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
4.5 Stars
The Hockey Saint by Howard Shapiro
The Hockey Saint by Howard Shapiro (2014) Perfect Paperback - Howard Shapiro

Genre:  Friendship / School / Drama / Drugs / Sports


Year Published: 2014


Year Read:  6/3/2017

Publisher: Animal Media Group 

Series: Forever Friends Trilogy #2

 

Hockey

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


Introduction: 

After I had finished reading Howard Shapiro’s previous graphic novel, “The Stereotypical Freaks,” I was excited to find out that “The Stereotypical Freaks” was a part of the “Forever Friends Trilogy” and I was even more excited to find out that I was approved of the second book in the series “The Hockey Saint” by NetGalley! After reading this graphic novel, I found this story to be just as memorable as “The Stereotypical Freaks!”

What is this story about? 

Tom Leonard is back once again as he is now a college sophomore who is a part of the school’s hockey team and he now has a new dilemma to face! The story starts off with Tom’s parents being killed in a car accident and Tom is still trying to deal with this tragedy. Also around that time, Tom has been offered a scholarship for his talents in hockey and Tom is striving to get that scholarship as much as possible. One day however, Tom ends up meeting his favorite hockey player, Jeremiah Jacobson, who is known as the world’s best hockey player. Tom then quickly becomes good friends with Jeremiah and the two of them started spending a lot of time with each other. But later on, Tom discovers that Jeremiah has a terrible secret: he is a heavy drinker and a smoker and Jeremiah refuses to acknowledge that he has this problem.

Can Tom help Jeremiah with his drug addiction before it is too late? 

Read this book to find out!
 


What I loved about this story: 

Howard Shapiro’s writing: 
Howard Shapiro’s writing is as usual a delight to read as the characters are written extremely well and I loved the real-world plot of this volume as it addresses the dangers of drug addiction that has rarely been addressed in many comic books. I loved the fact that we actually have a comic book that details drug addiction in a realistic way by showing that Jeremiah is in denial about his addiction and how it was difficult at first for Tom and his loved ones to try to get Jeremiah to understand about the severity of his drug addiction. I also loved the way that Howard Shapiro wrote the relationships between the characters, especially between Tom and Jeremiah as I loved the fact that Jeremiah shows Tom that there is more to life than just playing hockey all the time and Tom cares enough for Jeremiah to go out of his way to help out Jeremiah with his drug addiction. 

Maricia Inoue and Andres Mossa’s artwork: 
Maricia Inoue and Andres Mossa’s artwork is beautifully done as the characters look truly realistic and I loved the way that the characters glow off the pages. Now, I will admit that there were some facial expressions on the characters that looked a bit odd, especially regarding Tom always smiling during some serious moments; but other than that, the artwork really captures the raw emotions that the characters feel during this serious situation that deals with drug addiction.

Hockey

What made me feel uncomfortable about this story: 

The reason why I took off half a point from this rating was because I felt like the pacing was a bit slow at times, especially at the beginning and I sometimes wished that the plot moved at a much faster pace to get to the main point of the story.

Final Thoughts: 

Overall, “The Hockey Saint” was a truly heartwarming and realistic story about drug addiction that anyone who wants to read about the consequences of drug addiction and the importance of true friendship will truly enjoy!

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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Review
5 Stars
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
Throne of Glass - Sarah J Maas

Genre: Paranormal Romance / Fantasy

Year Published: 2012



Number of Pages: 404 pages

 



Date Read: 5/30/2017

 



Publisher:  Bloomsbury

 


Series: Throne of Glass #1

 

 

Throne

“You could rattle the stars," she whispered. "You could do anything, if only you dared. And deep down, you know it, too. That’s what scares you most.” 

Now, I have a shameful confession to make: even though I had heard nothing but good things about Sarah J. Maas’ “Throne of Glass” series, I have never actually read the first book in the series “Throne of Glass” (although I had read “The Assassin’s Blade” first) until just recently and this book has been on my TBR shelf for many years now! Now that I finally got the chance to read “Throne of Glass,” I am seriously awed by the highly creative and intense world that I was thrown into!

The story starts off with a young assassin named Celaena Sardothien who was toiling away in the slave mines of Endovier and just as it seemed that all hope of was lost for Celaena to ever break out of Endovier, the young crown prince of Adarlan named Prince Dorian Havilliard came in and said that he will set Celaena free if she becomes the King of Adarlan’s Champion. However, Celaena must first go toe to toe with other assassins, thieves and warriors in a competition that will determine who will be strong enough to be the King’s Champion. Although Celaena hates the King of Adarlan for destroying her hometown, she does want to be set free from her hardships and agrees to the terms. However, once Celaena appears in the kingdom of Adarlan, she finds out that some kind of monster is brutally killing each Champion contestant and she will have to figure out a way to save the kingdom from this mysterious evil force! Meanwhile, Celaena starts having relationship problems with both Chaol Westfall, the stern and loyal Captain of the Guards who believes that Celaena is a threat to the Crown Prince and Prince Dorian Havilliard, the intelligent and optimistic son of the King of Adarlan who has fallen in love with the assassin. Who will Celaena choose?

Wow…. just wow!!! I cannot believe I waited this long to actually read this book from one of the most acclaimed novels ever written! Sarah J. Maas has done a spectacular job at creating this intriguing fantasy world where magic exists, but got banned by the kingdom and it forces the characters to rely on their wits and strengths to survive in this world. I was also a bit surprised at how the story seems to be like a medieval version of “The Hunger Games” as the competitors have to risk their lives to become the King’s Champion, but the story never felt like an exact replica of “The Hunger Games” as it has the main character, Celaena, entering the competition to regain her freedom rather than have the competitions be a yearly thing for the kingdom. Sarah J. Maas also did a great job at writing these characters, especially Celaena, Chaol and Dorian themselves and I loved the fact that Celaena is portrayed as a strong female protagonist who is not afraid to stand up for what she believes in and is an awesome fighter to boot! I also enjoyed the characters Prince Dorian and Chaol themselves, as they provided an interesting dynamic with not only themselves, but with Celaena also. I loved the fact that Chaol is the stern and highly protective Captain of the Guards who is always looking out for both Celaena and Dorian, no matter how gruff he appears to both of them, while Dorian is the carefree and optimistic prince who wants to see the good in everyone, no matter how suspicious that person is. As for the obligatory LOVE TRIANGLE that occurs between Celaena, Chaol and Dorian, I will discuss that in the CONS section down below.

Throne

For anyone who does not like gory violence, there is a good bit of gory violence going on in this book with various characters getting murdered in a graphic manner, such as having their organs ripped out of their bodies and having their faces being skinned off.

***Begin Rant***

Alright, so this is a small nitpick that I had with this book and that is the obligatory LOVE TRIANGLE that happens in the story. Now, luckily, the LOVE TRIANGLE in this story is not played up too high, but there were times where I was a bit annoyed with the fact that Celaena had a hard time trying to choose between Chaol and Dorian throughout the book and I actually wished that Celaena actually chosen who she wanted to be with early on in the story rather than spend most of the book going back and forth on whether she wants to spend her time with Chaol or Dorian.

***End Rant***

Overall, “Throne of Glass” is a fantastic book that fans of strong female assassins and magical worlds will greatly enjoy and now I am off to read the second book in the “Throne of Glass” series, “Crown of Midnight!”


Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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Review
5 Stars
Monstress Volume 1: Awakening Part 6 by Marjorie Liu
Monstress #6 - Sana Takeda, Marjorie M. Liu

Genre:  Adventure / Steampunk / Fantasy / Drama


Year Published: 2016


Year Read:  5/24/2017

Publisher: Image Comics

Series: Monstress Issue #6

 

 

Monstress

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

What is this story about? 

In this issue, Maika and her crew finally make it to the Dusk Court, only to be ambushed by the Dusk Court themselves and they ended up locking Maika up in a casket in order to experiment on her. Meanwhile, the Warlord wages war against the Dusk Court, effectively cornering Maika and her crew in the process! 

Will the demon inside Maika wake her up in time to defeat the Warlord and her army?

Read this book to find out!
 


What I loved about this story: 

Marjorie Liu has done it again and this time, this issue not only has great character moments between Maika and the demon, but it is also the most action packed of the series! I loved the way that Marjorie Liu wrote Maika and the demon’s relationship with each other as it is quite unique to see the demon and Maika trying to come to an agreement to save themselves from both the Warlord and the Dusk Court and I really enjoyed the funny quips that the demon and Maika has with each other. I also enjoyed the way that Marjorie Liu wrote the action sequences with the Warlord’s army fighting against the Dusk Court as it was written extremely well and exciting to read about as I was sitting on the edge of my seat trying to figure out who was going to win this battle! Sana Takeda’s artwork never fails to amaze me as the war sequences between the Warlords and the Dusk Court are beatifically detailed and I also loved the scenes of Maika and the demon exploring Maika’s inner memories as Maika takes on a ghostly appearance to separate herself from her memories which are in color.

Monstress

What made me feel uncomfortable about this story: 

There are some scary images in this issue, especially of the demons that are shown in this book. I will not reveal which characters are the demons in this issue since I do not want to spoil this story for anyone, but these characters’ true demon forms are truly terrifying to look at.

Final Thoughts: 

Overall, “Monstress Volume One: Awakening Part Six” is a truly fantastic finale to the first volume of Marjorie Liu’s legendary “Monstress” series and I definitely cannot wait for the second volume to come out!

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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Review
5 Stars
Monstress Volume 1: Awakening Part 5 by Marjorie Liu
MONSTRESS, No. 5 - Sana Takeda, Marjorie M. Liu

Genre:  Adventure / Steampunk / Fantasy / Drama


Year Published: 2016


Year Read:  5/24/2017

Publisher: Image Comics

Series: Monstress Issue #5

 

 

Monstress

What is this story about? 

In this issue, Maika, Kippa and Master Ren the Cat are cornered by a mysterious winged man who came from an organization called the Dusk Court and according to him, he was sent by Maika’s longtime friend Tuya to accompany him to the Dusk Court. Maika agrees to it, even though the demon inside of her warns her that the Dusk Court means Maika no good. Meanwhile, the Warlord is on the move and is extremely close to capturing Maika!

Will Maika and her crew be safe at the Dusk Court and will the Warlord finally capture Maika?

Read this issue to find out!
 


What I loved about this story: 

Marjorie Liu just continues to amaze me with her intriguing and creative writing of this series as more mystical creatures are introduced into this issue, especially the dark majestic winged man who is shown to be a mysterious character that I would love to see more of in the future issues. I also loved the way that Marjorie Liu drops in little hints that the Warlord may not be who she seems as she seems to possess unearthly powers that are different from her minions and I cannot wait to see what kind of character or creature the Warlord really is! Sana Takeda’s artwork is magnificent in this issue as all the characters are drawn in a creative way and I especially loved the image of the winged man who comes in to take Maika to the Dusk Court as he looks mysterious yet gorgeous at the same time! I also loved the cute little images of Kippa the fox child as she is just so adorable throughout the whole ordeal.

What made me feel uncomfortable about this story: 

Some readers might be uncomfortable with some of the strong language in this issue, such as some “f” bombs being dropped in a few places (although it is not as bad as the previous issues). Some readers might want to skim over these words if it proves to be too offensive for them.

Final Thoughts: 

Overall, “Monstress Volume One: Awakening Part Five” is a fantastic issue from Marjorie Liu’s “Monstress” series that really shines out in this series in terms of great tension build up and new acquaintances!

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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Review
5 Stars
Monstress Volume 1: Awakening Part 4 by Marjorie Liu
Monstress #4 (Mr) Comic Book - Marjorie M. Liu

Genre:  Adventure / Steampunk / Fantasy / Drama


Year Published: 2016


Year Read:  5/24/2017

Publisher: Image Comics

Series: Monstress Issue #4

 

 

Monstress

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

What is this story about? 

In this issue, the Warlord continues to be on the move to discover the whereabouts of the mysterious power that Maika holds. Meanwhile, Maika is starting to have trouble controlling the demon that is inside of her as the demon continuously wants to eat a living being and it seems that Kippa the fox child is on its menu!

Can Maika control her new terrible powers before it causes even more harm? 

Read this issue to find out!
 


What I loved about this story: 

Marjorie Liu has done it again with her masterful storytelling as we actually get to see Maika Halfwolf struggling with the demon inside of her and it was interesting seeing that the demon is also having trouble with controlling Maika’s body and trying to understand about Maika herself. Marjorie Liu really provided an interesting dynamic between the demon and Maika as it is rare that I read fantasy stories where the protagonist and the evil being inside of them are trying to understand each other instead of trying to fight each other. I also like the fact that we start to see more humanity in Maika as it shows that she cares for Kippa and does not want any harm to come to her, which is quite heartwarming given that Maika tends to not trust anyone she comes across to. Sana Takeda’s artwork is as gorgeous as always as the characters look so realistic and I love the different environments that we get to see in this book as they convey the atmospheres of the situations that characters get into such as the majestic temples that represent the animal royalty in this universe and the scary forests that represent the fear and terror that Maika and Kippa have to experience in their journey.

What made me feel uncomfortable about this story: 

Readers be warned that there are some scary moments in this issue, such as the demon inside Maika threatening to eat any innocent being in its path and that might creep out some readers.

Final Thoughts: 

Overall, “Monstress Volume One: Awakening Part Four” is another fantastic issue of the “Monstress” series that any fan of fantasy and horror should definitely check out!

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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Review
5 Stars
Monstress Volume 1: Awakening Part 3 by Marjorie Liu
Monstress, No. 3 - Sana Takeda, Marjorie M. Liu

Genre:  Adventure / Steampunk / Fantasy / Drama


Year Published: 2016


Year Read:  5/24/2017

Publisher: Image Comics

Series: Monstress Issue #3

 

Monstress

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

What is this story about? 

Continuing from the previous issue, Maika tries to evade the Warlord’s assassins as they are sent out to capture Maika at all costs! But when Maika discovers that she has a terrible new demon inside of her, after she activates the mysterious mask that she had stolen from the witches’ stronghold, Maika will soon discover that this new frightening power inside of her will cause her a lot of turmoil in the long run.

What I loved about this story: 

Marjorie Liu’s writing continues to be extremely strong in this series as this issue focuses more on Maika discovering this terrible new demon that has hijacked her body after she activates the mask and how she is trying to learn more about herself and about the demon that is now inside of her. I also loved the way that Marjorie Liu continues to bring so much mystery to this story as we, the readers, try to find out exactly what Maika is and how she is able to possess such terrible power inside of her. I am also curious about the Warlord herself as she seems like a mysterious character who knows so much about Maika’s mysterious powers and I cannot wait to see what kind of character the Warlord will prove to be in the future issues! I also enjoyed the way that Maika and Kippa’s relationship with each other had developed over the series as it went from Kippa being terrified of Maika and not wanting to have anything to do with her to still being frightened by Maika’s terrible powers, but is trying hard to understand Maika as a person. Sana Takeda’s artwork continues to wow me as the characters and the environments they are in continue to glow on the pages and I loved seeing the demon itself as it looks truly terrifying as it is a dark figure that is covered with tentacles and has eyes all over its body.

Monstress

What made me feel uncomfortable about this story: 

For anyone who does not like gory violence, there is a bit of graphic violence in this issue as there are people being skewered by large objects and having their limbs ripped off their bodies. Some readers might want to skim over these parts if they make them feel uncomfortable.

Final Thoughts: 

Overall, “Monstress Volume One: Awakening Part Three” is a wonderful issue that fans of Marjorie Liu’s “Monstress” series will greatly enjoy and now I am off to read the next issue of this series!

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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Review
4.5 Stars
The Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown
The Runaway Bunny - Margaret Wise Brown, Clement Hurd

Genre:  Family / Imagination / Adventure / Love


Year Published: 1942


Year Read:  2017

Publisher:  HarperCollins Publishers

Series: Over the Moon #1

 

Bunny


After I had read Margaret Wise Brown’s popular children’s book “Goodnight Moon,” I wanted to read more of Margaret Wise Brown’s works and I happened to stumbled upon another one of her popular works called “The Runaway Bunny,” along with artwork by Clement Hurd. “The Runaway Bunny” is a truly cute story about the love shared between a parent and child that children will enjoy!

The story starts off with a little bunny wanting to run away from home and when he told his mother about it, his mother just said that she will come running after him, no matter where the little bunny will run off to!

I must admit that I cannot believe that I waited this long to read this classic children’s story about a love shared between a parent and a child! Margaret Wise Brown had done a great job at conveying a mother bunny’s devotion to her child as she is always pledging to follow her child to the ends of the earth, whether the bunny wants to become a rock on a mountain or a sailboat to escape from his mother. I also enjoyed the soothing tone of this book as the story never felt too chaotic or intense when dealing with the little bunny’s desire to run away and I always felt good when the mother bunny tries to comfort her child by telling him that she will always love him no matter what. Clement Hurd’s artwork is truly gorgeous and creative to look at, especially when there are transitions between the black and white artwork and the colorful artwork. I loved the fact that the scenes where we get to see the imaginations of the little bunny running away from home in different and unique ways, is displayed in color as they make the situations stand out much more. My favorite image in the book would be the image of the mother bunny posing as the wind and blowing her child, who is a sailboat at this point, towards the destination she desires.

Bunny

The reason why I took off half a point from the rating was because even though the book is showing that the mother bunny truly does care for her child by following him to the ends of the earth whenever the little bunny runs away, I cannot help but feel like the mother bunny’s behavior comes off as a bit like a stalker as she would chase her child no matter where he goes. Just like Robert Munsch’s children’s book “Love You Forever,” while it is cute that the mother bunny cares enough for her child to chase him down across the earth, the whole “the mother bunny is going to catch her son no matter what” theme might be unsettling for some readers to handle.

Overall, “The Runaway Bunny” is a cute story about the power of love shared between a parent and their child that many children will enjoy for many years! I would recommend this book to children ages four and up, even though the stalker implications of the mother bunny might unsettle some readers.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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Review
4.5 Stars
Food Wars! Volume 1 by Yuto Tsukuda
Food Wars!, Vol. 1: Shokugeki no Soma - Yuto Tsukuda, Shun Saeki

Genre: Action / Cooking / Comedy / School


Year Published: 2012


Year Read: 2017


Series: Food Wars! #1



Publisher: VIZ Media

 

 

Food


Now, I have been a huge fan of anime that deals with cooking and I had decided that I wanted to try my hand into a manga series that deals with food! What luck I had when I picked up this popular manga series called “Food Wars! Volume One” by Yuto Tsukuda along with artwork by Shun Saeki and I was quite impressed with the bizarre creativity of this manga!

The story starts off with a young teenage boy named Soma Yukihira who works at his father’s family restaurant in a poor part of town and yet, the family restaurant is well known for their extremely tasty dishes. One day however, Soma’s father decided to sell the family restaurant and send Soma to a classy culinary school. At first, Soma is skeptical about all this since his major goal in life is to surpass his father in cooking. But, when Soma’s father mentions that if he passes this school, then Soma might have a chance at surpassing him, Soma decides to give this high class culinary school a chance!

Can Soma graduate from this high class culinary school?

Read this volume to find out!
 


Wow! I have to admit that this was one of the most unusual yet creative manga that I had read that dealt with cooking! Yuto Tsukuda had done a great job at writing this story as I found myself being immersed with the bizarre cooking world established in this volume and how each character treats graduating from this high class culinary school as serious business. I also loved the fact that we get some kind of “Toriko” vibe here as this series may not be as action heavy as “Toriko,” but it still treats the cooking scenes as scenes you would get out of an action movie!
I really loved the way that Yuto Tsukuda wrote each character, especially Soma Yukihira, who is probably one of the most interesting characters in this story! Even though Soma can be a little rude towards other people at times, he is always determined to make the best dishes no matter how much the odds are stacked up against him and I always enjoyed this determined attiude that Soma possesses since it makes him a really likable character. Shun Saeki’s artwork is fantastic to look at as the characters are gorgeously drawn and I loved seeing some of the lighting around the characters as it makes them glow on the pages. I also enjoyed seeing the various tasty dishes that are shown in this volume, such as the image of Soma making a bacon wrapped potato dish, which looked quite tasty and unique!

Food

The reason why I took off half a star from the rating was because of the sexual imagery that came up whenever the characters are experiencing Soma’s cooking and you can see images of the characters imagining themselves halfway naked whenever they are describing the taste of the foods they sampled. Now, I usually don’t mind seeing sexual imagery depending on whether or not the story is a romance or something of the sort, but because this is a series about cooking, it just felt a bit too out of place in this setting and I sometimes cringed a bit whenever the sexual images come up in the story.

Overall, “Food Wars! Volume One” is a fun volume for anyone who loves manga that deals with cooking and action and I am definitely going to try to check out the next volume in this series!

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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Here's a photo of all the books I'll try to read in June!
Here's a photo of all the books I'll try to read in June!

Hello everyone! I'm going to participate in a new book meme that is hosted by me, Rabbit Ears Book Blog called "Book Photo Sundays" where you get to post up various book photos you have taken.  The photos can come from your Instagram account or from any other account you have where you keep photos of your books at.  I will post up a new book photo every Sunday and you are free to link up your book photos to the link up on the page. To participate in this week's Book Photo Sundays, go to the link here:

 

http://rabbitearsbookblog.blogspot.com/2017/06/book-photo-sundays-34-june-18-2017.html

 

Review
5 Stars
The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch
The Paper Bag Princess  - Robert Munsch, Michael Martchenko

Genre:  Comedy / Royalty / Dragons / Feminism / Fantasy


Year Published: 1980


Year Read:  1994

Publisher:  Annick Press

 

 

Princess

I have been reading most of Robert Munsch and Michael Martchenko’s works ever since I was a child and I have enjoyed most of their works! I have recently re-read a book from the popular duo that I had enjoyed during my childhood called “The Paper Bag Princess” and it is about how a princess is stripped down to wearing a plain paper bag when a dragon attacks her castle and she has to go rescue Prince Ronald, who has been kidnapped by the dragon. “The Paper Bag Princess” is definitely one of Robert Munsch’s and Michael Martchenko’s most hilarious books ever written!

Elizabeth was a beautiful princess who was going to marry Prince Ronald. One day, however, a dragon comes by and burns her castle to the ground and kidnaps Prince Ronald. With nothing left to wear except for a paper bag, Elizabeth decides to go after the dragon and save Ronald.

If you think that “Stephanie’s Ponytail” was one hilarious and creative book, you should really check this book out! Robert Munsch has truly done an awesome job at writing this story about how a princess loses everything but still wanted to save the love of her life. Robert Munsch’s writing is simple yet sassy and hilarious at the same time and what I really loved about this book was that Robert Munsch made the heroine, Elizabeth into a clever and brave girl and I loved the way that she tries to go and rescue the prince by herself even though she lost everything that she owned and the way that she beats the dragon at its own game is just truly hilarious! Michael Martchenko’s illustrations are creative and hilarious in this book, especially of the images of Elizabeth being in a paper bag throughout the book. The images in this book are a bit more simplistic in this book than in Robert Munsch’s and Michael Martchenko’s later books as the black outlines of the characters make the characters stand out much more. I also loved the images of the dragon itself as it is green, have red spikes down its back and always look more suave than terrifying to the readers.

Princess

All in all, “The Paper Bag Princess” is a brilliant book from the famous Munsch/Martchenko duo as it shows that true courage will always win the day. Although I would have preferred the ending to be a little longer so that way it would be more satisfying just knowing what happened to each character after the adventure is over, this was not a major con for me, so I would still recommend this book to children ages four and up, but because of the dragon scenes, I think children ages five and older might stand those scenes better and the children ages four and up will like the simplistic writing of this book.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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Review
4.5 Stars
The Rhino Who Swallowed a Storm by LeVar Burton and Susan Schaefer Bernardo
The Rhino Who Swallowed a Storm - LeVar Burton, Susan Schaefer Bernardo, Courtenay Fletcher

Genre:  Drama / Weather / Inspirational / Children's / Folktale


Year Published: 2014


Year Read:  2017

Publisher:  Reading Rainbow

 

 

Rhino


I have been a huge fan of “Reading Rainbow” ever since I was a child and I have always enjoyed reading the books that were either featured or suggested on the TV series. So, imagine my surprise and delight when I found out that LeVar Burton, the longtime host of “Reading Rainbow” was going to write a children’s book called “The Rhino Who Swallowed a Storm,” along with co-writing with Susan Schaefer Bernardo and artwork by Courtenay Fletcher. This book will surely inspire many children to get through hard times themselves!

The story starts off with Mica Mouse sitting with her father during a storm and she became worried about the storm due to a hurricane coming in and destroying her home over a year ago. Mica’s father then went to comfort her by reading her a story about a rhino who also went through some hard times.

In the story, the rhino was living peacefully in his home when all of a sudden, a strong storm came through the valley and started destroying everything that the rhino cared about. The rhino was so upset by all the destruction that it ended up swallowing the storm. After the rhino swallowed the storm, the storm started causing so much disturbance within the rhino and the rhino was at a lost at what to do. The spider then comes by and tells the rhino this verse:

“The world up above is shattered and gray,
But it’s where you belong, so you must find a way
To let that storm out and move through your sorrow.
You’ll find many helpers on your road to tomorrow.”


So, the rhino decided to go on a quest to get rid of the storm that is boiling inside of him.

Will the rhino be successful on his quest?

Read this book to find out!


Wow! I was quite impressed with this inspiring children’s book that was written by none other than LeVar Burton of “Reading Rainbow” fame! LeVar Burton and Susan Schaefer Bernardo did a great job at writing this story as I found this story to be quite inspirational, especially for children who have to deal with the harshness of the real world and need to find a way to go through life in such a negative world. I actually found myself relating to both Mica Mouse and the rhinoceros in the story as I sometimes found myself wondering about how I can deal with all the wars, deaths and prejudice going on in this world and I like the fact that this book tries to encourage children to get through tough times by inspiring them to remain positive and be aware of all the friends and families they have that will help them through tough times. Courtenay Fletcher’s artwork is highly creative and cute to look at as I enjoyed the images of both the rhinoceros and Mica Mouse as the artwork for Mica Mouse and her father are in smooth watercolors while the artwork for the rhinoceros is in cut out figures to help the readers distinguished between the two stories.

Rhino

The reason why I took off half a star from the rating was because I felt that this story was a bit too lengthy in trying to get its message across and I wished that they would have trimmed out a few verses that the animals were trying to tell the Rhino in order to get to the meat of the story much faster.

Overall, “The Rhino Who Swallowed a Storm” is a great inspirational book for children who are also going through hard times and want a good book that can inspire them to remain positive in such a harsh world. I would recommend this book to children age five and up since the length and complexity of this book might be difficult for some smaller children.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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Review
5 Stars
Choo Choo by Virginia Lee Burton
Choo Choo - Virginia Lee Burton

Genre:  Trains / Adventure / Classic / Drama


Year Published: 1937


Year Read:  2017

Publisher:  Houghton Mifflin Company

 

 

Choo

I have read at least two books from Virginia Lee Burton when I was younger and they were “The Little House” and “Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel” and I had enjoyed both books immensely! So, I then picked up another book by Virginia Lee Burton called “Choo Choo” which was quite a unique read and is one that I would definitely recommend for children!

The story is about a beautiful little locomotive named Choo Choo who would pull trains from the city to the country and back again every day. She was always accompanied by three workers who were named Jim the Engineer, Oley the Fireman and Archibald the Conductor who would all come together to take care of Choo Choo. One day however, Choo Choo was getting tired of pulling trains in between the cities and the country and she decided to run away from the station and show everyone in town how beautiful she really is!

What sort of adventures will Choo Choo get herself into?

Read this book to find out!


Wow! I never would have thought that I would enjoy this book so much! Just like Virginia Lee Burton’s other works, this book has a classic and old fashioned feel as we get to see how trains look like during the 1930s. I also loved the fact that this story has a different twist to the usual children’s story about trains, as it details the story about a young train running away from its owners, which I rarely read about in previous books about trains. Virginia Lee Burton does a great job at making this book both cute and exciting at the same time as I loved the fact that Choo Choo’s owners really do care about what happened to Choo Choo when she goes missing as it brings in a heartwarming element to the story. I was also sitting on the edge of my seat as I wondered if Choo Choo was ever going to make it back home safely and I liked the way that Virginia Lee Burton detailed the dangers of running away from home as Choo Choo gets into all kinds of danger on her travels and it would help teach kids about the dangers of running away from home by themselves. Virginia Lee Burton’s artwork is quite unique in this book as most of the images are in black and white colorings, giving this book an old fashioned and bold feel and I also enjoyed seeing the images of Choo Choo herself as she is drawn as a cute looking locomotive, which strongly reminds me of the image from “The Little Engine that Could!”

Choo

The only real issue with this book is that there is one image in this book where Choo Choo ends up going through a scary looking forest that might frighten smaller children. The trees are drawn in a much eerier manner compared to the rest of the images and parents might want to go through the images in this scene first to see if their children can handle such scary imagery.

Overall, “Choo Choo” is a truly cute book that children who enjoy reading about trains will definitely get a kick out of! I would recommend this book to children ages five and up since the image of the scary forest might scare some smaller children.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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Review
3.5 Stars
The Love That Split the World by Emily Henry
The Love That Split the World - Emily Henry

Genre: Science Fiction Romance


Year Published: 2016


Number of Pages: 390 pages


Date Read: 4/23/2017   



Publisher:  Razor Bill

 

 

Love


“Love is giving the world away, and being loved is having the whole world to give.”


I must admit that I rarely read romance novels that deal with time traveling since time traveling stories tend to confuse me due to trying to figure out what events are going on in the present versus what events are going on in the future and sometimes, the line between past, present and future can be blurred in certain stories. One such novel that I had read called “The Love That Split the World” by Emily Henry actually dealt with time travel and I have to tell you that it was one doozy of a read!

Natalie Cleary was your average high school student who is friends with her ex-boyfriend Matt Kincaid and Megan and lives in a happily adopted family with her siblings Jack and Coco and life was going well for Natalie. One night however, Natalie meets up with a mysterious boy named Beau at her high school football game and the two instantly fell in love with each other. But then, Natalie starts noticing some weird things going on around her small town in Kentucky, such as a preschool suddenly appearing where the garden store should have been and when the people in town suddenly disappear before her very eyes. It was then that a mysterious old woman called “Grandmother” came to Natalie’s dreams and gave her a warning that she has three months to save someone she really cares about. So, Natalie spends the majority of the book trying to find out who she is going to save while spending some time with Beau and trying to figure out these weird events happening around her town.

I have to admit that for a time traveling story, Emily Henry has definitely done a great job at putting a unique spin to the usual time traveling story as its core focus is the romance between Natalie and Beau and how they try to stay together throughout the different time rifts that goes on throughout their worlds. I also enjoyed the relationships between the characters, especially between Megan and Natalie and Natalie and Beau. I loved the fact that Natalie usually confides in Megan about her various visions that she has and how Megan is so understanding about Natalie’s “odd” dreams and visions as it is nice to have another character who knows about the main character’s secret abilities without having the reader go through the entire book wondering if the main character will ever reveal their secrets to anyone else. I also enjoyed the relationship between Natalie and Beau, although I found it a bit too contrived at times that Natalie suddenly thinks that Beau is her true love upon their first meeting. I loved the fact that Natalie and Beau truly love each other and I really like their cute little bantering with each other, despite the turbulent situation that they are stuck in.

The reason why I gave this book a three-and-a-half-star rating is because while the story had a strong start at the beginning, the story got a bit confusing once the time travel elements got introduced and I started to lose a bit of interest in the story due to being constantly confused about what is really going on with Natalie and Beau’s time traveling shenanigans. I also got a bit annoyed with Natalie throughout certain parts of the story as it seems like all she does is whine and complain about how bad her life is and how she is indecisive about her feelings about Matt when it is obvious that she would rather be with Beau in pursuing her relationship. Also, there were times where the pacing was a bit slow, especially during the scenes where the time traveling aspects were being explained in full detail and I was hoping for these scenes to be shorten so that we could get to the action sequences much faster.

Overall, “The Love that Split the World” may had had a strong start, but the story came apart once the time traveling aspect was introduced and it might be difficult for some fans of time traveling stories to get into. However, it is an interesting read for anyone who is a fan of time traveling romances!

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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Review
5 Stars
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr.
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? - Bill Martin Jr., Eric Carle

Genre:  Animals / Colors / Children's / School


Year Published: 1967


Year Read:  2017

Publisher:  Henry Holt and Company

Series: Bill Martin's Bears #1

 

 

Bear

I have been an avid fan of Eric Carle’s works, especially of his well-known children’s book “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” and one of the books that Eric Carle had worked on that I did not get the chance to read when I was little was “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?” which was also written by Bill Martin Jr. All in all, this was one children’s book that children should definitely check out!

Since this story is extremely short, the summary will be brief.
Basically, the plot of this book is about the reader seeing various animals comment on what other beings they are looking at that precise moment, while each animal states a variation of this quote:

“Brown Bear, Brown Bear,
What do you see?
I see a red bird looking at me.

Red Bird, Red Bird,
What do you see?
I see a yellow duck looking at me.”

Wow! I cannot believe that I waited this long to finally pick up this popular children’s book and it was definitely worth reading in the end! I loved the simplistic style that Bill Martin Jr. brought to this book as the plot is basically having readers see various animals in different colors popping up in the book and commenting on other animals they have seen. I loved the fact that each animal is a different color such as having a blue horse and a purple cat as it brings a unique spin to the storytelling of this book and I was quietly anticipating seeing what kind of animals we will see pop up in this book. Eric Carle’s artwork is as always, a delight to look at as all the characters are rendered in paper cut outs which gives the book a creative look and I really loved the images of the different animals that show up in this book, such as the purple cat and the blue horse!

Bear

Even though there is nothing wrong with this book, I have to wonder why it was banned in the first place? Well, it turns out that when it was banned, the person who banned the book made a mistake regarding the author of this book, who is Bill Martin Jr. and the person thought that it was the same Bill Martin who wrote the book “Ethical Marxism: The Categorical Imperative of Liberation.” Now, I have never read any of the “other” Bill Martin’s books, but this was the first instance where a book was mistakenly banned for the wrong reasons and that got me curious yet annoyed.

Overall, “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?” is a truly cute book for children who want to have fun with identifying animals and colors all wrapped up into one book! 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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!!! spoiler alert !!! Review
5 Stars
Love You Forever by Robert Munsch
Love You Forever - Robert Munsch, Sheila McGraw

Genre:  Family / Growth / Life / Childhood / Love


Year Published: 1986


Year Read:  2017

Publisher:  Firefly Books

 

 

 

Forever

I have another bookish confession to make: Even though I have been reading many of Robert Munsch’s books when I was little, I had never once read his most highly acclaimed book “Love You Forever” and I am still kicking myself in the rear for not reading this book sooner! “Love You Forever” is a heartwarming story written by Robert Munsch along with artwork by Sheila McGraw that is definitely worth checking out!

The story starts off with a mother holding her newborn baby boy in her arms and as she rocking the baby to sleep, she started singing a little song:

“I’ll love you forever,
I’ll like you for always,
As long as I’m living
My baby you’ll be.”


We are then treated to the little boy growing up throughout the story as he started out as a troublemaking toddler to a teenager who likes to listen to strange music to a full grown adult man who eventually moved out of his mother’s house. One day however, the boy’s mother had gotten ill and…

What will the son do about this predicament and what will happen to the mother?

Read this book to find out!


Oh my gosh! How in the world could I not have read this book when I was little? I mean, I had read many of Robert Munsch’s other books including “The Paper Bag Princess” and “Stephanie’s Ponytail,” but this one seems to have fallen off the radar for me! Robert Munsch did a fantastic job at writing this story as we get to see how a mother witnesses the growth of her son throughout the story and how she still loves her son no matter how different her son becomes through looks and personalities. What made this book extremely unique in my eyes is how we get to see the positive and negative aspects of parenthood as while the boy occasionally got on his mother’s nerves whenever he got into trouble, we also see that the mother still loves her son no matter what the boy does and this aspect of the story made this book a truly heartwarming experience for me. I also loved the message of this book as it proves the importance of love by showing that the mother has always cared about her son no matter how much older she got and I think that children should read books that deals with the true meaning of family and shows that your family will always care about you through thick and thin. Sheila McGraw’s artwork is simply beautiful to look at as all the characters look realistic and I loved the images of both the mother and the little boy growing older with each progressive page. Probably my most favorite image in this book is of the son as a toddler sitting on the bathroom floor with toilet paper littering the floor and the boy holding a watch over the toilet!

[****SPOILER ALERT!!!!****

There is an infamous scene in this book where the mother ends up sneaking into her son’s house, who is at this point a full grown adult living on his own and this scene might be a bit unsettling for some readers to handle. Now, I can understand how this scene would be upsetting to some readers as the idea of a grown woman sneaking inside her adult son’s house without him knowing about it would cause a lot of uncomfortable mental images such as what if the old woman was actually a burglar in disguised and the son had no way of knowing this because he was asleep the whole time? For me personally, I was not really upset by this scene as I thought that it was an exaggerated show of affection that the mother shows her adult son and because these are fictional characters, I did not really take this scene that seriously. Now, if the mother sneaked into an unknown child’s bedroom late at night or someone got hurt in this scene, then I would have felt a bit differently about this scene.

****SPOILER ENDED!!!**** (hide spoiler)]


Forever

Overall, “Love You Forever” is a truly memorable and heartwarming book that children who wants to read books that shows the importance of love and family, will immediately enjoy! 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
The Adventures of Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey
The Adventures of Captain Underpants - Dav Pilkey

Genre:  Superheroes / Humor / School 


Year Published: 1997

 


Year Read:  2010

Publisher:  The Blue Sky Press

 

Series: Captain Underpants #1    

 

 

Underpants

Here comes that valiant hero, CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS! “The Adventures of Captain Underpants” is a popular children’s book from the creative mind of Dav Pilkey and it is about the hilarious adventures of George and Harold as they try to trick their strict principal Mr. Krupp, but their trick ends up backfiring on them! “The Adventures of Captain Underpants” is absolutely one of the funniest books ever created!!!

“Tra-la-laaa!”

Man, I am going to be saying that throughout this review! Dav Pilkey has done a great job with both the illustrations and writing this book as they make this book full of pure hilarity and adventure! I love the way that Dav Pilkey writes this book in a sarcastic and humorous way as George and Harold are shown to be the greatest practical jokers in the history of all practical jokers as they are constantly pulling pranks on the school and somehow succeeding in their jokes. I really enjoyed the sarcastic humor in this book as it is smart and witty and it strongly reminded me of the humor in “The Stinky Cheeseman” as it plays a satire on the world of superheroes, except this time there is a superhero that runs around the city in his underwear! One of the most impressive characters in this book is Captain Underpants himself as he saves the world but saves it in his underwear! Captain Underpants sort of remind me of Quailman from the Nickelodeon show “Doug” as both characters saves the word in their underwear.

Quailman

Dav Pilkey’s illustrations are truly hilarious and childish in this book as George and Harold always have mischievous looks on their faces. George is drawn as a child with a tie and a black flat top hair and Harold is drawn to have puffy hair, which makes the two characters look hilarious to children. The illustration that stood out the most for me was the illustration of Captain Underpants himself as he has a bald head and is shown wearing a red cape and is mostly shown in his underwear! Also, I like to point out that the illustrations are in black and white; however Dav Pilkey’s illustrations are so hilarious and childish that many children will overlook the black and white coloring.

Parents should know that this book was banned in many schools because it was considered insensitive and encourages children to disobey authority (I did not really understand the insensitivity part, but I did understand the part about disobeying authority). The main thing that parents should be concerned about is the crude humor in this book such as Harold and George using a fake doggy doo-doo to trick a villain and the cheerleaders being described as having mucus running down their noses after they were exposed to the pepper in their pom-poms and parents who do not approve of crude humor might want to wait until their children get older to enjoy this book. As for the banning, I honestly do not believe in banning books and I thought that this was an enjoyable book for children of all ages, but it was not meant to be an educational book. I think that if the content in this book is really offensive for educational classes, then teachers could use this book as a special treat for children to read if children did some good deeds or did their schoolwork, sort of like a reward for their efforts.

“The Adventures of Captain Underpants” is truly a book that children of all ages can enjoy as it has great humor and spectacular characters and I think this book will be wonderful for children who love reading about superheroes and great humor! I would recommend this book to children ages five and up since the crude humor might be a bit too inappropriate for smaller children.

“Tra-la-laa! Captain Underpants away!”

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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