Ronyell (a.k.a Rabbitearsblog)

Ronyell (a.k.a Rabbitearsblog)

Hey everyone!!! I'm Ronyell aka Rabbitearsblog and I just recently joined this site because I love to read so much!!! I can't wait to chat about various books with other people!

 

 

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

Title:  The Caboose Who Got Loose

Author:  Bill Peet

Genre:  Trains / Traveling / Children's / Adventure


Year Published: 1971


Year Read:  2009

Publisher:  
Houghton Mifflin Company

Source:  Library

Content Rating:  Ages 4+  (Nothing Objectionable)

 

 

Caboose

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

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

Caboose

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

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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

Title:  Cyrus the Unsinkable Sea Serpent

Author:  Bill Peet

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


Year Published: 1975


Year Read:  1994

Publisher:  
Houghton Mifflin Company

Source:  Purchased

Content Rating:  Ages 7+  (Some Intense Scenes)

 

 

Sea

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

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

Sea

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

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

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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

Title:  Encore for Eleanor

Author:  Bill Peet

Genre:  Animals / Children's / Circus / Artist


Year Published: 1981


Year Read:  2010

Publisher:  
Houghton Mifflin Company

Source:  Library

Content Rating:  Ages 4+  (Nothing Objectionable)

 

 

Eleanor

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

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

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

Read the rest of the book to find out! 


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

“Encore for Eleanor” is a great book about the importance of trying out new activities in life to keep your life going and will surely encourage many children to follow what they believe in and do many new things in their lives. I would recommend this book to children ages four and up since there is nothing inappropriate in this book.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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!!! spoiler alert !!! Review
5 Stars
The Spooky Tail of Prewitt Peacock by Bill Peet
The Spooky Tail of Prewitt Peacock - Bill Peet

Title:  The Spooky Tail of Prewitt Peacock

Author:  Bill Peet

Genre:  Animals / Bullying / Children's / Individuality


Year Published: 1973


Year Read:  2009

Publisher:  
Houghton Mifflin Company

Source:  Library

Content Rating:  Ages 6+  (Bullying)

 

 

Peacock

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

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

Peacock

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

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


Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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

Title:  Spider-Gwen: Most Wanted? Volume 0

Author: Jason Latour

Artist: Robbi Rodriguez

Genre:  Action / Superheroes / Drama / Crime / Music


Year Published: 2015


Year Read:  11/11/2017

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Series: Spider-Gwen #0

Source:  Purchased

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

 

 

Spider

Introduction: 

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

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

What is this story about? 

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

What I loved about this story: 

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

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

Spider

What made me feel uncomfortable about this story: 

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

Final Thoughts: 

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

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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

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

Author:  Rabbit Ears

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


Year Published: 2006

Year Read: 2009

Series: Rabbit Ears Treasury

Publisher:  Listening Library (Audio)

Source:  Purchased

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

 

 

Thumbelina

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thumbelina
Told by: Kelly McGillis
Music by: Mark Isham

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

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

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


Emperor

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

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

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

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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

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

Author:  Rabbit Ears

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


Year Published: 2007

Year Read: 2009

Series: Rabbit Ears Treasury

Publisher:  Listening Library (Audio)

Source:  Purchased

Content Rating:  Ages 7+ (Some Rude Behavior)

 

 

Rhino

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monkey

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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

Title:  Afterlife with Archie: Escape from Riverdale Volume 1  

Author:  Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa  

Artist:  Francesco Francavilla  

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


Year Published: 2014


Year Read:  10/28/2017

Publisher:  Archie Comics

Series: Afterlife with Archie #1

Source:  Purchased

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

 

 

 

Afterlife

Introduction: 

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

What is this story about? 

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

What I loved about this story: 

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

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

Afterlife

What made me feel uncomfortable about this story: 

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

Final Thoughts: 

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

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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Review
4 Stars
The Fairy in the Kettle by Pauline Tait
The Fairy in the Kettle - Pauline Tait

Title:  The Fairy in the Kettle

Author:  Pauline Tait

ArtistDebbie Bellaby

Genre:  Fantasy / Weather / Homes / Fairies

Year Published: 2016

Year Read: 2017

Publisher:  Matador  

Source:  eARC (NetGalley)

Content Rating:  Ages 4+  (Nothing Objectionable)

 

Fairy

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

I went surfing around NetGalley again for some new children’s books to read and I spotted this cute children’s book called “The Fairy in the Kettle” which is written by Pauline Tait along with artwork by Debbie Bellaby and this book was truly adorable to read through!

In the land of Bramble Glen, there lives a village full of fairies and they all lived in various flowers across the village. One fairy however, who was called Leona, actually lived in an old round cast-iron kettle and she loved her kettle home, despite the fact that the other fairies thought that the kettle was too noisy on certain days. One day however, a huge storm hits Bramble Glen and at first, the fairies and Leona are unaware of the storm coming, but when the storm gets worse, the fairies immediately try to find a safe place to hide from the storm.

Will the fairies survive the storm?

Read this book to find out!
 


Wow! I found this book to be so adorable and inspiring as I not only found it interesting to read a fairy story where the fairy in question lives in a kettle pot, but a fairy story that teaches children about the importance of loving your home for what it is, no matter how strange your home is. Pauline Tait has done a great job at writing this story as I found the story to be extremely cute to read through, especially since it involves fairies doing cute activities like dancing and living in flowers. I also loved the message that Pauline Tait sends to the audience about the importance of having a loving home, no matter how bizarre it is, as I found the story about Leona living in a kettle pot and not caring about its flaws to be truly inspiring! Debbie Bellaby’s artwork is truly gorgeous to look at, especially of the images of the flowers surrounding the fairies and of Leona’s gorgeous pink and purple dress.

Fairy

The reason why I gave this book a four-star rating was because I felt that the pacing was a bit slow in parts and I wished that more had happened in the story besides the fairies mostly dancing around in the story.

Overall, “The Fairy in the Kettle” is a truly cute story about the importance of staying in a home that is safe and useful to you no matter how different it is from other homes. I would recommend this book for 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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Downward Dog: Very Serious Haiku from a Very Serious Dog by Samm Hodges and Phinehas Hodges
Downward Dog: Very Serious Haiku from a Very Serious Dog - Samm Hodges, Phinehas Hodges

Title:  Downward Dog: Very Serious Haiku from a Very Serious Dog

Authors:  Samm Hodges and Phinehas Hodges

Artist: Idil Gozde

Genre:  Animal / Pets / Humor 

Year Published: 2017

Year Read: 2017

Publisher:  Animal Media Group

Source:  eARC (NetGalley)

Content Rating:  Ages 10+  (Some Suggestive Humor)

 

Downward

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

I will be honest here: I did not know that there was going to be a TV series for ABC called “Downward Dog” since I barely heard any promos for the show. However, when NetGalley offered me a chance to check out the book that is going to spawn into a TV series called “Downward Dog: Very Serious Haiku from a Very Serious Dog” which is written by Samm Hodges and Phinehas Hodges along with artwork by Idil Gozde, I just knew that I had to check this book out and I must admit that this book has got me interested!

The story is about a dog named Martin, who ends up being left at home by his human owner, Nan and during that time, Martin has decided to write a haiku about his life as a dog and you will be quite interested to hear what he has to say about his life!

I must admit that I found this book to be pretty creative and cute at the same time! I liked the way that both Samm Hodges and Phinehas Hodges wrote this story as it is styled in a haiku type of poetry and we get to see how Martin the dog views his life while relating his story and his relationship with his human owner Nan, to the audience in poetic form. I also liked the way that Samm Hodges and Phinehas Hodges incorporated some humor in this story, with my favorite moments being of Martin looking at Big Bird from “Sesame Street” on TV and commenting on it and Martin mentioning about how he would fart in bed with his owner. Idil Gozde’s artwork is both simplistic yet humorous at the same time as the artwork looks like children’s drawings, which would make sense since Martin the dog is supposedly the one who is writing this book; the artwork would often downplay the introspective nature of Martin, but does it in a humorous way!

The reason why I gave this book a four-star rating was because while I thought it was creative for the story to be told in a poetic narrative, it was a bit hard to understand exactly what Martin is saying throughout the book. Since the book is written in a way where various sentences are shortened in order to fit in with the structure of a haiku, I found some of Martin’s thoughts to be a bit incomplete and therefore, it was hard for me to see where Martin was going with his inner thoughts on his life.

Overall, “Downward Dog: Very Serious Haiku from a Very Serious Dog” is a truly cute book for anyone who loves reading about dogs and who loves reading haikus!

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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Review
5 Stars
Unraveling Rose by Brian Wray
Unraveling Rose - Brian Wray, Shiloh Penfield

Title:  Unraveling Rose

Author:  Brian Wray

Artist:  Shiloh Penfield 

Genre:  Toys / Friendship / Children's / OCD / Mental Health


Year Published: 2017


Year Read:  2017

Publisher:  Schiffer Publishing  


Source: eARC (Edelweiss)

Content Rating:  Ages 4+ (Nothing Objectionable)

 

 

Rose

4.5 stars

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


2017 seems to be the year where I am able to find many children’s book that deal with mental health issues and I loved the fact that I am able to find such children’s books since I wanted to read more about mental health and these books were essential to my reading choices! So, I picked up another book from Edelweiss called “Unraveling Rose,” which was written by Brian Wray along with artwork by Shiloh Penfield that dealt with the issue of OCD and I really enjoyed this book!

Rose was a stuffed bunny who was loved by a little boy and they would do all kind of activities with each other like read books and play in the park together. Also, Rose likes everything to be perfect such as making sure that the books on the bookshelf were straighten up and making sure that the tea cups were facing the right. One day, however, Rose noticed that there was a loose thread dangling from her arm and even though Rose tried to ignore the thread, it ended up being the only thing that she thought about and she ended up pulling out the thread. Unfortunately, the thread ended up stretching out even longer and it got to the point where Rose could not do much of the activities that she used to due to the thread pulling out the stuffing in her arm and rendering her arm useless.

Will Rose be able to play with the boy again and can she get over her obsession with fixing her loose thread?

Read this book to find out!
 


I must admit that I was quite impressed with this children’s book as it is rare that I read a children’s book that dealt with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and Brian Wray has done a great job at conveying the signs of having Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, which includes making sure everything is perfect, to the point that it becomes a massive obsession. I really enjoyed the relationship shared between Rose and the boy as it reminded of the relationship shared between the boy and the stuffed rabbit in “The Velveteen Rabbit,” which is where the boy truly cares about Rose, even if Rose was losing her stuffing out of her arm. This story also seems to be extremely similar to the classic children’s story “The Velveteen Rabbit,” as both stories involved a young boy playing with their stuffed rabbit. The only difference between the two is that this story has the “Velveteen Rabbit” character (Rose in this case) suffer from OCD and we get to see how Rose handles having this condition. I also loved the fact that Brian Wray provided some information about Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) at the end of the book as it gave me more insight on how OCD works and how you can help a person who is suffering from OCD. Shiloh Penfield’s artwork is adorable to look at, especially of the images of Rose herself having a cute white dress with pink polka dots on it and the small boy having large glasses and a friendly expression on his face.

Rose

The reason why I took off half a point from the rating was because I felt that the pacing was a bit slow in some places and I often found myself trying to read through this book rather quickly as I wanted to hold my interest in the story.

Overall, “Unraveling Rose” is a truly cute book about teaching children about Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and how to deal with it. I would recommend this book to children ages four and up since there is nothing objectionable in this book.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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!!! spoiler alert !!! Review
5 Stars
Caraval by Stephanie Garber
Caraval - Stephanie Garber

Title:  Caraval

Author:  Stephanie Garber

Genre: Fantasy

Year Published: 2017

Number of Pages: 407 pages

Date Read: 10/11/2017

Series: Caraval #1

Publisher: Flatiron Books

Source:  Purchased

Content Rating:  Ages 15+ (Themes of Child Abuse and Deaths)

Trigger Warnings:  Child Abuse

 

Caraval

“Every person has the power to change their fate if they are brave enough to fight for what they desire more than anything.” 

2017 is the year of new releases that are full of books that contain adventure, romance, horror and excitement and I happened to stumble upon a new release for this year called “Caraval” by Stephanie Garber and I was seriously blown away by this book!

Scarlett Dragna has lived on a tiny island for most of her life, along with her little sister Donatella Dragna and her cruel and powerful father Governor Dragna. One day, Scarlett’s father has decided to arrange a marriage between Scarlett and a Lord that she does not know and even though Scarlett believes that this would be the only way to escape her miserable life on the island and her abusive father, Scarlett still thinks that something is missing from her life. It wasn’t until that very day that Scarlett meets a roguish and mysterious sailor named Julian who offered Scarlet the chance to visit the place of Scarlett’s deepest dreams: CARAVAL! Even though Scarlett was unsure about going to Caraval because she feared that her father will punish her severely for her disobedience, Scarlett decided to leave the island once she finds out that her sister Donatella had suddenly vanished from the island. So, Scarlett and Julian set out to the mysterious island of Caraval to find Donatella; but once Scarlet gets to Caraval, she will soon discover that her sister Donatella is a part of some sort of sadistic game where whoever finds Donatella will be able to receive a wish from the legendary magician Legend himself! So, Scarlett and Julian try to compete in the game in order to find Donatella before it is too late!

Wow! Stephanie Garber has truly woven a truly magical and intense story about the importance of sibling love while also exploring the importance of true love! Stephanie Garber has done a brilliant job at detailing the magical world of Caraval as the concept of this world is that everyone is doing a performance for the people and you have to decide what is real and what is not real in order to survive the game! I loved the fact that this book focuses on a carnival theme as it is rare for me to read a young adult book that involves carnivals and games as a major plot of the story. I loved the way that Stephanie Garber focused on the sisterly relationship between Scarlett and Donatella as it is also rare that I had read young adult books that focuses mostly on the relationship between siblings and I loved the fact that Scarlett truly does care about her sister Donatella and is willing to put her life on the line in order to protect Donatella from any kind of danger in the world of Caraval. But what I loved the most in this book was the relationship shared between Julian and Scarlett! When I went into this book, I actually thought that this book was just going to be about the sisterly relationship between Scarlett and Donatella and while that was a major part of the plot, it was Julian and Scarlett’s relationship with each other that really sold me! I loved the fact that Julian and Scarlett both brought out the positive aspects in each other, such as Julian bringing out the bravery in Scarlett that she has held back due to her father instilling fear in her and Scarlett bringing out a softer side to Julian who was introduced as being aloof and not caring about who he hurts to get what he wants until he met Scarlett. Even though their romantic bantering was downplayed in this book, it was still interesting seeing how different these two are from each other and yet, they become quite a compatible pair!

Caraval

For anyone who does not like some language in this book, there is some language in this book, although it is not as strong as some other young adult books. Also, this book deals with the subject of child abuse as both Scarlett and Donatella are beaten up by their father for various reasons and that might be uncomfortable for some readers to handle.

[***SPOILER WARNING!!!***

This is a bit of a small nitpick for me, but the fact that it turned out that Donatella put her own sister through the game and tricking her into thinking that she died to prove Scarlett’s love for her kind of rubbed me the wrong way. This made me see Donatella as being a bit manipulative towards Scarlett in making a deal with Legend without telling Scarlett and it made me question about whether or not Donatella actually cared about Scarlett’s feelings during the whole ordeal.

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


Overall, “Caraval” is a wonderful book about the importance of sisterly love and anyone who loves reading books about siblings will surely enjoy this book! I will definitely be checking out the second book as soon as it is released!

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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Review
5 Stars
The Widow's Broom by Chris Van Allsburg
The Widow's Broom - Chris Van Allsburg

Title:  The Widow's Broom

Author:  Chris Van Allsburg

Genre:  Horror / Witches / Halloween 

Year Published: 1992

Year Read: 2010

Publisher:   Houghton Mifflin Company

Source:  Library

Content Rating:  Ages 5+  (Intense Themes of Witchcraft)

 

Widow

“The Widow’s Broom” is a haunting story from the great mind of Chris Van Allsburg and it is about how a lonely widow named Minna Shaw finds a friend in a witch’s broom, but is threatened by the villagers to get rid of the broom because the know that it is witch crafted. “The Widow’s Broom” may have some controversial material about witchcraft, but it is a brilliant read for children who love haunting stories.

Chris Van Allsburg makes this story haunting yet memorable at the same time as it details the story of friendship between a widow and her broom and the bond that Minna Shaw and the broom share together will definitely show children about the importance of friendship even in the worse of times such as when the broom was being harassed by the villagers because it was witch crafted. Chris Van Allsburg’s illustrations are highly beautiful and haunting at the same time as the images are mainly in black and white giving the story a haunting and old fashioned feel since this story probably took place during the 1700s and the image that stood out the most was the image of the broom itself as its handle actually curves when it is doing the work for Minna and because the broom looks so innocent and friendly, many children would actually like the broom instead of fear it.

Widow

Parents should know that the theme of witchcraft in this book might be too sensitive to readers who do not approve of witchcraft, even though personally, this subject does not bother me so much since I am a huge fan of Harry Potter, but the broom in this book was friendly and he only threw up the Spivey boys and the dog because they were harassing the broom. Depending on your views on the subject on witchcraft, parents should talk about this book with their children and see how they handle the witchcraft theme.

“The Widow’s Broom” is a brilliant book about the importance of true friendship and will be an instant treat for children who love reading haunting books. I would recommend this book to children ages five and up due to the witchcraft theme might be scary for smaller children.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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Review
5 Stars
Nightmares: Poems to Trouble Your Sleep by Jack Prelutsky
Nightmares: Poems to Trouble Your Sleep by Jack Prelutsky (1976-08-01) - Jack Prelutsky

Title:  Nightmares:  Poems to Trouble Your Sleep

Author:  Jack Prelutsky

Artist: Arnold Lobel

Genre:  Horror / Poetry / Halloween / Monsters

Year Published: 1976

Year Read: 2009

Publisher:   Greenwillow Books

Source:  Library

Content Rating:  Ages 7+  (Some Scary Imagery and Graphic Dialogue)

 

Nightmares

Nightmares” is a book of poems written by Jack Prelutsky along with illustrations by Arnold Lobel. This book contains poems about various monsters, wizards and ghosts doing horrible things to unsuspecting people. “Nightmares” might be too scary for smaller children, but older children will love the macabre content of this book. 

Jack Prelutsky’s writing is dramatic and intense as he brings true horror to these poems. Each poem describes a monster doing horrible acts towards their victims and Jack Prelutsky brings great detail to how these victims are tortured, such as in “The Vampire” where Jack Prelutsky describes how the Vampire bites down on its victim and licks the blood off its lips. Arnold Lobel’s illustrations are the center of attention here as they are in black and white coloring, giving the story a gothic feel to it. The image that stood out the most was the image of the Dragon of Death having seven heads and vicious looking eyes in the poem “The Dragon of Death.” 

Nightmares

“Nightmares” is surely one of Jack Prelutsky’s most haunting books he ever created since it talks about how monsters torture their victims to death. I would recommend this book to children ages seven and up since there are too many advanced words that young children might not understand and because of the macabre content displayed vividly in this book.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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Review
5 Stars
Nightmares: Poems to Trouble Your Sleep by Jack Prelutsky
Nightmares: Poems to Trouble Your Sleep by Jack Prelutsky (1976-08-01) - Jack Prelutsky

Title:  Nightmares:  Poems to Trouble Your Sleep

Author:  Jack Prelutsky

Artist: Arnold Lobel

Genre:  Horror / Poetry / Halloween / Monsters

Year Published: 1976

Year Read: 2009

Publisher:   Greenwillow Books

Source:  Library

Content Rating:  Ages 7+  (Some Scary Imagery and Graphic Dialogue)

 

Nightmares

Nightmares” is a book of poems written by Jack Prelutsky along with illustrations by Arnold Lobel. This book contains poems about various monsters, wizards and ghosts doing horrible things to unsuspecting people. “Nightmares” might be too scary for smaller children, but older children will love the macabre content of this book. 

Jack Prelutsky’s writing is dramatic and intense as he brings true horror to these poems. Each poem describes a monster doing horrible acts towards their victims and Jack Prelutsky brings great detail to how these victims are tortured, such as in “The Vampire” where Jack Prelutsky describes how the Vampire bites down on its victim and licks the blood off its lips. Arnold Lobel’s illustrations are the center of attention here as they are in black and white coloring, giving the story a gothic feel to it. The image that stood out the most was the image of the Dragon of Death having seven heads and vicious looking eyes in the poem “The Dragon of Death.” 

Nightmares

“Nightmares” is surely one of Jack Prelutsky’s most haunting books he ever created since it talks about how monsters torture their victims to death. I would recommend this book to children ages seven and up since there are too many advanced words that young children might not understand and because of the macabre content displayed vividly in this book.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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Review
3 Stars
Ten Ways to Be Adored When Landing a Lord by Sarah MacLean
Ten Ways to Be Adored When Landing a Lord - Sarah MacLean

Title:  Ten Ways to Be Adored When Landing a Lord

Author:  Sarah MacLean

Genre: Historical Romance

Year Published: 2010

Number of Pages: 357 pages

Date Read: 4/15/2011

Series: Love By Numbers #2

Publisher: Avon 

Source:  Library

Content Rating:  Ages 18+ (Sex Scenes)

 

 

Ten

After reading the first book in Sarah MacLean's “Love By Numbers” series, Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake I was practically dying to read the sequel “Ten Ways to Be Adored When Landing a Lord.” Unfortunately, this novel did not seem to capture my attention like Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake and I have often found myself trying to finish this book as quickly as I can.

Ever since Nicholas St. John was named “London's Lord to Land” in a ladies' magazine, he has been avoiding all the women in London. However, when the Duke of Leighton told Nick about his missing sister, Nick was glad to take this opportunity to escape! However, when Nick comes to the secretive Townsend Park, home of Minerva House, he finds the daughter of the late wastrel, Lady Isabel Townsend and he realizes that she is no ordinary woman! But will both lovers ever truly love each other once their dark secrets are revealed?

There were a few good things that I did like about this book. I really loved the love scenes and the hero and heroine! Sarah MacLean had done an awesome job at making Nick the all-time, sexy and ever handsome hero! Whew! I just loved how Nick was willing to help out Isabel and the girls of Minerva House with their financial troubles and I just adored Nick for being honest with his feelings about Isabel. But, not only do I love Nick's personality, but his physical appearance is like the body of a god! I loved how Sarah MacLean described his body as being large and muscular, which are two things I love about my romance heroes! Now about Isabel, I loved the fact that Isabel is such a strong heroine and I loved the way that she stood up to any kind of authority that threatened to tear her apart from the girls of Minerva House. But, probably the best part about this novel were the love scenes between Isabel and Nick! I mean, this book is littered with love scenes galore and man, these scenes are hot and sizzling!

Now, here are some reasons why I gave this book a three star rating. For one thing, I often get annoyed with the heroine, Isabel, since she has some major trust issues to work through. I know that Isabel is scared to trust men because of what her father did to her mother and I do understand what she is going through, but still, I think that she could have at least put a little trust in Nick. I also felt sorry for Nick throughout the book because it is evident that he truly does love Isabel, but Isabel always seem to push him away from her no matter what Nick does to earn her love and it got so irritating after awhile. Also, I thought that this book was a little boring at times because the plot seem to slow down in many scenes and there are barely any action scenes in this book, so it was sometimes hard for me to get through this book without a bit of action.

Overall, this book is an average read for me. Even though “Ten Ways to Be Adored When Landing a Lord” has some really cute scenes between Nick and Isabel, I just wished that Isabel was a little more trusting of Nick and I wished that there were more action scenes to keep my attention to the plot. Even though this is not my favorite book out of the series, I cannot wait to read the third book, Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke's Heart

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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