Note about my Reviews

Dear Authors: The reviews in this blog are only personal opinions. I have absolutely no background in literature, writing or reviewing. I am a Librarian (actually a Library Technician for those who care OR know the difference) with a love for a good story. The opinions in the reviews are ONLY my OPINIONS. I am not commenting on the writers ability since well -- I am not a writer and never will be. If you are the author of any of the books reviewed here, my opinion is just that and not a judgment against you!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Mom and Me Mondays: Scholastic Edition

Sorry we haven't had this feature in a couple of weeks, but things have been a little crazy for Jake and Me. I have totally missed it though, I love talking about the books with Jake and getting his opinions. And well quite frankly I just plain like reading kids books
You Can't Do That in Canada
by Bev Spencer
Illustrations: Bill Dickson and Steve Attoe
Scholastic Canada Ltd
ISBN: 978-1-4431-0252-0
126 Pages
Ages: 8-11

Description: If you think Canadians are a logical bunch, think again. We’ve had some wacky laws on the books over the years. Get ready to read some of the strangest laws ever to make the books!
Did you know?:
# in Winnipeg, you can sit on an alligator and even poke it, but you can’t provoke it into a fight?
# an old B.C. law supposedly made it illegal to kill a sasquatch?
# an old Toronto bylaw made it illegal to drag a dead horse down Yonge Street on Sunday?
# in Fredericton, N.B. it’s against the law to wear a snake?
This book features over 200 crazy laws from coast to coast, along with hilarious illustrations!

Jake's Review: "Mom, did you know it's against the law in Quebec to have butter coloured margerine (mom's note: Damn, I have to like Quebec for this one)  "Mom did you know in Lachine Quebec  a women was jailed for 14 days because she didn't pay her library fines (mom's note: Ok its official I LOVE Quebec -- I say flogging might be a good idea for unpaid library fines). Mom -- there is a law in PEI that says on Halloween kids under 18 cannot be out past 8:00pm -- I'm thinking some law maker guy got his house tp'd.  Mom --
"Ok, Jake, I got the point -- now zip it while I read this kids book on the Titanic"
"OK -- but Dad says you have a unhealthy obsession with the Titanic"
"Yeah -- you go tell Daddy that mom says -- hmm obsession -- can we talk about Scarlett Johanson or his shoes now"
"Mom, how about I just shut up and get back to reading"
I really liked this book with all the old and weird laws, but I want to know where I can find out more about them.  I also really like the illustrations, they make me laugh. "Mom -- Oak Bay, BC, sounds like a really uptight place to live with all their "weird" laws (Mom's note, trying not to judge, but hey it really doesn't look friendly from some of the laws listed)

Jake's Rating: 9/10

Mom's Review:  A seriously fantastic book idea for kids.  I would have liked more explanation about why each law came into effect and just a little more detail, but I'm a Mom and the book isn't geared towards me.   That being said I think there should have been some guide or index so kids could go look up more information about the particular law.  I think it would be a great addition to a classroom library and teachers could use it as part of an assignment. It's also  a great book to discuss laws and manners with your children (hence why I would like more info, but hey I'm a Librarian -- I have the technology and tools to do so, but it may be a little more challenging for other parents).  I'm really glad that Jake liked this one so much and talked about it with both Jeff and I. I learned a lot of fascinating laws that we used to have and sort of wish, some of them were still in effect. (Many of the ones that involved general manners that people seem to forget about)

Mom's Rating: 7.5/10

I Survived the Sinking of the Titanic
by Lauren Tarshis
ISBN: 978-0545-20694-5
Ages: 7-10 (and for Mom's who are fascinated by the Titanic)

Before I write out Jake's review, just reminding you that Jake doesn't like things that are too sad or scary and it usually effects his enjoyment and ratings of the book.

Jake's Review: Jake: Mom, why are you so fascinated with the Titanic, it is just horrible, scary and sad part of history.  Why would you want to read over and over about it? (Mom:  Good question Jake, I will talk a little about that in my review.)  This book made me very sad about what happened to all those people who died on the Titanic and I am really scared about going on a boat now (Mom's note, I should have listened to Jeff when he said it was probably not a good idea for Jake to read it)  It makes me sad that people died because the idiot's in charge of making the boat screwed up. (Mom's note: sweetie, you sure nailed that one right on the head).  I did like all of the different people in the story and I liked how short and exciting the book was.  I don't like the picture on the back for the author's next book -- it's a really scary looking shark.  I like the way the author tells a story but I don't think I want to read anymore of her scary, sad stories right now.

Jake's Rating: 6/10 (Note to author - for Jake that is a high rating for a story that made him scared and sad -- trust me)

Mom's Review: Ok, it's about the Titanic, I'm pretty sure I am going to like it.  The only time I didn't like a Titanic story was that dreadful movie with the happy ending of the Titanic making it back in one piece -- no I am not talking about that scene in Ghostbuster's 2 - it was just some dreadful cartoon I saw once.  I have always been fascinated with the Titanic, I blame it on that Titanic song we used to sing as kids -- come on -- you know the one - don't make me sing it.  It's fascinating to me how it happened, how there weren't enough life boats on board, why it sank so fast, all the changes that were made in the shipping industry because of the disaster, all of it.   I won't go any more into that, since that isn't the point of the review. It is an excellent simple telling of the Titanic disaster shown through the eyes of a 10 yr old boy who is on board when it happens. Very excitingly told and factually accurate.  I think most kids Jake's age will really enjoy it.  Great type of story for the reluctant reader.  It is not a great book for those who are overly sensitive though.  Would be a great addition to a public school or classroom library
Mom's rating: 8.5/10

These books were given to me by Scholastic in exchange for an HONEST review.


  1. You Can't Do That In Canada sounds great!

  2. Hey Candace

    I will probably do another contest when I hit 100 followers and it will be one of the books I use as a prize

    It really is a lot of fun