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

Genre:  Inspiration / Horror / Humor / Monsters


Year Published: 2005


Year Read:  2017

Publisher:  Tanglewood Publishing Inc

 

Source: eARC (NetGalley)

 

 

Worry

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

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

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

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

Worry

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

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

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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Review
5 Stars
Fowl Language: The Struggle is Real by Brian Gordon
Fowl Language: The Struggle Is Real - Brian Gordon

Genre:  Humor / Parenting / Parody / Animals

 

Year Published: 2017


Year Read:  8/12/2017 

Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing, LLC 

Series: Fowl Language #2

Source: eARC (NetGalley)

 

Fowl

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

Introduction: 

A couple of years ago, I had read a graphic novel called “Tales from the Crib” which was written by Henrik Drescher and it detailed the struggles of parenting in a humorous way. Several years later, I came across this interesting new graphic novel that I received from NetGalley called “Fowl Language: The Struggle is Real” which is by Brian Gordon and it also details the struggles of being a parent in a humorous way and I enjoyed this graphic novel as much as I enjoyed “Tales from the Crib!” 

What is this story about? 

This graphic novel is basically about the main character, who is a male fowl, trying to deal with his two children and the graphic novel goes into the ups and downs of being a parent such as; trying to get some peace and quiet while the kids are gone, trying to find other adults to talk to after spending so much time with your own children and trying to get your child to go to sleep. Also, this graphic novel shows that despite all the craziness that you are put through when dealing with your children, you still love them in the end!

What I loved about this story: 

Brian Gordon’s writing: Oh my gosh! I still cannot stop laughing after reading this graphic novel! Brian Gordon has done a fantastic job at writing this graphic novel as I really enjoyed the harsh trials of being a parent being shown in a humorous and satirical way! I loved seeing the scenes where the father duck is trying so hard to deal with his children, while trying to get some peace and quiet, whenever his kids are away as it does hit home for many parents who have to cope with dealing with their children’s demands. But at the same time, this graphic novel shows the struggles that parents have to go through with their children in such a hilarious way that I cannot help but laugh at the father duck’s misfortune at dealing with his kids! Probably two of my most favorite moments in this graphic novel was one where the father duck is imagining a parody for the TV series “24” by titling it “21” and the joke here is that the father duck has to find a TV program that his kids would sit down and watch so he can have time to do the chores around the house (luckily, the program that the kids are watching is ninety minutes long, giving him even more time to do his chores). The other moment I enjoyed was the one where the father duck is trying to explain to his kids about what a record player and a CD is since the kids are only familiar with YouTube and it reminded me of the few times where I try to explain to some little kids about what a CD player is since some of them grew up listening to music on an iPhone or through YouTube.

Brian Gordon’s artwork: Brian Gordon’s artwork is both cute and hilarious to look at as are all the ducks in this graphic novel are drawn in a cute squat style and I especially loved the images of the father duck having wide popped out eyes whenever he gets shocked or annoyed by his kids’ hijinks. The simplistic style of the artwork also brings out the humor in the situations that the characters get into as the highlight of the artwork is seeing the ducks’ reactions to whatever hilarious situations they all get into.

Fowl

What made me feel uncomfortable about this story: 

For anyone who does not like strong language, there is some usage of the “f” and “s” words respectively and some readers might be taken aback by the coarse language clashing with the cute artwork displayed in this graphic novel.

Final Thoughts: 

Overall, “Fowl Language: The Struggle is Real” is a hilarious read for adults who are parents or are becoming parents and want to find a book that pokes fun at the tough trials of parenting! I am definitely going to be reading the rest of this series pretty soon!

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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Review
5 Stars
Swimmy by Leo Lionni
Swimmy - Leo Lionni

Title:  Swimmy

Author:  Leo Lionni

Genre:  Animals / Drama / Family / Danger


Year Published: 1963


Year Read:  2010

Publisher:  Alfred A. Knopf

Source:  Library

Content Rating:  Ages 5+ (Some Scary Scenes and Death of a Family Member)

 

 

Swimmy

I have have heard works from Dr. Seuss, Maurice Sendak, Marc Brown and David Wiesner, but I have finally stumbled upon some works that came from my childhood a long time ago and those works consist of Leo Lionni! “Swimmy” is a Caldecott Honor book by Leo Lionni and it is about how an unusual little fish named Swimmy, who survives a giant fish attack, tries to find another family to live with. “Swimmy” may have an intense scene with the big fish that might frighten small children, but I am pretty sure that most children will easily enjoy this book!

Once there lived a happy school of small fish who were all red except for one fish was black and his name was Swimmy. One terrible day however, a huge tuna fish came by and swallowed up all of the red fish except for Swimmy who had escape from the huge tuna. Swimmy, now the sole survivor of a tuna attack, then swims around in the deep watery world by himself in order to find a new family to be in.

Will Swimmy find a new family?

Read this book to find out!
 


Never have I read a children's book that has both effective drawings and a heartwarming story at the same time as Leo Lionni has made this book! Leo Lionni has done an excellent job at both illustrating and writing this book as it details the adventures of a unique black fish named Swimmy. Leo Lionni's illustrations might look a little bit simplistic, however, they are extremely effective and colorful, especially of the images of the underwater world where it seems that Leo Lionni took a piece of sponge and patted the background with the painted sponge, which really brings out the creativity of the images of the underwater world. The image that truly stood out the most for me was the image of Swimmy himself as he is shown to be the only black fish among a group of red fishes, who merely look like red outlines of fish. Leo Lionni has certainly made this book extremely intense yet heartwarming at the same time as I have felt sympathy for Swimmy after he lost his family to a tuna fish and I can understand how many children and adults will also sympathize with Swimmy's predicament, especially if they lost loved ones to an accident.

Swimmy

Parents should know that at the beginning of this book, Swimmy's family is eaten by a giant tuna fish and that might be too upsetting for smaller children to handle. On a side note, this scene strongly reminds me of a scene in “Finding Nemo” where Marlon's family except Nemo is also eaten by a huge fish and how Marlon has to cope with protecting his only son from anymore danger. Parents might want to discuss about death of a family member with their children before they read them this book.

Overall, “Swimmy” is a highly emotional and heartwarming book for children who have also lost their family members and how they can still find love among friends and other family members. I personally would recommend this book to anyone who loves Leo Lionni's works and learning about what it takes to be a true family. I would recommend this book to children ages five and up since the scene where the big fish eats all the other fish might scare smaller children.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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Review
5 Stars
The Little Red Wolf by Amelie Flechais
The Little Red Wolf - Amélie Fléchais, Andrea Colvin

Genre:  Drama / Fairy Tale / Retelling / Animals / Horror / France


Year Published: 2017


Year Read:  8/9/2017 

Publisher: Lion Forge

Source: eARC (NetGalley)

 

Red

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

Introduction: 

Now, I have been reading fairy tale retellings for many years and I had read retellings of stories like “Cinderella,” “The Three Little Pigs,” “Sleeping Beauty” and “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.” So, imagine my surprise and delight in seeing this new retelling of “Little Red Riding Hood” from NetGalley called “The Little Red Wolf” by Amélie Fléchais and I just had to pick this book up! After I read this book, I have to say that this was one of the most creative and heartbreaking retellings of “Little Red Riding Hood” I had ever read!

What is this story about? 

The story starts off with a family of wolves living in the roots of a tree and the smallest wolf in the family was called Little Red Wolf because he would wear a red cape all the time. One day, Little Red Wolf’s mother wanted him to take a nice plump rabbit to his grandmother, since his grandmother cannot hunt anymore due to her losing her teeth. But just before Little Red Wolf made his journey to his grandmother’s house, his mother warned him about a human hunter and his daughter and that he should stay away from them at all costs. As Little Red Wolf journeyed through the forest, he began to feel hungry and he started eating the rabbit that he was supposed to give to his grandmother piece by piece. When Little Red Wolf ate all of the rabbit, he began to cry since he was supposed to give that rabbit to his grandmother and he had no idea how he will get another rabbit to give to his grandmother. It was then that a little girl came up to Little Red Wolf and said that she could give him a rabbit if he followed her to her home.

Will this girl help Little Red Wolf get another rabbit for his grandmother or does she have some kind of malicious agenda for Little Red Wolf?

Read this book to find out!
 


What I loved about this story: 

Amélie Fléchais’ writing: Wow! Just…wow! I never would have thought that I would ever read a “Little Red Riding Hood” retelling told from the wolf’s perspective (even though I had read a parody book of the “Three Little Pigs” told from the wolf’s perspective called “The True Story of the Three Little Pigs”). Amélie Fléchais has done a fantastic job at retelling the classic “Little Red Riding Hood” story from the wolf’s point of view as the wolf presented here is shown as being more sympathetic than the hunter and the young girl compared to the original story and that is what made this such a unique and creative read for me! I like the fact that the wolf here is presented as a young cub who does not know about the dangers of being around a hunter and is actually innocent of any wrongdoing in this story (well, except for accidentally eating all of the rabbit he was supposed to give to his grandmother). I also loved the mysterious and intense atmosphere that Amélie Fléchais provided in this story as I was sitting on the edge of my seat trying to see if any horrible disaster will befall Little Red Wolf and how he would be able to handle himself (or who would help him out) if he got into such a scary and dangerous situation.

Amélie Fléchais’ artwork: Amélie Fléchais’ artwork is probably the highlight of this book as all the images are drawn in watercolor paintings, which makes the imagery so gorgeous to look at. I also loved the haunting feel that Amélie Fléchais shows in the artwork as the illustrations are mostly in dark colors and it gives the story a mysterious and eerie feel, especially during the scenes where Little Red Wolf gets lost in the forest. But, probably my most favorite image in this book was the image of Little Red Wolf himself as he is drawn in an extremely adorable manner as he has large puppy dog eyes and a small cute nose that really brings out his innocent and adorable nature.

Red

What made me feel uncomfortable about this story: 

For anyone who does not like scary moments in graphic novels or novels in general, there are some intense scenes in this book that might scare younger readers, such as Little Red Wolf getting lost in the forest and the danger of possibly encountering the huntsman and his daughter. 
Also, I felt that the ending was a bit too abrupt and I wished that more was explained about the revelation at the end, rather than just stopping the story as soon as the revelation was being made. All this just made me want to have a sequel to this story so that way, the ending would be made clearer to me than it is now and so that way we can have a more broader expansion on the characters themselves.

Final Thoughts: 

Overall, “The Little Red Wolf” is one retelling of “Little Red Riding Hood” that you should definitely check out, especially if you enjoy hearing classic fairy tales being told from a different perspective! I would recommend this book to children ages six and up since the imagery might scare smaller children.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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Review
5 Stars
Superman and the Miserable, Rotten, No Fun, Really Bad Day by Dave Croatto
Superman and the Miserable, Rotten, No Fun, Really Bad Day - Dave Croatto, Tom Richmond

Genre:  Parody / Children's / Superheroes / Humor


Year Published: 2017


Year Read:  2017

Publisher:  Mad Books

Source: eARC (Edelweiss)

 

Superman

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

I remembered I used to watch Mad TV when I was little and I was a bit curious about this new parody book involving Superman that Mad Books had created and I managed to request it from Edelweiss. Since I was familiar with Mad TV, I was wondering if this was going to be a vulgar parody of Superman. BUT, I WAS WRONG! “Superman and the Miserable, Rotten, No Fun, Really Bad Day” which is written by Dave Croatto along with artwork by Tom Richmond is a clever and hilarious parody on the popular children’s classic “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” and it is definitely one parody that will have you rolling on the floor laughing!

The story starts off with Superman having trouble getting up in the morning as he accidentally stepped on his glasses and also realized at that moment that he may have sleep walked during the night. It was then that Superman found out that he was going to have a very bad day and man was he right! When Superman was on his way to work, he had to fight Doomsday, but in doing so, he ended up coming to work late and his boss Perry ended up yelling at him in front of everyone. Then, when Superman went to the Justice League, he was forced to do monitor duty, which was a job he really hated doing. Superman then thinks about moving to the Fortress of Solitude.

Will Superman’s day get even worse from here? 

Read this book to find out!
 


Wow! This…was…so…amazing!!! I have always loved parodies of my favorite franchises (provided that they are done right) and this was one parody that I felt was done right! Dave Croatto has done a fantastic job at writing this book as it not only greatly parodies “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day,” but it also sticks closely to the Superman mythos such as mentioning characters like Lois Lane, Jimmy and Perry White, the Fortress of Solitude and Superman’s time in the Justice League. I also loved the way that Dave Croatto weaved these two worlds together and manages to create a unique and hilarious take on the everyday life of Superman. Probably, some of my favorite parts in this book was the part where Superman busted up his shampoo bottle when he let loose his heat vision by accident and the part where Superman did not get the chance to ride in Wonder Woman’s invisible jet! Tom Richmond’s artwork was truly creative and greatly captures the feel of the artwork in “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.” I especially loved the fact that Superman is the only character in color while all the other characters are in black and white as it shows that Superman is the main focus of this story and it shows how he views each bad situation he gets into.

Superman

Overall, “Superman and the Miserable, Rotten, No Fun, Really Bad Day” is a truly fantastic read for children who enjoyed reading “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” and who enjoyed reading “Superman” comics! I would recommend this book to children ages five 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
Golden Son by Pierce Brown
Golden Son  - Pierce Brown

Genre: Science Fiction


Year Published: 2015


Number of Pages: 691 pages


Date Read: 8/4/2017



Publisher:   Gale Cengage Learning (Large Print)

 

 

Series: Red Rising #2


Source:  Library

 

Golden

“Home isn't where you're from, it's where you find light when all grows dark.” 

It has been awhile since I had last read “Red Rising” by Pierce Brown and when I found out about the rest of the books in Pierce Brown’s “Red Rising” trilogy, I just has to pick up the next book “Golden Son” as soon as possible and man, was I in for one intense and shocking ride!

Darrow used to be a Red, but when his beloved wife Eo ends up dying in the last book due to defying the high and mighty Golds, Darrow then decides to disguise himself as a Gold in order to infiltrate the Gold Empire and fulfill Eo’s dying dream to live a life of freedom. While in the Gold Empire, Darrow starts making friends at the Gold Academy and after he wins the deadly competition in the last book, he becomes Augustus’ most cherished warrior. However, Darrow soon realizes that the Sons of Ares are starting a rebellion against the Gold Empire and Darrow realizes that the only way he can take down the Gold Empire is if he causes a war between the Golds themselves. As Darrow becomes Augustus’ champion and puts his plan to action, he will soon learn about the importance of true friendship while discovering several betrayals within his army that might eventually break him.

Wow! Just wow…. After I had read the first book in the “Red Rising” series, I never would have thought that the second book “Golden Son” can beat the brutal, intense and shocking nature of “Red Rising.” But lo and behold, “Golden Son” managed to beat out “Red Rising” in terms of having the most brutal and shocking twists to ever happen in this series! Pierce Brown has done a fantastic job at writing this story as it is much more intense and shocking than the first book and I was quite surprised by the number of betrayals that happens to Darrow throughout this book as the characters that I expected to betray Darrow were not the characters that I was expecting. But probably the best part about this book is the characters themselves and how much they had developed from the first book, whether it is a positive or negative progression for them. Pierce Brown has done a great job at developing all of these characters from the first book, especially Darrow himself as he went from being a weak protagonist who was not sure about his goals in life and whether or not he can succeed in infiltrating the Gold Empire to being a strong protagonist who eventually went up the ranks of the Gold Empire and even had the courage to lead an army to take down his enemies. I also loved the progression that both Sevro and Mustang take in this book as they go through the most amazing development among Darrow’s other allies and I like the fact that Darrow and Mustang’s relationship actually progresses further in this book and I cannot wait to see more of Darrow and Mustang in the next book! I also loved the friendship shared between Sevro and Darrow as they have one of the most unique friendships I have ever read in any science fiction novel!

Golden

Anyone who does not like strong language and gory violence should be warned that there is some strong language in this book, such as the usage of the “s” and “f” word and it would probably be best to skim over these words if you are offended easily. Also, the violence is pretty strong in this book as it features massive slaughter of many people and the gory fights between the characters are told in great detail.

Overall, “Golden Son” is a truly intense and shocking second book in the “Red Rising” series that fans of dystopian fiction should definitely check out and now, I am going to read the third and final book in the series, “Morning Star” because the ending of this book is seriously killing me and I got to know what is going to happen to Darrow in the third book!

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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Review
5 Stars
The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle
The Grouchy Ladybug - Eric Carle

Title:  The Grouchy Ladybug

Author:  Eric Carle

Genre:  Animals / Bullying / Children's / Humor


Year Published: 1977


Year Read:  2010

Publisher:  HarperCollins Publishers

Source:  Library

Content Rating:  Ages 4+  (Bullying)

 

 

Ladybug

After I had read “The Very Hungry Caterpillar,” I really wanted to read more books by Eric Carle. “The Grouchy Ladybug” is definitely no exception in reading some of Eric Carle’s great works! “The Grouchy Ladybug” is a book by Eric Carle and it is about how a grouchy ladybug tries to pick a fight with the other animals no matter how large they are. “The Grouchy Ladybug” is truly one of the most hilarious books about the consequences of bullying that every child will definitely enjoy!

The book starts off with a friendly ladybug seeing some aphids on a leaf and wanted to have them for breakfast but then a grouchy ladybug comes in and refused to share the aphids with the friendly ladybug and challenged the friendly ladybug to a fight. When the friendly ladybug agreed to the challenged, the grouchy ladybug suddenly back down and it goes to find a much larger animal to fight with. After the grouchy ladybug meets up with a praying mantis, a sparrow, a skunk and other animals, it finally meets up with the biggest animal of all…

What animal does the grouchy ladybug meet up with the end?

Read the book to find out!
 


Seriously, this is one creative and hilarious book from the great mind of Eric Carle and both the story and the illustrations contribute greatly to this cautionary tale about bullying. Eric Carle makes this story extremely as the grouchy ladybug is shown as your average bully as he bullies the other animals into trying to fight with it and I loved the way that the grouchy ladybug encounters one large animal and then moves on to a larger animal than the last and what was so hilarious about this was how the grouchy ladybug always stated whenever it meets an animal larger than itself:

“Oh, you’re not big enough!” 

And that statement always makes me laugh because I always wondered about why the ladybug would want to pick a fight with someone who is much bigger than it is. It was also hilarious that the moment that the ladybug notices the larger animal’s special ability to defend itself, such as the skunk using its stink and the sparrow having a sharp beak, the grouchy ladybug just immediately runs off to find another animal. Eric Carle’s illustrations are simply beautiful and creative as the images are extremely colorful and keep the story running smoothly. The images that really stood out the most for me were the images of the grouchy ladybug itself as it always has a grouchy look on its face and looks so small when it flies up against the larger animals. My most favorite part of this book was whenever the grouchy ladybug meets the larger animals, the pages are sort of cut up to indicate each animal the ladybug passes and the larger the animal is, the longer the pages are. I also loved the way that there are clocks displayed at the top of the pages of each animal the ladybug meets as it indicates the time that the ladybug shows up to meet up with the animals.

Overall, “The Grouchy Ladybug” is a truly hilarious book that teaches a thing or two about the consequences of being a bully and any child who is a huge fan of Eric Carle’s will definitely get a kick out of this book. 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
Heathen Volume 1 by Natasha Alterici
Heathen Vol. 1 - Natasha Alterici, Natasha Alterici, Tess Fowler, Tamra Bonvillain, Charles Martin, Rebecca Rutledge, Kristen Grace

Genre: LGBT / Norse Mythology / Fantasy / Feminism / Adventure

 

Year Published: 2017

 

Year Read: 7/31/2017

 

Publisher: Vault Comics

 

Series: Heathen #1

 

Source: eARC (NetGalley)

 

 

Heathen

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

Introduction: 

I have noticed lately that I rarely got the chance to read graphic novels that features a LGBT character as the main protagonist and I have been searching for many graphic novels that contains main LGBT protagonists. Well, luckily NetGalley had decided to hand out such a graphic novel called “Heathen Volume One” which is written by Natasha Alterici along with artwork by Rachel Deering and I must say that this is easily one of the best LGBT graphic novels I have ever read!

What is this story about? 

The story starts off with a young Viking woman named Avdis who was banished from her homeland due to participating in a forbidden act in her land: kissing another woman. After this event, Aydis decided to go out on a mission to change the ways of Odin’s empire and the first thing she tries to do is to find and free the Valkyrie Brynhild. It turns out that Odin had cursed Brynhild by forcing her to return to her mountain prison if she cannot find a mortal who is willing to marry her and Aydis aims to bring Brynhild’s suffering to an end!

What I loved about this story: 

Natasha Alterici’s writing: Wow! Natasha Alterici has certainly done a wonderful job at writing this story as she is able to combine Norse Mythology with LGBT themes, which made this graphic novel such a unique read! I loved the way that Natasha Alterici wrote the dialogue between the characters as it really characterizes the characters and I loved the little nods to humor in the dialogue, especially between the two wolves Skull and Hati, which was the best part of the story. I also enjoyed the details involving Norse Mythology in this story since I am always interested in fairy tales and mythology and it was nice to be able to point out the characters from Norse Mythology that were mentioned in this story, such as Odin and the Valkyries. But probably the best part about this graphic novel was how it approached the issues that Aydis is going through. Natasha Alterici has done a fantastic job at paralleling the prejudice that Aydis is going through because she kissed another woman, to the real-world prejudice that the LGBT community is going through and it is great that there is a graphic novel that portrays a strong LGBT character in a positive light.

Rachel Deering’s artwork: Rachel Deering’s artwork is quite gorgeous to look at and I especially loved the focus on the characters themselves. The backgrounds are blank for the most part, apart from some trees, but the characters are drawn in such a detailed way, that they really stand out in the artwork. I also enjoyed the wilderness scenes as the trees surrounding the characters look truly luscious and they bring a certain beauty to the story.

Heathen

What made me feel uncomfortable about this story: 

For anyone who does not like nudity in a graphic novel series, there is a bit of nudity in this volume, especially with the images of Freyja with her breasts being openly exposed. Also, even though the artwork is gorgeous for the most part, I found the artwork to be a bit too scratchy at times and it was a bit hard for me to see what is going on in the story due to the artwork blurring out some action scenes.

Final Thoughts: 

Overall, “Heathen Volume One” is a fantastic graphic novel for anyone who loves Norse Mythology and LGBT characters!

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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Review
5 Stars
Robin and the White Rabbit by Ase Brunnstrom and Emma Lindstrom
Robin and the White Rabbit: A Story to Help Children with Autism to Talk about their Feelings and Join In - Åse Brunnström, Emma Lindström, Emma Lindström, Tony Attwood

Genre:  Autism / Animals / Disability / School / Friendship


Year Published: 2017


Year Read:  2017

Publisher: Jessica Kingsley Publishers

Source: eARC (Edelweiss)

 

 

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

It is rare that I find children’s books that discusses autism and how the protagonist who has autism deals with it. So, imagine my surprise and delight when I found out that Edelweiss has a copy of a children’s book that deals with autism called “Robin and the White Rabbit” by Åse Brunnström and Emma Lindström and man, was I impressed by this inspiring children’s book!

Meet Robin! 

Robin is a young girl who often has trouble expressing her true feelings as her emotions seems bottled up inside of her (or in this case, are shown as words that swirl around her) and she has problems with communicating with other children because of this. One day, when Robin goes and sits underneath a tree by herself while the other children are playing on the playground, a white rabbit suddenly comes up and offers Robin a way to communicate her feelings by showing her pictures of her favorite activities and making a chart that shows what activities she likes and what activities she does not like.

Wow! I was quite impressed with this book as it was both creative and inspiring at the same time! It is rare that I have read a book that deals with autism and Åse Brunnström and Emma Lindström have both done a wonderful job at writing this story as they show what autism is like and how you can help anyone who has autism express their feelings more clearly. I like the fact that Robin becomes friends with a white rabbit who truly helps Robin cope with her autism. I especially loved the way that the rabbit helps Robin by showing her pictures of various activities that she could play and placing them on a chart that tells the audience what activities she likes and what activities she does not like. This activity would certainly help a parent or a teacher understand about how to deal with children or other people who have autism and gain a better understanding of what having autism is like. I will admit that I was a little curious about whether or not the white rabbit is a figment of Robin’s imagination or really exists in that world, but because I loved the idea about this book exploring autism and the white rabbit helping Robin deal with her autism, I eventually did not mind where the white rabbit came from. Emma Lindström’s artwork is highly creative as the artwork has a mixture of watercolor drawn characters mixed with realistic photos which gives the story a unique atmosphere. I also loved the images of the white rabbit itself as it is drawn in a cute way and I loved seeing the little blue bag it carries as it makes me interested in seeing what the white rabbit has in its bag!

Overall, “Robin and the White Rabbit” is a truly cute and inspiring story that would be great for parents and teachers who are dealing with children and loved ones with autism and it is definitely a children’s book that is worth checking out! 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
Arrow to the Sun by Gerald McDermott
Arrow to the Sun - Gerald McDermott

Genre:  Native American / Parental Issues / Folktale / Fantasy


Year Published: 1974


Year Read:  2010

Publisher: The Viking Press

Source:  Library

 

 

Arrow

“Arrow to the Sun” is a Caldecott Medal Award winning book by Gerald McDermott that relates an old Pueblo Indian tale about a boy who tries to find his father, the Lord of the Sun and prove himself worthy to be his son. “Arrow to the Sun” is a fun and creative book that many children who love Native American folktales, will easily get into!

Gerald McDermott has done many wonders with both the illustrations and the writing. Gerald McDermott makes the story dramatic and simple at the same time as the writing is often shown on one side of the page and the other side of the page contains mainly images and many children who are adopted can easily relate to the boy as he tries to find his real father and many children can sympathize with the boy as some children might feel like they have to find their real parents to find out about their real heritage, so this story is similar to an adoption story for children who were often adopted and they want to learn more about their real parents. Gerald McDermott’s are extremely colorful as they show all the colorful vibes that you would find in a 70s show as this book was made during the 70s and the illustrations are also highly creative as the characters are all block shaped and there is no real figure to the characters to identify them as human beings as they look like blocks rather than human beings. The image that stood out the most was the image of the boy being turned into an arrow and being shot out into the heavens towards the sun and you can see that the stars also look block shaped but are also done in rainbow colors making the illustration look truly magnificent.

Arrow

“Arrow to the Sun” is a brilliant folktale about the power of courage and determination and many children who love hearing various folktales from the around the world will definitely love this book. I would recommend this book to children ages four and up since there is nothing inappropriate in this book unless smaller children might worry about the boy’s misfortune with the other boys for not having a father in his life.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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Review
5 Stars
A Ferret Named Phil by William Reimer
A Ferret Named Phil - William Reimer

Genre:  Australia / Bullying / Animals / Trickery / Friendship


Year Published: 2015


Year Read:  2017

Publisher: Liberty Road Publishing

Source:  eARC (Author)

 

 

Ferret

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

For years, bullying has been a major concern in many schools and there would be discussions about how children can handle being bullied in school in a nonviolent way. Well, when the author William Reimer gave me a copy of his children’s book called “A Ferret Named Phil” which deals with bullying, of course I was extremely interested in checking this book out since I wanted to read more books that dealt with bullying and how the characters deal with it and this book was definitely a pleasant surprise for me!

One day, a ferret named Phil wanted to take his friend Jane out for a picnic by the lake. Unfortunately, there was a scary hawk named Hugo who was always bullying Phil and the hawk suddenly decided to show up at Phil and Jane’s picnic to bully Phil once more. Phil tried to stand up to Hugo, but Hugo ended up knocking Phil and Jane’s picnic into the lake and kidnaps Jane to teach Phil a lesson.

Can Phil save Jane from Hugo?

Read this book to find out!
 


Wow! William Reimer did a fantastic job at writing this book as it details the ugliness of bullying and how one must defend themselves against bullying. I loved the way that William Reimer made this book both intense and uplifting as I was interested in seeing how Phil would stand up to Hugo, while also being shocked at the extremes that Hugo is willing to go with his bullying which includes kidnapping Jane just to teach Phil a lesson. I also loved the fact that Phil never uses violence to stand up to Hugo as he relies on his wit to deal with Hugo, which sends a positive message about how violence never solves a bullying problem and that you should use your wits to deal with bullying. James Moore’s artwork is truly gorgeous to look at as all the animal characters look realistic and I loved the watercolor illustrations as they give the artwork a luscious and beautiful feel. Probably my favorite artwork in this book are the illustrations of both Phil and Hugo themselves as Phil looks like an adorable ferret with a green scarf around his neck, which makes him look unique; while Hugo is terrifying to look at as he towers over both Phil and Jane and has red eyes which makes him look menacing. 

Ferret

Parents should know that there are some intense scenes in this book, especially regarding the bullying that Phil and Jane went through. Probably the scene that would scare some children the most would be the scene where Hugo kidnaps Jane as they might worry about whether or not Jane is going to make it through this ordeal. Parents might want to discuss with their children about bullying and how it has negative consequences on people and how they should handle it.

Overall, “A Ferret Named Phil” is a fantastic book about dealing with bullying and learning to stand up for yourself when being bullied. I would recommend this book to children ages five and up since the intense scenes would scare some smaller children. 

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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Review
5 Stars
All-Star Superman Volume 1 by Grant Morrison
All-Star Superman, Vol. 1 - Grant Morrison, Frank Quitely

Genre:  Superhero / Drama / Humor / Romance / Family / Action / Adventure


Year Published: 2007


Year Read:  7/15/2017

Publisher: DC Comics 

Series: All-Star Superman #1

Source:  Library

 

 

Superman

5.5 stars!!! 

Introduction: 

Now, I have a little confession to make (I seem to be making so many book confessions lately, right)? I had only read a few “Superman” comics over the years, which included “Superman: Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow” and “Superman: Secret Identity.” The reason why I have not read that many “Superman” comics was not because I hate Superman (I actually really like his character), but it was hard for me to look for some recommendations for good “Superman” stories while recommendations for good “Batman” stories came much more readily. One of the “Superman” stories that was always highly recommended to me was Grant Morrison’s run on “Superman” called “All-Star Superman.” At first, I was a bit hesitant about checking this series out because from what I had heard from some comic book fans, Grant Morrison’s works tend to jump off the deep end at a certain point in his stories and I had experienced that with his work on “Batman R.I.P.” However, after I finally decided to dive into this graphic novel, I now see why this particular graphic novel was so highly recommended to me and I have to say that “All-Star Superman Volume One” is one of the best “Superman” stories I had ever read!

What is this story about? 

The story starts off with Superman going to the sun to rescue a space crew who were on a mission to take fire from the sun and it turns out that because Superman went too near the sun, he contracted apoptosis, death of the body cells, which means that he will soon die. When Superman finds this out, he decides that he must do some things on Earth before he dies, such as temporarily giving his love interest Lois Lane superpowers for her birthday and trying to confess his secret identity to her, getting in a fight with Jimmy Olsen due to being affected by Black Kryptonite, meeting up with his nemesis Lex Luthor, and saying his goodbyes to his father Jonathan Kent.

Will Superman have time to do all of these things before he dies?

Read this graphic novel to find out!
 


What I loved about this story: 

Grant Morrison’s writing: I really enjoyed Grant Morrison’s writing in this graphic novel as the story has a nice mixture of drama and humor thrown in and I often found myself laughing at some of the situations in this volume, such as Superman and Lois’ encounter with the comical superhero duo Samson and Atlas. I also like the fact that this story tackles the subject about what would happen if Superman is about to die and how he would spend his last days on Earth (although, the concept about Superman dying is nothing new at this point). This gives Grant Morrison a chance to explore Superman’s life from his arrival to Earth and being adopted by Jonathan and Martha Kent to working in the Daily Planet and meeting Lois Lane and there is a great love to the character as not only do older readers get to see Superman’s life be presented again in this volume, but new readers will be able to understand more about Superman’s origins through a modern interpretation. I also enjoyed the way that Grant Morrison portrayed Superman in this volume as Superman is not shown as being a flat character, but has many dimensions to his personality as we get to see Superman become sad, happy, angry and humorous all at once in this volume; it was fantastic seeing the various emotions that Superman displays in this volume contribute to the story at hand.

Frank Quitely’s artwork: While there are some parts of Frank Quitely’s artwork that annoyed me a bit, which I will discuss more about in the cons section, overall, the artwork is extremely detailed and gorgeous to look at. Probably my most favorite image in this graphic novel was the image of Superman and Lois Lane kissing each other on the moon and you can see the gorgeous detail being done to Lois’ wavy hair as it is waving around in space.

Superman


What made me feel uncomfortable about this story: 

The only problem I have with this graphic novel is that there are so many things happening in the story that it would make it pretty confusing for anyone who is not used to reading “Superman” comics. Even though I found this graphic novel to be pretty entertaining, the narrative can get overcrowded at times because there are so many events going on and you have to read each issue a bit carefully to get the full details of each of the stories. Also, some of the artwork can be a bit off at times, especially with the way that Superman’s face seems to look like dough in some panels and I felt that he was drawn a bit too bulky in this volume, despite the fact that Superman is naturally muscular.

Final Thoughts: 

Overall, “All-Star Superman Volume One” is seriously one fantastic and hilarious volume that I would love to read over and over again if I get the chance to and I cannot wait to read the second volume of this series!

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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Review
4.5 Stars
Hockey Karma by Howard Shapiro
Hockey Karma (The Forever Friends Series) - Andres Mossa, Howard N. Shapiro

Genre:  Friendship / School / Drama / Drugs / Sports


Year Published: 2016


Year Read:  7/11/2017

Publisher: Animal Media Group 

Series: Forever Friends Trilogy #3

Source: eARC (NetGalley)

 

 

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. 

4.5 stars 

Introduction: 

YAY! NetGalley has sent me the final volume to Howard Shapiro’s hit series “Forever Friends Trilogy” called “Hockey Karma” and I must admit that after I read this graphic novel, it was a worthy conclusion to this series!

What is this story about? 

In this volume, Jeremiah “Jake” Jacobson is now thirty-two years old and is known as being the best hockey player in the world. Unfortunately, because Jake is getting older now and he is starting to lose his edge, especially to new and upcoming star teammate Barclay Pedersen, his family life and career is starting to rapidly come apart. Meanwhile, Tom Leonard has got his own issues to deal with as he is trying to get a project that would help improve their city off the ground. But Jake refuses to help out with the project due to dealing with his addiction to some medical pills to keep him in the game and Tom is wondering if he would ever get the project off the ground. Also, Tom’s old high school crush, Jaelithe returns to town and Tom rekindles his relationship with Jaelithe and the two are thinking about staying together. But unfortunately, Tom will soon discover that he may have to sacrifice his current lifestyle just to maintain a long-lasting relationship with Jaelithe.

Will Jake be able to get his life back together and will Tom soon discover what he really wants for his future?

Read this graphic novel to find out!
 


What I loved about this story: 

Howard Shapiro’s writing: Howard Shapiro’s writing continues to amaze me in this volume as all the characters are written extremely well and I just enjoyed the character development that each character goes through in this story. I loved the way that Howard Shapiro portrayed Jake’s condition as he is still recovering from his alcoholism from the last volume, only this time, he is dependent on pain medication and it realistically shows that even though Jake is trying to get help for his dependence on drugs, he is still struggling with trying to overcome his drug addiction. I also enjoyed the relationship shared between Tom and Jake as Tom is still trying to help Jake become a better person by helping him deal with his drug abuse and trying to help him mend his relationship with his family. I liked the way that Howard Shapiro also gave some focus to Tom in this volume as we finally get to see Tom have some of his story arcs resolved in this volume (him reuniting with his high school band “The Stereotypical Freaks” and him trying to rekindle his relationship with his high school crush Jaelithe) and I enjoyed seeing how much growth Tom goes through when he reunites with his old high school friends.

Andres J. Mossa’s artwork: Andres J. Mossa’s artwork is extremely gorgeous in this volume as all the characters are drawn realistically and seem to glow off the pages. I also loved the fact that Andres J. Mossa’s artwork is much more detailed in this volume than in the previous volumes as it greatly reflects the growing maturity in the stories and as the stories become more mature, the artwork becomes more detailed and realistic in tone.

Hockey

What made me feel uncomfortable about this story: 

The reason why I gave this book a four-and-a-half-star rating was because I felt that pacing was a bit too slow in some places and there was a lot of dialogue going on in this book that sort of slowed down the story a bit. I often had to speed through the dialogue just to get to the meat of the story and I kind of wished that some of the heavy dialogue was trimmed a bit so I could get to the more essential parts of the story.

Final Thoughts: 

Overall, “Hockey Karma” is a great conclusion to Howard Shapiro’s “Forever Friends Trilogy” that really cemented the importance of true friendship and I hope to see more works from Howard Shapiro soon!

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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Review
5 Stars
Garfield Gets in a Pickle by Jim Davis
Garfield Gets in a Pickle: His 54th Book - Jim Davis

Genre:  Humor / Animals / Relationships 

 

Year Published:  2012

 

Year Read: 7/7/2017

 

Series:  Garfield #54

Publisher: Ballantine Books 

Source:  Library

 

Introduction: 

I admit that when I saw another “Garfield” comic on my library shelf, I could not help myself and I ended up getting another “Garfield” comic called “Garfield Gets in a Pickle” and it is just as hilarious and witty as the previous “Garfield” comics I had read!

What is this story about? 

In this collection, we are introduced to more adventures of Garfield, his dim-witted sidekick Odie, his goofy owner Jon and his level-headed girlfriend Liz and the foursome get into hilarious adventures such as Jon and Liz going out on dinner dates, Garfield’s dealings with the mice and Garfield’s dealings with the spiders!

What I loved about this story: 

Jim Davis’ writing: Jim Davis’ writing continues to be as witty and hilarious as the previous volumes and even though Garfield and his family are still in the same situations we usually see them in (Garfield dealing the mice and spiders, Jon and Liz going out on dates, Garfield picking on Odie), the writing continues to be entertaining to read and I still enjoy seeing these adventures that Garfield, Jon, Odie and Liz continue to get into! I also loved the fact that Liz is usually the voice of reason to Jon’s bizarre mannerisms and Garfield still continues to snark about Jon and Odie’s buffoonery as it is great seeing these two sane characters trying to deal with the humorous chaos going on around them. 

Jim Davis’ artwork: Jim Davis’ artwork is still as creative and humorous as it has always been and I loved the humorous way that Jim Davis draws these characters as they all have huge bulging eyes that greatly reflects the humorous nature of this series!

Final Thoughts: 

Overall, “Garfield Gets in a Pickle” is another brilliant collection of “Garfield” strips that fans of the “Garfield” series will greatly enjoy!

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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Review
5 Stars
Three Samurai Cats by Eric A. Kimmel
Three Samurai Cats: A Story from Japan - Eric A Kimmel, Mordicai Gerstein

Genre:  Japan / Animals / Trickery / Folktale / Peace


Year Published: 2003


Year Read:  2008

Publisher: Holiday House

 

Source:  Library

 

 

Three

“Three Samurai Cats” is an ancient Japanese folktale about how three samurai cats come to the Daimyo’s castle to defeat a savage rat with the last samurai cat giving the rat a taste of his own medicine. Eric A. Kimmel’s hilarious retelling and Mordicai Gerstein’s colorful drawings combine greatly to make a great and funny story from ancient Japan. 

Eric A. Kimmel’s humorous storytelling of an ancient Japanese folktale is extremely inventive and witty as the last samurai cat uses a nonviolent stragety to defeat the rat at the end of the book. I found the part where the rat kicks the fierce samurai cat across the room to be extremely funny since the samurai cat looked funny when he crashed to the ground. Mordicai Gerstein’s illustrations are colorful yet scratchy, giving the story a humourous edge. One of the illustrations that really stood out the most for me was the image of Neko Roshi giving an intense look after he had just woken up when the rat yelled out “help!” when he was stuck in the rice ball. Neko Roshi’s eyes look huge like when a cat sees something that terrifies it and his hair also stood on its end. 

Three

“Three Samurai Cats” is an excellent story about how violence does not always solve the problem and how clear thinking can always win the battle if you allow the right moment to come. I would recommend this book to children ages five and up since the younger children might not understand the Japanese vocabulary, such as daimyo and docho.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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Review
4 Stars
Hola! Let's Learn Spanish: Visit New Places and Make New Friends! by Judy Martialay
¡hola! Let's Learn Spanish POD: Visit New Places and Make New Friends - Judy Martialay

Genre:  Mexico / Foreign Language / Educational / Party


Year Published: 2015


Year Read:  2017

Publisher: PoliglotKidz Press

Source:  eARC (Author)

 

 

Hola

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

Now, I have read many children’s books that dealt with teaching children about foreign languages, but I had never read a children’s book where a term would be phrased in English and then be translated into Spanish in the same sentence and author Judy Martialay has certainly created an intriguing story that combines both Spanish and English terms in her book “Hola! Let’s Learn Spanish: Visit New Places and Make New Friends!”

Basically, this book teaches children about Mexico and its culture and language, which their language is Spanish. There is also a story woven in this book that stars a small Mexican jumping bean named Panchito who wanted to find new friends that he could play with and he ends up journeying through the marketplace and winds up at a piñata party!

What will Panchito discover at the piñata party?

Read this book to find out!
 


Judy Martialay has done an excellent job at creating a book that would help children understand not only about the language of Mexico, but about its culture as well and I have always enjoyed children’s books that try to teach children about foreign cultures and how to pronounce their languages at the same time. I had a lot of fun in trying to pronounce the Spanish verses for the English verses, such as “Hola” meaning “hello” in Spanish and “Los Frijoles” meaning “beans” in Spanish and I loved the way that Judy Martialay had the English verse being spoken first and then the Spanish translation for that verse coming right after the verse such as this phrase “Look! Miren!” as it helps children see how that English verse is translated into Spanish. Judy Martialay’s artwork is extremely cute to look at as the characters are rendered in scratchy and simple outlines and I enjoyed the images of Panchito himself as he is shown as a jumping bean who has stick like legs and a small hat that he wears in each panel.

Hola

The reason why I gave this book a four-star rating was because I felt that the pacing was a bit too slow at times and I sort of wished that the story moved at a faster pace in introducing us to the world of Mexico.

Overall, “Hola! Let's Learn Spanish: Visit New Places and Make New Friends!” is a great book for children in learning about Mexico and their language Spanish and would be a great book in helping children understand foreign languages! I would recommend this book to children ages three and up since there is nothing inappropriate in this book and the Spanish language is introduced in a way that would be easy for smaller children to understand.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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