I might have to beat my little one, I had finished this post a week ago and when I was highlighting something on the page a few minutes ago, the little heathen did something on my keyboard and this whole post was lost! Now I have to work from memory -- and well we know how good my memory is!
by John J Muth
Suggested Ages: 5-7
Description: On Halloween, Stillwater the panda, who dons a spooky costume and mask, promises his friends Addy, Michael, and Karl a spine-tingling ghost story to be told by a mysterious storyteller.
The storyteller--who looks remarkably like Stillwater--tells the children an unforgettable ancient Zen story about a girl named Senjo who hopes to marry Ochu, the boy next door.
But Senjo's parents have different plans for her future. They want her to marry a more prosperous man than Ochu--someone who will care for the family and her ailing father.
Heartbroken by the prospect of being separated, the two run off to a far away village and marry.
As the years pass, Senjo's regret for having left her family slowly eats away at her happiness, and she and Ocho return home to make amends.
But a surprise ending is in store. For Senjo's father swears his daughter has been sick and living at home with him the entire time. Yet Ocho knows differently, for he has been living with Senjo for many years. What is the truth? Who is the real Senjo?
The story of Senjo was originally written down by a Chinese Buddhist Monk Master named Wu-men Hui-hai in the early 13th Century. This type of story, called a Koan, is used by students of Zen to attain enlightenment. It provokes thought and conversation--yet has no concrete answers.
With Zen Ghosts, Muth has once again presented an original, beautifully crafted story, perfect for Halloween--or any time
Jake's Review: This book is really cool. I have never read anything like this before. It's like something Jason would read to us for our Karate Class. The illustrations are really cool and different. I think even Jesse would like the pictures, but don't let him touch it, because you know how he is with books (mom's note: sniff, sniff I know). Wicked ghost story within the main story. I liked that Stillwater also enjoyed candy like us kids, made him less serious. The book is definitely for younger boys than me, but I still liked it. I think it should be part of the class library for JK and SK. Although some of the words were way too big for the little babies
Jake's Rating: 9/10
Mom's Review: The illustrations are breathtakingly beautiful, I spent quite a few minutes on each page just taking in the art. I agree with Jake some of the words are a bit much for the younger reader, but I am pretty sure they will be so entranced with the art, they won't notice. The story is also unusual and unlike any other picture book I have ever seen before too. Definitely going to be an award winner. Another must for any school or public library. We will be passing this around the Karate School too, since many of the kids I think would really enjoy this
Mom's Rating: 9/10
by Shar Levine and Leslie Johnstone
ISBN 978-0-545-98030-2 PBK
Ages 7 to 12
Description: Get ready to brew up some scary fun!
Frighten your friends with shrunken heads, rotting zombies and spooky sounds. Gross out your family with festering ooze, squishy eyeballs and bubbling alien blood. Learn how to make spider webs, rubber bones and things that glow in the dark. And find out the real-life story behind things like deadly spiders, zombie worms, vampires and exploding snakes.
It’s eerie, it’s spooky… and it’s all science!
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!