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!

 

 

!!! spoiler alert !!! Review
3.5 Stars
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Enemies Old, Enemies New Volume 2 by Kevin Eastman and Tom Waltz
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Vol. 2: Enemies Old, Enemies New - Kevin Eastman, Tom Waltz, Mateus Santolouco

Genre:  Action / Ninjas / Animals / Superheroes / Retelling


Year Published: 2016


Year Read:  2/11/2017

Publisher: IDW Publishing


Series: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles  #2

 

Ninja

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

3.5 stars


Introduction:

Now, I have to tell everyone this: I am a huge fan of “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!” I may not have the toys or the video games to prove that, but I sure as heck got a lot of movies and DVDs to prove that theory! So, after I read part of Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird’s original 1980s run of “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” (the comic book series that jumpstarted the entire franchise), I was looking forward to checking out more “Ninja Turtles” comics and lo and behold, NetGalley happened to have a volume of the legendary IDW series of “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” available for free called “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Enemies Old, Enemies New Volume 2!”

What is this story about?

In this reboot of the famous franchise “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” the story starts off with Master Splinter explaining to the audience about how he remembers a previous life in Feudal Japan where he was known as an honorable ninja named Hamato Yoshi, who was a member of the Foot Clan. But one day, when Hamato Yoshi’s former ally Oroku Saki wanted to kill a group of innocent people to show everyone that the Foot Clan was powerful, Yoshi disagreed with him and left the clan. Yoshi’s depature caused Oroku Saki to go to Yoshi’s house and murder his entire family and also Yoshi himself and at this moment, the audience wonders what became of this life that Master Splinter was reminiscing about. Meanwhile, during the present time, April and Casey Jones had finally met each other due to April needing someone to teach her self-defense, which Casey was obliged to do and Casey needing a tutor to help bring his grades up in school, which April could do. Later on, Baxter Stockman is up to no good as he creates a set of machines called “Mousers” in order to take down the Ninja Turtles and to grab Master Splinter so that way he could use Splinter’s blood to make super powered mutants for General Krang’s army!

What I loved about this story:

Kevin Eastman and Tom Waltz’s writing: I will admit that I was a bit interested in seeing how a reboot of “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” would look like since we were going to get a reboot of this long running franchise eventually. So after reading this graphic novel, I was actually quite impressed with how they rebooted the origin story of the Ninja Turtles while remaining faithful to the original series. I loved the fact that Kevin Eastman and Tom Waltz retold Hamato Yoshi and Oroku Saki’s backstory to the audience since I have always felt that it was important to explain about Master Splinter’s backstory to the newer audience so that way, they could understand the world of the Ninja Turtles much better if they know about Hamato Yoshi and Oroku Saki’s backstories. Even though I wished that more was explored with in this department, I enjoyed how the characters interacted with each other, especially the turtles with Master Splinter and April and Casey with each other! I like the fact that the turtles refer to Master Splinter as their father as it made their relationship much more heartwarming to watch and actually gives a closer emphasis on how the turtles see Master Splinter as more than their sensei. I also enjoyed the growing interaction with April and Casey as I enjoyed seeing them share their personal lives with each other and I was also interested in how April was able to witness the turtles and Master Splinter’s transformation into the mutated heroes they are known as now and I am really interested to see where April and Casey will go after this volume!

Dan Duncan and Mateus Santolouco’s artwork: Even though the artwork is a bit too scratchy, I do enjoy the dark and gritty feel of the artwork as it shows that this retelling of the Ninja Turtles is dark and edgy like the original Mirage Comics and I also enjoyed the action sequences as they are shown in great detail.

What made me feel uncomfortable about this story:

The reason why I gave this book a three and a half star rating was because while the story was interesting, I felt that the story tended to jump around a bit too much due to having so many events happening in one volume (the turtles learning about their origins, April and Casey meeting each other, Baxter Stockman building his mousers, Krang trying to create an army) and the story felt a bit cluttered as a result. Also, I felt that while the artwork showed the action sequences in great detail, it was a bit too scratchy for my tastes and it was hard to see exactly what the characters were doing with the artwork being halfway blurred out and not being able to fully see the characters’ actions.

[****SPOILER ALERT****

This is a bit of a small nitpick, but I find the fact that in this version, the turtles and Master Splinter were actually Hamato Yoshi and his sons reincarnated to be a bit too far-fetched for my tastes. Maybe as a long-time fan of this series, I was so used to the turtles just being mutated by ooze and the fact that they are reincarnated in this version just seems a bit odd to me. Maybe once I read future volumes of this rebooted series, I might start to get used to the idea of the turtles and Splinter being reincarnations of their former selves.

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


Final Thoughts:

Overall, even though “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Enemies Old, Enemies New Volume 2” was an interesting read and a pretty decent retelling of the Ninja Turtles stories, the cluttered storytelling and scratchy artwork made this volume a bit difficult to read through at times and I hope it improves in the next volume.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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Review
5 Stars
D.W. All Wet by Marc Brown
D.W. All Wet - Marc Brown, Marty Appel

Genre:  Animals / Beach / Siblings / Family / Vacation


Year Published: 1988


Year Read:  2017

Publisher: Little, Brown and Company

Series: D.W. #2

 

 

 

DW

After I read “D.W. the Picky Eater,” I got even more interested in Marc Brown’s “D.W.” series since I am a huge fan of his “Arthur” series and I wanted to get into the “D.W.” series as well! So, when I finally got around to reading “D.W. All Wet,” I was pleasantly surprised by the simplistic yet hilarious storytelling of this book!

The story starts off with Arthur’s family going off to the beach for a nice vacation, but D.W. was complaining about not wanting to go to the beach because she did not want to get wet. Even though her family enjoyed swimming in the ocean, D.W. still refused to go out into the ocean for a swim. A few moments later, Arthur was planning on going for a walk and D.W. wanted to go with Arthur, so she climbed on Arthur’s back and they started walking along the beach with D.W. giving Arthur directions on where to go on the beach. Suddenly, Arthur starts losing control of where they were walking and…

Where is Arthur taking D.W. and will D.W. ever get in the water?

Read this book to find out!


You know what, I have always loved Marc Brown’s cute and witty writing on his “Arthur” series and this book is still as witty and fun to read as Marc Brown’s other “Arthur” books! I loved the way that Marc Brown wrote D.W.’s predicament in not wanting to go into the water because she did not want to get wet and it was hilarious seeing D.W. refusing to go into the water even though her family are enjoying themselves. I also found myself relating to D.W.’s predicament in not wanting to go into the water because I remembered when I was little and I was trying to swim for the first time, I did not want to go into the water because I was afraid of drowning, but I eventually got the courage to go into the water after I saw how much fun everyone else was having in the water and this book is extremely relatable to any child who has trouble trying to get into the water at the beach for the first time. I also like the way that Marc Brown portrayed Arthur and D.W.’s relationship in this book as they are not as antagonistic to each other as they usually are in the other “Arthur” books and it was great seeing Arthur trying to help his sister D.W. get into the water and show her how fun swimming can be. Marc Brown’s artwork is much more subdued in this book than in his other books as the outlines of the characters are much lighter in tone instead of the usual bold black lines and the color tones are much more earthly, giving this story a more traditional and down to earth tone.

Overall, “D.W. All Wet” is a truly fantastic and fun book to read for children who love reading books about beaches and having the same experiences as D.W. did. I would recommend this book to children ages four and up since there is nothing inappropriate in this book, unless D.W.’s bratty behavior might be a problem for some children.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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Review
4 Stars
Time of Wonder by Robert McCloskey
Time of Wonder - Robert McCloskey

Genre:  Family / Nature / Weather / Poetry / Exploration


Year Published: 1957


Year Read:  2010

Publisher: The Viking Press

 

 

Wonder

When I first read this book as a child, I did not really care for this book since I thought that this book was too boring to sit through. However, when I read this book later on as an adult, I realized that this book was a truly moving book. “Time of Wonder” is a Caldecott Medal award winning book from the great mind of Robert McCloskey and it is about how a family spends their time on the islands enjoying the beauties of the island. “Time of Wonder” may seem a bit too boring for smaller children, but it is truly one of Robert McCloskey’s most beautiful and moving books ever created!

Robert McCloskey has done a great job at making the story extremely dreamy and beautiful as he describes the girls’ adventures on the island in a dreamy and poetic fashion, giving the story a beautiful feeling, the type of feeling you get when you go to a wonderful place. Robert McCloskey’s illustrations are much different in this book than in his other books since the images are actually colored instead of the usual black and white images that he usually uses for most of his books. Robert McCloskey’s illustrations are truly realistic and beautiful as he shows images of the island showing its beauty towards the two girls. The images that stood out the most in this book are the images of the ferns growing and the images of the hurricane coming towards the island. The images with the ferns growing shows the ferns uncurling themselves from the ground, which is truly a beautiful sight and the images of the hurricane coming to the island shows the storm making a strong wind that violently blows at the family’s house and you can see the waves being blown so violently and the family being blown by the wind as the father tries desperately to close the door.

Wonder

Smaller children might be bored with this book since the beginning is a tad bit too slow and the action does not really come around until the scene of the hurricane coming to the island. Also, the length of this book is much longer than most picture books and many small children might become bored with this book. Parents might want to read one section of the book for the first day and then read the second section of the book the next day so that way children would not become so easily bored.

“Time of Wonder” is a beautiful and enchanting book about enjoying the true beauty of nature that will have many children respecting nature so much more. I would recommend this book to children ages five and up due to the slow beginning.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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Review
4 Stars
The Gingerbread Boy by Paul Galdone
The Gingerbread Boy - Paul Galdone

Genre:  Food / Fairy Tale / Retelling / Trickery


Year Published: 1975


Year Read:  2017

Publisher: Clarion Books

 

 

 

Gingerbread

Now, as long as I could remember, I have always heard the stories about everyone’s favorite trouble making food product the “Gingerbread Man” and I had read a couple of children’s books in the past that detailed the Gingerbread Man’s adventures (although it has been years since I had last read a “Gingerbread Man” book). So, when I found out that Paul Galdone had written his own interpretation of the Gingerbread Man story called “The Gingerbread Boy,” I was a bit surprised to see this edition pop up and I had to check it out!

The story starts off with a little old woman and a little old man not having any children of their own and they decided to make a Gingerbread Boy to make up for it. When the old woman put the Gingerbread boy in the oven, she went off to go do some chores in the house and it was then that she forgot about the Gingerbread Boy and the oven started to burn. When the old woman quickly went to open the oven, out jumped the Gingerbread Boy and he ended up running out of the house! This then causes an escalating adventure for the Gingerbread Boy as he runs away from both the old woman and the old man and most of the villagers, while shouting out:

“Run! Run! Run!
Catch me if you can!
You can’t catch me!
I’m the Gingerbread Boy,
I am! I am!”


After the Gingerbread Boy outruns everyone in the village, he meets up with a fox and…

Will the fox catch the Gingerbread Boy?

Read this book to find out!


Paul Galdone’s retelling of the “Gingerbread Man” was quite unique and cute to read as I rarely come across many “Gingerbread Man” interpretations where the titular Gingerbread Man is portrayed as a boy (even though there were no hints about the Gingerbread being a boy other than being called a boy). I also enjoyed the scenes where the Gingerbread Boy ran away from various characters who want to eat him up as it was amusing that the Gingerbread Boy came up with this rhyme to brag about how he can evade any of his pursuers and I found myself repeating the rhymes whenever the Gingerbread Boy escapes from his pursuers. Paul Galdone’s artwork was fun to look at as all the characters and settings look scratchy as it has an old fashioned feel that made the story great to read through. I also loved the images of the Gingerbread Boy itself as it truly looks like a baked gingerbread cookie that happens to come to life and run across the pages in happy glee!

The reason why I gave this book a four star rating was because I felt that the Gingerbread Boy’s taunting verses:

“Run! Run! Run!
Catch me if you can!
You can’t catch me!
I’m the Gingerbread Boy,
I am! I am!”


Had started to get a bit tedious after a while, especially since we keep seeing these same verses pop up on every page every time the Gingerbread Boy runs away from his pursuers. While young children will get enjoyment out of repeating this verse every time the Gingerbread Boy escapes his pursuers, some older readers might find the constant repeatings of this verse to be a bit of a hassle to read through over and over again.

Overall, “The Gingerbread Boy” is a cute book for anyone who is a huge fan of the “Gingerbread Man” stories. I would recommend this book to children ages five and up since the ending of this book might disturb some smaller children.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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Review
5 Stars
Horton Hatches the Egg by Dr. Seuss
Horton Hatches the Egg - Dr. Seuss

Genre:  Animals / Responsibility / Drama / Family


Year Published: 1940


Year Read:  2010

Series: Horton the Elephant #1

Publisher: Random House

 

Horton

"Horton Hatches the Egg" is one of Dr. Seuss' most memorable classics as it stars everyone's favorite elephant, Horton! This time, Horton has his hands full as he tries his best to take care of a lazy bird named Mayzie's egg while she goes off to take a vacation. Unfortunately, hunters come in the jungle and they got Horton trapped! Will Horton get out of this dangerous predicament and still protect Mayzie's egg? Read the story to find out!

Dr. Seuss had done a great job at both illustrating and writing this book. What was so unique about this book were the illustrations. The main colors used for the images were blue, black, white and red, which makes the book extremely creative as few books use only three or four colors to color the images. Horton the elephant always wore a smile on his face, despite his horrendous situation, making him a truly innocent and friendly animal. A great trait that this book has shown is how loyal and determine Horton is as he was willing to take care of Mayzie's egg and he refused to let anyone tease him about taking care of the egg since he wanted to follow on his word that he will take good care of the egg.

Horton

The only problem this book has, in terms of if it is appropriate for children, is that Mayzie was being selfish around Horton and she refused to take responsibility for taking care of her egg at the expense of Horton. But, don't worry, Mayzie's irresponsible actions are shown in a negative light and the story strongly encourages children to be more responsible and to not follow Mayzie's example of irresponsibility.

"Horton Hatches the Egg" is truly a memorable classic about the importance of being loyal and keeping your promise to people and this book will easily be an instant hit for children everywhere. I would recommend this book to children ages four and up since there is nothing inappropriate in this book unless you count Mayzie's irresponsible behavior being unsuitable for children to learn from.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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Review
4.5 Stars
The Sea King's Daughter by Aaron Shepard
The Sea King's Daughter: A Russian Legend - Aaron Shepard

Genre:  Music / Romance / Russia / Sea / Folktale / Magic


Year Published: 1997


Year Read:  2017

Publisher:  Skyhook Press

 

Sea King

4.5 stars

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

I have always loved reading Russian folktales and when NetGalley offered the timeless classic “The Sea King’s Daughter” by Aaron Shepard along with gorgeous artwork by Gennady Spirin, I was so excited to check this little baby out and I was not disappointed by the results!

Once upon a time, in the city of Novgorod the Great in Russia, there lived a poor but contented musician named Sadko, who would usually play his twelve string gusli during various parties that he was invited to. Everyone at the parties would happily dance to his music and Sadko was content in learning that his music was causing so much joy for the people of Novgorod! One day however, Sadko wanted to find a wife, but none of the Maidens at the parties would marry him due to him being poor. So, when Sadko started playing his gusli over the River Volkhov, the mighty Sea King suddenly popped out of the ocean and invites Sadko to play at his underwater palace. Sadko decides to go to the underwater palace, but once he gets there, the Sea King offers Sadko a chance to marry one of his daughters and stay in his kingdom forever.

Will Sadko marry one of the Sea King’s daughters and will he ever return back to his home in Novgorod?

Read this book to find out!


Wow! I was quite impressed with this book, especially with the numerous nods to Russian culture displayed in the story! I loved the fact that Aaron Shepard incorporated many Russian elements in this story as we get to see the various instruments that are shown in Russia such as Sadko’s gusli and I also loved the fact that the story uses the themes of dancing and music to be a major factor in Sadko’s life and how they affect his decisions to make a happier life for himself. I also loved the dilemma that Aaron Shepard brings to the story as Sadko has to decide if he wants to stay in the Sea King’s palace and marry his daughter or not marry the Sea King’s daughter and stay in his hometown Novgorod as it provides an interesting situation for Sadko and the reader is free to engage in deciding which decision will make Sadko happy. But my most favorite part of this book was the artwork done by Gennady Spirin as the artwork was simply gorgeous to look at! I loved the images of the citizens of Novgorod dancing to Sadko’s music as the citizens just look so cheerful whenever they are dancing and the artwork seems to glow off the pages as you see the people dancing! I especially loved the way that Gennady Spirin designed the underwater palace of the Sea King as it looked truly exquisite and beautiful and I enjoyed seeing the images of various underwater creatures like fish and crabs occupying the underwater palace. But what I loved the best about Gennady Spirin’s artwork were the exotic Russian clothing that the characters wore in the story as I often wanted to wear such clothing and it really brings out the Russian elements of this tale!

Sea King

The reason why I took off half a star from the rating was because I felt that the story was slowly paced and it was sometimes hard for me to get completely engaged in the story because some scenes seemed to drag out too long. Also, for anyone who does not like bittersweet endings in stories, this story does have a bittersweet ending. I will not tell you what happens at the end, but I must admit that I found myself a bit unsatisfied with how abrupt the ending seemed to be.

Overall, “The Sea King’s Daughter” is a truly great book about finding your true happiness in the world and anyone who loves Russian folktales will definitely enjoy this story! I would recommend this book to children ages six and up since the length of the book might be too long for some smaller children to handle.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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Review
5 Stars
Kitten's First Full Moon by Kevin Henkes
Kitten's First Full Moon - Kevin Henkes

Genre:  Animals / Humor / Bedtime / Adventure / Perseverance 


Year Published: 2004


Year Read:  2011

Publisher: Greenwillow Books      

 

 

Kitten

I have been reading Kevin Henkes’ works ever since I was a child and every one of his children’s books always featured mice as the main characters. Well, imagine my surprise when I finally found a book by Kevin Henkes that was about a cat! “Kitten’s First Full Moon” is a Caldecott Medal award winning book by Kevin Henkes and it is about a small kitten who tries to grab a bowl of milk in the sky (the moon!) “Kitten’s First Full Moon” is a truly cute book that every child would definitely love for many years!

I was really interested in how well crafted this book was! Kevin Henkes has done an excellent job at writing this story about a small kitten’s attempts to grab a “bowl of milk” in the sky. The writing is extremely simple yet cute at the same time and I loved all the creative ways that Kitten tries to get to the moon, like trying to lick at it, jump towards the moon and chase after the moon. It was also cute in how the kitten mistakes the full moon for being a bowl of milk as it strongly relates to any child’s first experiences with a certain object, like say a child mistakes a piece of chalk for candy and it was this experience that Kitten has that made this book extremely relatable to everyone who had mistaken objects for something else. Kevin Henkes’ illustrations are truly beautiful and adorable as Kevin Henkes draws the Kitten in an extremely cute manner that my heart literally melted whenever I keep seeing an image of the little white kitten! I also loved the background images in the story as they truly looking dazzling, especially the scene where Kitten is running through the fields and you can see flowers and tall grass as she approaches them. The black and white colorings of the images make this book extremely fascinating to look at as it made the images look both dramatic and effective at the same time!


Overall, “Kitten’s First Full Moon” is a truly cute book for children who love reading about cats and experiencing new things in life. I would recommend this book to children ages three and up since the format of this book is simple for smaller children to read.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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Review
5 Stars
Garfield Brings Home the Bacon by Jim Davis
Garfield Brings Home the Bacon: His 53rd Book - Jim Davis

Genre:  Humor / Animals / Relationships



Year Published:  2012



Year Read: 1/14/2017



Series:  Garfield #53

 

 

 

Publisher: Ballantine Books 

 

 

 

Garfield

Introduction:

Since I have been reading “Garfield” comics like almost every year since I started this comic book series years ago, I have decided to make it a tradition for myself to read a “Garfield” comic every year and this year, I picked up another “Garfield” comic called “Garfield Brings Home the Bacon” and it is just as hilarious and witty as the previous “Garfield” comic books I had read!

What is this story about?

In this collection, Garfield continues to have fun adventures with his dorky owner Jon Arbuckle, his dim witted sidekick Odie and the sane Liz as his adventures go from having dreams about food falling from the sky to smacking spiders left and right!

What I loved about this story:

Jim Davis’ writing: Jim Davis’ writing continues to be witty and hilarious to read through as I thoroughly enjoyed Garfield’s snarky comments about Jon’s dorky ways and Odie’s simple mindedness and I also loved the fact that Garfield and Liz seem to bond with each other due to both of them being snarky towards Jon’s odd lifestyle, although Liz is a bit more understanding of the two due to dating Jon. I also enjoyed seeing Arlene, Garfield’s love interest, in this collection since it is rare that we see storylines that revolve around Arlene and I hope that the future “Garfield” comic book collections feature more of Arlene just so we can see another cat who can match wits with Garfield!

Jim Davis’ artwork: Jim Davis’ artwork is as usual hilarious and creative to look at as all the characters are drawn in an exaggerated manner. But the two characters that really stood out in this volume were Liz and Arlene themselves as they are drawn with huge lips and eyelashes that set them apart from the rest of the goofy cast!

Garfield

Final Thoughts:

Overall, “Garfield Brings Home the Bacon” is another fantastic collection of “Garfield” comics that anyone who is a huge fan of “Garfield” will enjoy greatly!


Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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Review
4.5 Stars
Lila and the Crow by Gabrielle Grimard
Lila and the Crow - Gabrielle Grimard

Genre:  Bullying / Animals / Fantasy /School


Year Published: 2016


Year Read:  2017

Publisher:  Annick Press

 

 

Lila



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


After I finished reading “Lila and the Crow” by Gabrielle Grimard, I noticed that I had just read another bird themed book from the publisher Annick Press and that was “Rosie the Raven,” which I thoroughly enjoyed! “Lila and the Crow” was a truly unique children’s book about the importance of accepting your own individual appearances no matter what other people say!

Lila had just recently moved to a new town and she wanted to make some new friends on her first day of school. But when Lila comes to school, a boy named Nathan ends up making fun of her by saying that she looks like a crow and this causes the rest of the class to make fun of Lila too. The next day, Lila tried to cover her hair since the other kids said that it was as dark as a crow, but then the other kids started saying that Lila has dark skin like a crow’s and they continued bullying her about her “crow” appearance until Lila had nearly covered up her whole body to avoid the bullying. One day however, the school’s autumn festival had arrived and all of Lila’s classmates were excited to be wearing costumes during the event. But Lila was still miserable from all the bullying she has received and when she finally hits her lowest point, a crow suddenly came up to Lila. It turns out that the crow has been following Lila throughout the story and it was trying to tell Lila something, but Lila kept ignoring the crow throughout the story. Now, Lila decides to give her attention to the crow and…

What is the crow trying to tell Lila?

Read this book to find out!


Gabrielle Grimard has done a great job at telling this story as it details the upsetting effects that bullying has on people (especially children), while also teaching the readers about the importance of being yourself no matter what everyone else says about your appearance. Whenever I saw Lila getting bullied at school due to looking different from the other students, I felt a lot of emotion for her as I know how upsetting bullying can be for a child, especially if the child did not do anything that would warrant such cruelty. I was amazed at how Gabrielle Grimard realistically shows the impact that bullying can have on a child as we see scenes of Lila trying to cover herself up to avoid the bullying and getting more miserable as the bullying worsens. I was also intrigued about Lila’s relationship with the crows (even though not much was really explained about the context of their relationship) as it gave the book a supernatural feel as it seems like Lila is connected to the crows somehow and the crows really want to help Lila with her problems at school. Gabrielle Grimard’s artwork is absolutely gorgeous to look at as Lila looks extremely unique from her classmates as she is mostly dressed in solid red colors while her classmates are in more colorful clothing. I really loved the images of the crows and the forest life itself as it looks so exotic and I loved the way that the crows look mysterious on each image as you are wondering what they want to say to Lila throughout the story.

Lila

The reason why I took off half a star from the rating was because I felt that the characters were a bit too flat, especially regarding Lila as we do not know why she moved from her old town or why the crows want to communicate with her. I was also wondering about whether Lila was connected to the crows or not as it seemed a bit bizarre that Lila is the only person who can kind of communicate with the crows and it makes me wonder if Lila had any sort of special power that we should be aware of.

Overall, “Lila and the Crow” is a great read for anyone who wants to read about the negative effects of bullying and for anyone who wants to read about birds (crows, especially)! 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
Alice by Christina Henry
Alice - Christina Henry

Genre: Fantasy / Horror / Thriller / Adventure


Year Published: 2015


Number of Pages: 291 pages


Date Read: 1/6/2017   



Publisher: Ace Books

 

 

Series: The Chronicles of Alice #1

 

 

Alice

5.5 stars!!!

“Pretty little Alice. We’ll make you fine and plump, won’t we, pretty girl? Pretty Alice.”

You know something? I thought that the darkest retelling of “Alice in Wonderland” I had ever been introduced to was either “American McGee’s Alice” video game series or Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland.” But then, after I read Christina Henry’s take on “Alice in Wonderland” called “Alice,” it turns out that this book blew all the other dark interpretations of “Alice in Wonderland” away with its constant themes of graphic violence and rape!

The story starts off with Alice being held in a hospital (or a mental institution) due to her going insane a few years ago and the problem with this is that Alice cannot remember how she ended up in the hospital in the first place. The only bits of memories she has left is that she was having a tea party with a white rabbit and it turned out that the white rabbit had raped her after the party, but Alice had managed to escape the White Rabbit’s clutches. Meanwhile, Alice meets up with a fellow male inmate named Hatcher, who was also suffering from amnesia and seems to be connected to a mysterious monster named the Jabberwocky. Later on unfortunately, the hospital mysteriously burns down and Alice and Hatcher manage to escape from the burning hospital and it was then that they discovered that the Jabberwocky was responsible for burning down the hospital and it seems to be chasing after both Alice and Hatcher! It turns out that Hatcher and Alice both have mysterious powers that could defeat the Jabberwocky, but in order to fully defeat the Jabberwocky, Alice and Hatcher must obtain a rare weapon that could destroy the Jabberwocky and they head down to the dangerous and revolting insides of the Old City in order to seek such a weapon.

Wow…just wow…Just how in the world did I end up loving a book that had so many rape scenes and violence? I guess the storytelling was so well written that I just ended up getting hooked to this book! Christina Henry has done a brilliant job at creating a darker retelling of “Alice in Wonderland” in this book as she manages to make this book both terrifying and exciting at the same time! I enjoyed the dark and twisted take on this tale as characters like the white rabbit, the Cheshire cat and the Caterpillar are much more villainous in this story than in their original formats as they are shown as actively trying to harm both Alice and Hatcher throughout their journey and are also engaged in enslaving most of the citizens in the Old City. I also loved the way that Christina Henry made this story so frightening and intense as I was seriously disgusted at the many rape and sexual scenes in this story and yet I was happy that we have a strong female protagonist in Alice who would do anything to save the people of Old City from the antagonists’ grasps. Now, I would like to talk about the characters themselves and the two characters that I automatically fell in love with were Alice and Hatcher! I loved the way that Christina Henry portrayed Alice’s character as Alice goes through some great character development in this story as she started out as being a meek and traumatized character, but as the story goes on, she starts becoming a much stronger and independent character who tries to save the people of Old City and takes out evil with her handy little knife! But probably the most interesting and awesome character in this story was none other than Hatcher himself! I loved the fact that Hatcher was such a mysterious character as you wonder why he is connected to the Jabberwocky and (I know I am going to sound like a sadist here, but) I loved seeing the fight scenes between Hatcher and the various soldiers of Old City as it shows that he can easily take down anyone in his path! But what I really loved about Hatcher’s character was his complete devotion to protecting Alice as is shows that despite him being a serial killer of sorts, he still has a good heart on his shoulders.

Alice

~HUGE TRIGGER WARNING COMING UP!~

Alright, so this book has two major issues that is often problematic with many people and that is the topic of rape and strong graphic violence. There are many rape scenes in this book and I usually have issues with rape in books and this book was no exception to my disgust towards this issue. Also, the violence in this book is surprisingly much more graphic than any other fantasy and horror novel that I had ever read as there are many scenes where Alice and Hatcher have to slaughter some of the antagonists in order to reach their goal and the ways that Alice and Hatcher kill off their opponents are told in an extremely graphic and horrific detail.

Overall, “Alice” is truly one of the best dark and twisted retellings of a fairy tale that I have ever read and I will definitely be picking up the second book in the series “Red Queen!”


Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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Review
5 Stars
Sootface by Robert D. San Souci
Sootface - Robert D. San Souci, Daniel San Souci

Genre:  Native American / Folktale / Family / Manners / Magic


Year Published: 1994


Year Read:  2010

Publisher:  Doubleday Book for Young Readers

 

 

“Sootface: An Ojibwa Cinderella Story” is a brilliant Native American version of “Cinderella” retold by Robert D. San Souci along with beautiful illustrations by Daniel San Souci. In this version, a young girl named Sootface is mistreated by her two older sisters, but when a mighty warrior wanted to marry a woman who can see him when he is invisible, Sootface realizes that true beauty lies within. “Sootface: An Ojibwa Cinderella Story” is a beautiful retelling of one of the most beloved fairy tales ever created and will be an instant treat for children.

Robert D. San Souci has done a terrific job at retelling this old Native American tale as he makes the story both dramatic and tender at the same time. The audience can easily feel sympathy for Sootface as she has to endure hardship from her sisters and the village because of her appearance, however Sootface teaches children about the importance of having a kind heart as Sootface tries to overcome the cruelness of her sisters to have her dreams come true. Daniel San Souci’s illustrations are just simply beautiful and amazing as it truly captures the true spirit of the Native American culture as the characters wear colorful skin robes to define their personalities. The image that stood out the most was the image of Sootface herself as she definitely does look dirty since her hair is frizzy and her clothes are worn and torn since she has to do all the work at her home. However, Sootface still have an extremely beautiful face which strongly proves the book’s point in how true beauty lies within.

Parents should know that Sootface’s sisters are cruel towards her to the point where they smear ashes on Sootface’s face without a second thought. Parents should tell their children who have brothers and sisters that it is not right to mistreat your sibling and that you should always treat your siblings with respect.

“Sootface: An Ojibwa Cinderella Story” is a beautiful retelling of “Cinderella” that many children who are interested in Native American folktales will enjoy for many years. I would recommend this book to children ages five and up since there are some terms in this book that younger children would have problems with.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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Review
5 Stars
Rosie the Raven by Helga Bansch
Rosie the Raven - Helga Bansch

Genre:  Animals / Family / Peer Pressure / Self Esteem


Year Published: 2016


Year Read:  2016

Publisher: Annick Press

 

 

 

Rosie


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

Now, I have heard many stories that involve a human character being adopted by an animal family or being born with an animal family. So, when I found this interesting children’s book called “Rosie the Raven” which is written and illustrated by Helga Bansch on NetGalley, I just had to check this book out and it was a pretty sweet and short little read!


The story starts off with a pair of raven parents seeing their five eggs hatching and while the four other eggs had baby ravens hatching out, the fifth egg had a little human girl hatching out! The little girl was named Rosie and at first, Rosie did not notice that she was different from the other ravens. But when the other birds started making insulting comments about Rosie’s strange appearance, Rosie then wanted to be like her brothers and sisters by trying to fly and make caw noises. But Rosie soon finds out that she could not do the things that her brothers and sisters could do and it was then that she discovered that her unique appearance might actually have some benefits…


As I mentioned before, I have seen many stories that has a human character being adopted by an animal family, but I had never read an animal/human family story where the main human character was actually born to a family of animals. Helga Bansch has done an excellent job at conveying the message of the importance of family through a supernatural yet heartwarming way as Rosie is presented as being a human who was somehow born the natural way a baby raven would be born…by hatching through an egg. There was no clear explanation about how this phenomena even happened and Rosie’s raven family did not seem to mind how bizarre this event is, which really made the story truly heartwarming to read as it shows that Rosie’s raven family does not care about how different Rosie looks from the other Raven children, they just care that Rosie is part of the family. Helga Bansch’s artwork is quite unique as the characters are drawn in a scratchy manner and the colorings are a bit of an earthly hue as we mainly see black, white and pink colors in the artwork. I also thought it was quite unique that Rosie’s skin tone is completely white, which makes her look extremely pale and it gives her a sort of unnatural appearance that really makes her stand out in the story.

Rosie


Parents should know that some of the images in this book might be a tad bit scary for some children, especially since most characters look quite unnatural in this book. Probably the images that might scare some children the most would be the close up images of Rosie’s face as her eyes tend to look blank and her eyes seem a bit too misshapen. There were also the images of the other birds as they have newspaper collages as their feathers and that makes them look quite uncanny. Parents might want to read this book first to see if their child would enjoy seeing strange imagery in a book.


Overall, “Rosie the Raven” is a truly beautiful story about the importance of being in a loving family that cares about you no matter how different you are from them. I would recommend this book to children ages five and up since the some of the strange imagery might scare some children.


Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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Review
5 Stars
Generation Zero: We Are the Future Volume 1 by Fred Van Lente
Generation Zero Volume 1: We Are the Future - Fred Van Lente

 

Genre: Science Fiction / Action / School / Drama

Year Published: 2016

Year Read: 12/29/2016

Series:  Generation Zero #1

 

 

Publisher:  Valiant Entertainment LLC.

 

Generation

 

 

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

Introduction:

Now, as everyone knows, I am a huge “X-Men” fan and because of that, I always enjoyed reading stories that involve the main characters having a different array of powers and use those powers to save the world. So, when I picked up “Generation Zero: We Are the Future Volume One” from NetGalley, I was really excited to check this comic out and I was ultimately impressed with this comic!

What is this story about?

The story starts off with a young teenage girl named Keisha Sherman, who lives in the mysteriously futuristic town of Rook, Michigan. Her father is the sheriff of the town and she is considered an outsider at her school for being a gothic girl. One day however, Keisha ends up getting in a relationship with a boy named Stephen and just as their relationship hits an all-time high, Stephen is suddenly killed in a car accident. This event causes Keisha to try and find out what really happened to Stephen and she ends up trying to get help from a mysterious group of kids called “Generation Zero.” The Generation Zero kids ends up becoming students at Keisha’s school and it was then that Keisha starts to notice that the Generation Zero kids are not your average students as they seem to possess supernatural powers and they are also engaged in a war to fight for the rights of the kids that are just like them!

Can the Generation Zero kids help Keisha find Stephen’s murderer and what is really going on with the town of Rook?

Read this comic to find out!


What I loved about this story:

Fred Van Lente’s writing: Wow! I was seriously impressed with this comic book as even though I had read many comic books where the main characters have supernatural abilities that would help them defeat various villains, I had never read a comic book that features such characters, but also weaves in a story full of mystery and high school drama all into one graphic novel! I loved the way that Fred Van Lente was able to balance mystery and science fiction elements into the story as I was intrigued by the futuristic world that Rook is set in, while also enjoying the mystery aspect of the story as we try to find out what kind of secrets the town of Rook is hiding from its citizens. I also loved the way that Fred Van Lente wrote each character in this story, although to be honest, most of the characters are not fully developed yet, with the exception of Keisha due to her being the protagonist of the story. The fact that Generation Zero consists of kids who have super powers was really interesting to me as I wanted to know how these kids have powers in the first place and what kind of war they are fighting against.

Francis Portela’s artwork: Francis Portela’s artwork is simply gorgeous to look at as all the characters have a distinctive look that make them really stand out from each other, especially Keisha’s appearance as she is portrayed as having purple hair with one side of her head being shaved off and wears punk rock clothing that really brings out her gothic nature. I also loved how stylized the characters as they reminded me of characters that popped out of comic books from the 1990s and I really enjoyed the scenes where there is energy beams involved as the pages literally glow through the imagery of the energy beams.


Generation

What made me feel uncomfortable about this story:

For readers who do not like suggestive content in graphic novels, there are some suggestive moments in this graphic novel such as teenagers drinking at a night party. This could be an issue for anyone who does not like seeing scenes of teenagers drinking at a party, although this is a pretty common theme in many high school and college stories.

Final Thoughts:

Overall, “Generation Zero: We Are the Future Volume One” is a fantastic read, especially if you are a huge fan of “X-Men” and you love reading stories about characters that possess supernatural powers! I am definitely looking forward to reading the next volume in the near future!

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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Review
5 Stars
D.W. the Picky Eater by Marc Brown
D.W. the Picky Eater - Marc Brown

Genre:  Animals / Manners / Family / Food / Humor


Year Published: 1995


Year Read:  2016

Publisher: Little, Brown and Company

Series: D.W. #5

 

 

D.W.

Now, I have been a huge fan of Marc Brown’s “Arthur” series ever since I was a little girl and I guess I will make it my goal to read up on all of Marc Brown’s “Arthur” series! So, when I found out that Marc Brown had a made a spin off series to his “Arthur” books that stars Arthur’s little sister D.W., of course I was interested to see how D.W. will fare with her own series and for my first read from the “D.W.” series, “D.W. the Picky Eater” was a pretty entertaining read!

D.W. is the world’s pickiest eater as she refuses to eat anything that is new or looks disgusting; but the food that D.W. loathes more than anything in the world is…SPINACH! Because of D.W.’s eating habits, her family has a difficult time trying to get her to eat anything without complaining. But when D.W. throws a tantrum on a family outing, D.W.’s family decides that D.W. should stay home whenever they go out to eat and D.W. starts wondering about what she is really missing out on the family outings. One day, D.W.’s family decided to go out and celebrate Grandma Thora’s birthday at a fancy restaurant and D.W. wanted to go with them.

Will D.W. get over her “picky eater” habits in time for Grandma Thora’s birthday party?

Read this book to find out!


As always whenever I am reading Marc Brown’s “Arthur” books, Marc Brown knows how to bring on the humor with these characters while at the same time, giving these characters experiences that are relatable to any reader. I loved the fact that we get to explore what it is like being a picky eater through D.W.’s perspective as it was entertaining seeing what kind of food D.W. will turn down because it was new and it looked disgusting to her. It was also interesting seeing the consequences that D.W. goes through in being a picky eater as she was not allowed to participate in the family’s restaurant outings due to her misbehavior. To be honest, I can relate to D.W. being a picky eater since I am a picky eater myself as I will eat food that clashes with what my family wants. For example, if my family wants to go to Wendy’s, then I usually want to go to Chick-fil-A or whenever my family wants to go to KFC, I usually want to go to Ruby Tuesday. I also like the fact that Marc Brown was able to produce a book that focuses mostly on D.W. since I wanted to see more adventures from Arthur’s family and this book did an excellent job at giving D.W. the spotlight in the “Arthur” series! Marc Brown’s artwork is as usual adorable and fun to look at as all the characters are drawn as half animal, half human hybrids and yet, it just makes the characters look even more creative than usual! I also loved the images of D.W. always having a disgusted look on her face every time she tries a food product that is new to her as it was hilarious to look at!

Overall, “D.W. the Picky Eater” is a truly entertaining children’s book for fellow picky eaters and anyone who is a huge fan of Marc Brown’s “Arthur” series! I would recommend this book to children’s ages four and up since there is nothing inappropriate in this book, unless D.W.’s bratty behavior might cause concern for some parents.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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Review
5 Stars
Another Castle: Grimoire by Andrew Wheeler
Another Castle Vol. 1: Grimoire - Paulina Ganucheau, Andrew Wheeler

Genre: Adventure / Feminism / Drama / Fantasy / Comedy

Year Published: 2017

Year Read: 12/24/2016

Series:  Another Castle #1

 

Publisher:  Oni Press

 

 

Another

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

Introduction:

Now, even though I had read many graphic novels that featured a strong female protagonist, I had never read a graphic novel about a kick butt princess quite like this one! “Another Castle: Grimoire” is a cute and exciting graphic novel that is written by Andrew Wheeler along with artwork by Paulina Ganucheau that will certainly be a memorable and exciting read for many readers!

What is this story about?

Princess Misty of Beldora is not your average princess as she is able to defend herself easily with her trusty sword and refuses to bow down to the conformities of being a princess. One tragic day however, Princess Misty is kidnapped by Lord Badlug, the ruler of the kingdom Grimoire and Lord Badlug tries to force Misty to marry him or else he will destroy her kingdom and even the citizens of Grimoire to get the power he desires. As Misty remains in Grimoire, she ends up befriending Lord Badlug’s two servants Gorga, a beautiful female medusa monster and Fogmoth, a homosexual gargoyle and together, they try to take down Lord Badlug himself by trying to save the Prince who is not only coming to rescue Misty, but also possesses Misty’s precious sword, the one weapon that could destroy Lord Badlug!


What I loved about this story:

Andrew Wheeler’s writing: Wow! I was quite impressed with Andrew Wheeler’s writing of this story as it was truly unique and fresh for the audience! I loved the fact that Andrew Wheeler made Princess Misty into such a strong female protagonist as it was rare of me to read a princess story that dealt with the princess actually trying to defend her kingdom through wit and courage while swinging around a sword like it is nobody’s business! I also liked the fact that Andrew Wheeler was able to explore Misty’s insecurities about not being who she wants to be because since she is a princess, she is expected to do activities that princesses should do, which she does not agree with and I loved the fact that she rebelled against the stereotypical activities of a princess and be her own person. I really enjoyed the diversity among the characters as it brings a sense of creativity to the story as we see monsters and humans get into relationships with each other, which I thought was really cute and I enjoyed seeing the character interactions between all these characters as you can see that the main characters try to defy the rules they are forced into by their societies and they become closer to each other as a result!

Paulina Ganucheau’s artwork: Paulina Ganucheau’s artwork is extremely cute and gorgeous to look at as all the characters look similar to the characters from “Avatar: The Last Airbender.” I really loved the design of Gorga herself as she is a blue skinned cute monster woman who has a pair of adorable snakes that stand in as her hair, which makes her the cutest character in the entire story! I also enjoyed seeing the images of monsters and humans coexisting with each other as it creates an exciting fantasy world that I would love to live in!

Another

What made me feel uncomfortable about this story:

For anyone who does not like violence in a story, this graphic novel does have some violence that involves many characters getting beaten up and bruised by the antagonists and that might be a bit unsettling for some readers to handle; although the violence in this story is not as graphic as some of the more mature graphic novels like “Saga” and “American Vampire.”

Final Thoughts:

Overall, “Another Castle: Grimoire” is a fantastic volume about the importance of standing up for what you believe in and a great story to read if you are looking for a strong female protagonist!

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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Review
5 Stars
Vision in White by Nora Roberts
Vision In White: Book One in the Bride Quartet - Nora Roberts

Genre: Contemporary Romance



Year Published: 2009




Number of Pages: 325 pages



Date Read: 12/22/2016



Series: Bride Quartet #1



Publisher: Berkley Books

 

Vision

Now, I will be honest here. Even though I have been reading romance novels for a long time from various romance novelists, I had never read any of Nora Roberts’ works before and her work is everywhere in the reading sphere! So, when I stumbled upon this book by Nora Roberts called “Vision in White,” I just knew that this was the book that was going to introduce me to Nora Roberts’ works in a good way!

Mackensie “Mac” Elliot had dreamed for all her life about taking pictures at a wedding and she finally has her dreams come true when she and her best friends, Parker, Emma and Laurel all came together to create Connecticut’s wedding planning business called “Vow.” With Mac being a well-renowned photographer, she is able to capture the most beautiful moments at the weddings with a click of her camera. But, unfortunately Mac has no desire to get married despite working at a wedding planning business due to her trust issues that started with her father leaving her and her mother when she was a child and her mother Linda constantly asking Mac for more money, despite the fact that this act is emotionally hurting Mac. Then one fateful day, Mac runs into a shy yet sexy teacher named Carter Maguire, who she has known since high school and it turns out that Carter has been infatuated with Mac ever since they were in high school. Now, Mac must conquer her fears of falling in love with Carter if she has to make her own happy ending.

Wow! I have to say that as the first book I had read from Nora Roberts, it was simply amazing and heartwarming! I loved the fact that Nora Roberts made friendship and the importance of true love a central theme in this book as I enjoyed seeing how Mac starts developing as a character as she slowly learns to start trusting people despite her tragic past with her parents and the fact that her mother Linda keeps trying to take money from her. I also enjoyed the scenes where Mac confides in her friends Parker, Emma and Laurel about her romantic woes and her issues with her mother as it shows that Mac’s circle of friends are extremely supportive of Mac through her life and it shows that they are truly good friends towards Mac and it makes me want to have such friends in real life! Nora Roberts also did a great job at developing the relationships between Mac, her friends and Carter as not only does Mac have great friends who support her through her issues, but she also has a love interest in Carter who showed her what it is like to trust and love someone again. I loved almost all of the characters in this novel (well, except for the antagonists, of course) as they all felt so genuine and are supportive of each other through tough times. I especially loved the characters of Mac and Carter themselves as they were the stars of the show with their unique romance and support of each other. I loved the fact that Mac is a successful photographer as it shows that she is a strong and determined young woman who is trying to get her personal life together and it was great seeing her character develop throughout the story as she is trying to learn how to trust and love someone again. Carter was absolutely fantastic as he is truly supportive of Mac and knows how to comfort Mac when she really needs it and who says that high school teachers cannot be HOT and SEXY!?

For readers who do not like strong language and sex scenes, this book does contain some strong language such as the usage of the “s” word and some sex scenes, so some readers might want to skim over these scenes if they find them to be a bit too much.

Overall, “Vision in White” is a truly fantastic book about the importance of true friendship and love and I am sure that anyone who loves a good winter romance will enjoy this book!


Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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