way that the other peacocks mistreated Prewitt because of his tail might concern young children. Even after Prewitt’s tail had grown, the other peacocks still mistreated Prewitt because his tail was different from the others. But, the story does have a happy ending as the other peacocks learn to accept Prewitt’s “special” tail after it saves their lives. Parents should discuss to their children about the importance of individuality as Prewitt expresses his individuality by standing up for his tail.

“The Spooky Tail of Prewitt Peacock” is probably one of Bill Peet’s most lovable books as it expresses the value of individuality. I would recommend this book to children ages six and up since this book would be a tad bit too long for smaller children to get through.


Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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Review
4 Stars
Spider-Gwen: Most Wanted? Volume 0 by Jason Latour
Spider-Gwen Vol. 1: Most Wanted? - Marvel Comics

Title:  Spider-Gwen: Most Wanted? Volume 0

Author: Jason Latour

Artist: Robbi Rodriguez

Genre:  Action / Superheroes / Drama / Crime / Music


Year Published: 2015


Year Read:  11/11/2017

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Series: Spider-Gwen #0

Source:  Purchased

Content Rating:  Ages 15+ (Some Language and Violence)

 

 

Spider

Introduction: 

Wait a minute…Gwen Stacy is…SPIDER WOMAN!? And who ever heard of a graphic novel having a volume 0? 

Before you get confused about this (as I was), there was an event called “Spider-Verse” that might explain about all this (except that I haven’t read the “Spider-Verse” event yet, so that point might be moot at this time). Anyway, I have been hearing so many good things about the “Spider-Gwen” series that I had to give “Spider-Gwen: Most Wanted? Volume Zero” a shot and I must admit that I actually liked this graphic novel!

What is this story about? 

In this universe, it was Gwen Stacy who was bitten by a radioactive spider and possessed spider powers (not Peter Parker). It turns out that Peter Parker was bullied so much at school that one day he decided to transform himself into the lizard and went on a rampage throughout the city and ended up getting himself killed. Because of this, Gwen harbored a lot of guilt over what happened to Peter since Peter was doing all this to be like Gwen. After this tragic event, J. Jonah Jameson had caused the public to turn against Spider-Gwen by stating that she was responsible for Peter Parker’s death and Gwen ends up being on the run from the law, including from her father Captain Stacy (at least until she tells him who she really is). Now Gwen has to prove to the public that she did not kill Peter Parker and that she is a true hero while also avoiding the people after her including Frank Castle (A.K.A. The Punisher), the Vulture and Matt Murdock himself!

What I loved about this story: 

Jason Latour’s writing: Jason Latour’s writing was quite unique and interesting to read as this universe’s Gwen Stacy is one of the most interesting characters I had ever read! I loved the way that Jason Latour made Gwen Stacy into such a strong female protagonist as Gwen also cracks jokes like Spider-Man, but she can be moody at times due to her guilt over Peter’s death and I loved the way that Jason Latour wrote Gwen’s struggles with trying to cope with Peter’s death as it made Gwen into a truly relatable character. I also loved the fact that Gwen Stacy is involved in a rock band as it adds even more dimension to her character and I just loved the fact that we have a heroine who is into music! I also enjoyed the moments between Gwen and her father, Captain Stacy, as while it was quite intense due to Captain Stacy not wanting his daughter to get in danger, it was nice seeing how much Captain Stacy cares about his daughter and only wants what is best for her. Jason Latour also did an interesting job at giving us a Spider-Man universe where Gwen Stacy is Spider Woman as I never would have thought that Gwen Stacy of all people could become a superheroine. But, this version of Gwen Stacy is so well written that I actually loved the fact that Gwen Stacy makes an interesting Spider Woman!

Robbi Rodriguez’s artwork: Robbi Rodriguez’s artwork was quite creative to look at, especially Spider Gwen’s outfit! I just loved the reddish hues that cover the pages whenever Gwen is performing in her rock band as it makes those moments really stand out. But the best part of Robbi Rodriguez’s artwork is Spider-Gwen’s outfit! I think I have fallen in love with Spider-Gwen’s outfit since it is actually white and pink all over and it makes her look like a savior type being within the pages!

Spider

What made me feel uncomfortable about this story: 

The reason why I gave this book a four-star rating was because I felt that the dialogue was a bit disjointed at times. I was not sure if it was because the dialogue was trying to use street slang to make the characters seem more modern or if it was the writing itself. I often had a difficult time trying to understand what the characters are actually saying due to how the dialogue is being written. Also, if you have not read “Spider-Verse,” chances are you will probably be confused about what is really going on in this book (although this is technically an alternate universe of the “Spider-Man” universe).

Final Thoughts: 

Overall, “Spider-Gwen: Most Wanted? Volume Zero” is a great graphic novel to read if you want to see a different take on Gwen Stacy!

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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Review
5 Stars
Rabbit Ears Treasury of Fairy Tales and Other Stories: Thumbelina, The Talking Eggs, The Fisherman and His Wife, The Emperor and the Nightingale
Rabbit Ears Treasury of Fairy Tales and Other Stories: Thumbelina, The Talking Eggs, The Fisherman and His Wife, The Emperor and the Nightingale - Rabbit Ears, Glenn Close, Jodie Foster, Sissy Spacek

Title:  Rabbit Ears Treasury of Fairy Tales and Other Stories: Thumbelina, the Talking Eggs, The Fisherman and His Wife, the Emperor and the Nightingale

Author:  Rabbit Ears

Genre:  China / Fairy Tale / Folktale / Magic / Animals


Year Published: 2006

Year Read: 2009

Series: Rabbit Ears Treasury

Publisher:  Listening Library (Audio)

Source:  Purchased

Content Rating:  Ages 5+ (Some Rude Behavior and Intense Moments)

 

 

Thumbelina

When I first heard that Rabbit Ears was finally releasing their classic stories on audio CDs, I was so excited and happy because not only will I have the pleasure of listening to these fantastic classics over and over again, but now everyone will have a chance to listen to this fantastic series! “Rabbit Ears Treasury of Fairy Tales” is an audio cd that is full of various fairy tales created by Rabbit Ears and with a vast array of famous celebrities along with engaging music for each story, this audio cd is a delightful treat for both children and adults!

Since I have reviewed half of these stories already, I am just going to briefly summarize each story on this audio cd:

The Fisherman and his Wife 
Told by: Jodie Foster
Music by: Van Dyke Parks

In this Brothers Grimm tale, a meek fisherman stumbles upon a magical flounder who promises the poor fisherman that he will grant him several wishes if he frees him. When the Fisherman told his wife about this, his wife suddenly gets greedy and she starts wishing like crazy.

The Talking Eggs
Told by: Sissy Spacek
Music by: Micheal Doucet dit Beausoleil

A kind girl named Blanchett learns about the importance of being kind towards other and how it brings its own rewards.

Thumbelina
Told by: Kelly McGillis
Music by: Mark Isham

A tiny little girl named Thumbelina, who is no bigger than a thumb goes on a wild adventure in the outside world that changes her life forever.

The Emperor and the Nightingale
Told by: Glenn Close
Music by: Mark Isham

An Emperor learns about the importance of the real thing when the real nightingale has to save the Emperor from a horrible fate.


Emperor

Oh my goodness!! Never would I have thought that I would enjoy this series now as much as I did as a child! Every narrator on this audio CD has greatly contributed enough excitement and tenderness to each of these stories that will have any child and adult listening to this series over and over again! Out of all four of these stories presented in this audio cd, my favorites were “The Talking Eggs” and “The Emperor and the Nightingale.” In “The Talking Eggs” Sissy Spacek has indeed done an excellent job at narrating this story as she provides a Southern flair to the story and actually puts so much emotion in her narration whenever she is enacting a character yelling or being soft-hearted. Micheal Doucet dit Beausoleil’s music is clearly catchy and inspiring as it has a slight country theme that will have many children toe-tapping to the music until the very end of the story! In “The Emperor and the Nightingale,” Glenn Close does a splendid job at narrating this story as she sounds extremely tender and soothing and Mark Isham’s music provides a magnificent presentation of Chinese inspired music that will have everyone be mesmerized by the music.

The only problem I had with this audio CD was that it did not come with a book or in this case, books, to accompany each story. For anyone who has grown up with the Rabbit Ears series since they were children might possibly be disappointed in not receiving a book to go with each story. However, because the celebrities’ narrations are so effective and creative, this audio cd is still a treat to listen to. 

Overall “Rabbit Ears Treasury of Fairy Tales” is a fantastic audio cd for both children and adults who love reading old classics and fairytales and will be an instant treat for many years!

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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Review
5 Stars
Rabbit Ears Treasury of Animal Stories: How the Rhinoceros Got His Skin, How the Camel Got His Hump, How the Leopard Got His Spots, The Monkey People
Rabbit Ears Treasury of Animal Stories: How the Rhinoceros Got His Skin, How the Camel Got His Hump, How the Leopard Got His Spots, Monkey People - Rabbit Ears, Jack Nicholson

Title:  Rabbit Ears Treasury of Animal Stories: How the Rhinoceros Got His Skin, How the Game Got His Hump, How the Leopard Got His Spots, The Monkey People

Author:  Rabbit Ears

Genre:  Animals / Folktale / Manners / Respect / Africa / Colombia 


Year Published: 2007

Year Read: 2009

Series: Rabbit Ears Treasury

Publisher:  Listening Library (Audio)

Source:  Purchased

Content Rating:  Ages 7+ (Some Rude Behavior)

 

 

Rhino

“Rabbit Ears Treasury of Animal Stories” is one of the first audio CDs released from Rabbit Ears Entertainment (or Rabbit Ears Productions as I fondly love to call it) and this audio CD features four stories called “How the Rhinoceros Got His Skin,” “How the Camel Got His Hump,” “The Monkey People” and “How the Leopard Got His Spots.” Each story is narrated by a famous celebrity during the 80s and 90s and it will be an instant treat for anyone who is a huge fan of Rabbit Ears stories!

Since I have already reviewed some of these stories on separate reviews, I will just briefly summarize each story:

How the Rhinoceros Got His Skin
Told by: Jack Nicholson
Music by: Bobby McFerrin

When a rude rhinoceros eats the Parsee Man’s delicious cake, the Parsee Man starts to take revenge on the rude rhinoceros.

How the Camel Got His Hump
Told by: Jack Nicholson
Music by: Bobby McFerrin

When an arrogant camel refuses to do his share of work, it is up to the Djinn of all Deserts to set the camel straight.

Monkey

The Monkey People
Told by: Raul Julia
Music by: Lee Ritenour

When an old man comes to a village full of lazy people and shows them monkeys cut out of leaves doing all the chores, the people learn the hard way about the importance of hard work.

How the Leopard Got His Spots
Told by: Danny Glover
Music by: Ladysmith Black Mambazo

When all the animals moved to the forest to hide from the Leopard and the Ethiopian, the Leopard and the Ethiopian must learn to camouflage themselves in order to eat to survive!

Oh my goodness! Imagine my surprise when I first heard about this animal series coming out on audio CD! I was so excited about listening to Jack Nicholson, Danny Glover and Raul Julia narrating these fantastic tales that I remembered from my youth! Each story was extremely interesting to the next story and the narrators and the musicians have both done an excellent job at narrating and providing appropriate music to each story. Out of all four stories featured on this audio CD, my favorites were “How the Rhinoceros Got His Skin” and “How the Camel Got His Hump” which were both narrated by Jack Nicholson and both had music by Bobby McFerrin. In both stories “How the Rhinoceros Got His Skin” and “How the Camel Got His Hump,” Jack Nicholson narrates both stories in an extremely silky voice that soothes you to the bone as you hear him narrate these stories and anyone who has seen Jack Nicholson in “The Shining,” will definitely be surprised at how calm he sounds in narrating these stories! Bobby McFerrin is truly magnificent in providing music for each story as he mainly uses his voice to create music for each story which brings so much creativity to the stories. Another story that I enjoyed on this disc was “How the Leopard Got His Spots” as I loved the way that Danny Glover narrates this story in an African accent which brings creativity to this story and Ladysmith Black Mambazo’s music is truly wonderful as they vocally sing in African tones.

Again, there is no book to go with this audio CD; however the narration and the music provided in this audio CD will help many fans still love this audio CD. 

All in all, “Rabbit Ears Treasury of Animal Stories” is a true treat for fans of the fantastic Rabbit Ears series and who love Jack Nicholson, Danny Glover and Raul Julia and I am sure that many children and adults will love this audio CD for many years to come! I would recommend this audio CD to children ages seven and up since the “Just So Stories” might be too complicated for younger children to understand.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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Review
5 Stars
Afterlife with Archie: Escape from Riverdale Volume 1 by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa
Afterlife with Archie: Escape from Riverdale - Francesco Francavilla, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa

Title:  Afterlife with Archie: Escape from Riverdale Volume 1  

Author:  Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa  

Artist:  Francesco Francavilla  

Genre:  Horror / Drama / Zombies / Alternative Universe / Friendship


Year Published: 2014


Year Read:  10/28/2017

Publisher:  Archie Comics

Series: Afterlife with Archie #1

Source:  Purchased

Content Rating:  Ages 15+ (Gory Violence and Some Language)

 

 

 

Afterlife

Introduction: 

Alright, so I will admit that I have not read many Archie Comics where the gang is put into a darker situation that is different from the “wholesale family entertainment” adventures that they are usually in (and this was BEFORE the reboot came along, although the reboot was not as dark as this comic). So, since Halloween is around the corner, I just had to pick this graphic novel up called “Afterlife with Archie: Escape from Riverdale Volume One” which is written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa along with artwork by Francesco Francavilla, where Archie and the Gang end up in a for real zombie apocalypse!

What is this story about? 

The story starts out with Hot Dog, Jughead’s beloved dog, being run over by a car and Jughead ends up going to Sabrina the Teenage Witch, to see if she can help his dog. Unfortunately, Sabrina’s aunts tell Jughead that there is nothing they can do for Hot Dog and that he should let Hot Dog stay dead. But then, Sabrina decided to help out Jughead anyway and she ends up resurrecting Hot Dog. Unfortunately, it turns out that when Sabrina brought Hot Dog back to life, Hot Dog became a zombie dog and he ended up biting Jughead, which turned Jughead into a zombie! So, when Jughead went to the school dance, he ended up affecting most of the school by biting most of the students, with the exception of the main cast, which consisted of Archie, Dilton, Midge, Moose, Reggie, Betty, Veronica and many others. The remaining students ended up going to Mr. Lodge’s mansion in order to protect themselves against the zombies, while also trying to see if there are any survivors from the zombie apocalypse.

What I loved about this story: 

Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa’s writing: Wow! I never would have thought that I would live to see the day where there would be a graphic novel series that has Archie and the gang getting involved in a zombie apocalypse! Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa has done a fantastic job at giving the usual sweet natured Archie Comics a darker and scarier tone in this graphic novel and it never felt so out of place to me that the Archie gang in this story are portrayed in a much more mature and cynical way, since they are stuck in a zombie apocalypse and it is appropriate for this type of story. I also loved the way that Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa created a different spin for each of the main characters, such as Betty and Veronica being more antagonistic with each other rather than be good friends with a small rivalry with each other, Sabrina and her family being more realistic and intense versions of witches and Nancy and Chuck…well, I will let you find out for yourselves what is going on with Nancy and Chuck in this comic! I really loved the fact that this comic is much more serious and frightening in tone since the gang are facing a zombie apocalypse and I found myself a bit creeped out by some of the moments in this comic, such as the zombified citizens of Riverdale attacking the main protagonists.

Francesco Francavilla’s artwork: Francesco Francavilla’s artwork fits the scary and serious tone of this comic quite perfectly as the zombies in this comic are quite terrifying to look at such as the images of the zombified Hot Dog. I loved the fact that the art style is much more realistic in this comic as it really captures the mature and serious nature of this story. I also loved the way that Francesco Francavilla did the coloring of this book as the colors are mostly in red, black, orange and grey that greatly convey the horror elements of this story.

Afterlife

What made me feel uncomfortable about this story: 

Anyone who does not like language or gory violence might be a bit uncomfortable with some of the gory violence and language in this comic. The language in this comic is not as strong as some of the more mature comics as only the “h” word is uttered in a couple of sentences and as for the gory violence, there are many images of zombies biting into people which is pretty graphic.

Final Thoughts: 

Overall, “Afterlife with Archie: Escape from Riverdale Volume One” is a fantastic graphic novel that anyone who loves both the Archie Comics and zombies will easily enjoy!

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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