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
Need by Carrie Jones
Need - Carrie Jones

Title:  Need



Author:  Carrie Jones



Genre: Paranormal Romance



Year Published: 2008



Number of Pages: 306 pages



Date Read: 6/17/2010



Series: Need #1



Publisher: Bloomsbury  



Source:  Library



Content Rating:  Ages 15+  (Some Language)

 

 

Need

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

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

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

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

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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Review
5 Stars
Need by Carrie Jones
Need - Carrie Jones

Title:  Need



Author:  Carrie Jones



Genre: Paranormal Romance



Year Published: 2008



Number of Pages: 306 pages



Date Read: 6/17/2010



Series: Need #1



Publisher: Bloomsbury  



Source:  Library



Content Rating:  Ages 15+  (Some Language)

 

 

Need

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

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

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

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

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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

Title:  Madeline and the Bad Hat

Author:  Ludwig Bemelmans

Genre:  France / Friendship / Manners 

Year Published: 1956

Year Read: 1993

Series:  Madeline #3

Publisher: The Viking Press

Source:  Library

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

 

Bad

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

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

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


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

Bad

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

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

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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

Title:  Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas


Author:  Jun Asuka (Original Script by Tim Burton)


Artist:  Jun Asuka


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


Year Published: 2004


Year Read: 2017



Publisher: Tokyopop


Source: eARC (NetGalley and Edelweiss)



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

 

 

Nightmare

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

4.5 stars 

Introduction: 

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

What is this story about? 

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

What I loved about this story: 

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

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

Nightmare

What made me feel uncomfortable about this story: 

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

Final Thoughts: 

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

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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

Title:  The Book that Jack Wrote

Author:  Jon Scieszka

Artist:   Daniel Adel

Genre:  Children's / Humor / Surrealism / Poetry


Year Published: 1994


Year Read:  2009

Publisher: 
 Viking

Source:  Library

Content Rating:  Ages 5+ (Some Violent Imagery)

 

 

Jack

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

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

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

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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

Title:  Green Eggs and Ham

Author:  Dr. Seuss

Genre:  Children's / Food / Humor / Surrealism


Year Published: 1960


Year Read:  2010

Publisher: 
 Beginner Books

Source:  Library

Content Rating:  Ages 3+  (Nothing Objectionable)

 

 

Green

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

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

Green

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

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

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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

Title:  Two Bad Ants

Author:  Chris Van Allsburg

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


Year Published: 1988


Year Read:  2009

Publisher: 
 Houghton Mifflin Company

Source:  Library

Content Rating:  Ages 5+  (Some Dangerous Situations)

 

 

Ant

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

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

Ants

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

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

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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

Title:  Made You Up


Author:  Francesca Zappia


Genre: Contemporary Romance / Mental Illness


Year Published: 2015


Number of Pages: 428 pages


Date Read: 8/29/2017



Publisher:   Greenwillow Books



Source:  Library


Content Rating:  Ages 16+ (Strong Language)

 

 

Made

5.5 stars!!!

“Sometimes I think people take reality for granted.” 


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

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

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

Made

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

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

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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

Title:  Rapunzel

Author:  Bethan Woollvin

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


Year Published: 2017


Year Read:  2017

Publisher:  Peachtree Publishers

Source: eARC (Edelweiss)

Content Rating:  Ages 4+ (Death)

 

 

Rapunzel

4.5 stars 

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

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

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

Was Rapunzel frightened by the Witch’s threats?

Oh no, not she!
 


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

Rapunzel

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

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

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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

Title:  Tikki Tikki Tembo

Author:  Arlene Mosel

Artist:  Blair Lent

Genre:  China / Family / Drama / Parental Favoritism


Year Published: 1968


Year Read:  1993

Publisher: 
 Holt, Rinehart and Winston

Source:  Library

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

 

 

 

Tikki

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

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

Tikki

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

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

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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

Genre:  Inspiration / Horror / Humor / Monsters


Year Published: 2005


Year Read:  2017

Publisher:  Tanglewood Publishing Inc

 

Source: eARC (NetGalley)

 

 

Worry

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

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

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

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

Worry

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

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

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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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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