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, December 12, 2011

Mom and Me Mondays: Picture Book Edition

The Polar Express
by Chris Van Allsburg
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
ISBN: 9780395389492
Buy From Indigo

Description: A magical train ride on Christmas Eve takes a boy to the North Pole to receive a special gift from Santa.

Jake's Review:  Mom reads us this every Christmas and its a nice story. The wolves in the one picture are pretty scary and I think it will freak out some smaller kids like the midget.

Jake's Rating: 7/10

Mom's Review: I love the artwork in this Christmas favorite and we read it every Christmas eve. It is a simple beautiful story about the importance of keeping the magic of Christmas alive.  The story is simple, yet heartfelt and like so many others have a sudden urge to be a child again and believe in Santa every-time I read it.   I honestly had never heard of it until my Sister in Law gave us a copy for our son on his 1st Christmas 10 yrs ago.  BTW, I found the movie version seriously creepy due to the special effects and it seemed to miss so much of the heart of the book.
Mom's Rating: 9/10


The Paperbag Princess
by Robert Munsch Art by Michael Martchenko
Annick Press
ISBN: 9-7809-2023-616-1
Buy From Indigo

Description: The Princess Elizabeth is slated to marry Prince Ronald when a dragon attacks the castle and kidnaps Ronald. In resourceful and humorous fashion, Elizabeth finds the dragon, outsmarts him, and rescues Ronald--who is less than pleased at her un-princess-like appearance.

Jake's Review:  I pretty much like all Robert Munsch's books because they are funny and easy to read.  They are never boring and he talks more like a kid than an adult. I like the dragon in this one and its kinda funny how Elizabeth convinces him to do stupid stuff.  The pictures are really funny and I like that the princess calls Ronald a bum.

Jake's Rating: 9/10

Mom's Review:  Even Jesse lets me read him this one, so you know its good when a book hating toddler likes to listen and look at the pictures.  Like so many women I appreciate the message about the importance of staying true to yourself and of being a strong resourceful women who doesn't need to depend on a man.   At the same time its just a delightfully fun sweet story that the whole family will enjoy.  The artwork is hilarious and melds perfectly with the story.  Win win when Munsch and Martchenko get together! This is a true classic (and my copy is totally signed by Munsch!)
Mom's Rating: 10/10

The Giant, or Waiting for the Thursday Boat
by Robert Munsch
Firefly Books
ISBN: 9781550370713
Out of Print (Buy Used from Indigo)

Description: Upset with St. Patrick for chasing the other giants out of Ireland, McKeon throws church bells into the sea, until St. Patrick tells him God will come on the Thursday boat



Jake's Review: Mom REALLY likes this book and read it all the time to me when I was a kid (Mom's note: yup he's now an adult at age 10). I like the giant  because he is funny and tells everybody he want to punch the Peter guy for taking away all the snakes  and I like that God is a little girl and not some scary looking guy who is always telling you to be good (Mom's note: maybe a little religious training would be a good thing).  I really don't get why mom LOVES this book though. Its funny and the pictures are cool
Jake's Rating: 7/10

Mom's Review: It took me forever to find a copy of this book years ago when I had first heard of it. I was taking a children's literature course and the professor told me about this wonderful book.  This title has been challenged and banned in many school districts across Canada and the US which just totally blows my mind. It is a beautiful, sensitive and honest look at stereotypes in religion. God is a wise plain spoken little black girl and I guess that freaks out those who are extreme in their religious beliefs. I don't mean to offend anyone and you have to understand I was raised in a loving, good family who just didn't do the church thing. My parents had faith but it was more a non denominational type of way.  But those who have challenged this must have missed the point of the story being about diversity and acceptance and that is the type of god I want to believe in - rant over : )
Mom's Rating: 10/10

Where is the Green Sheep
by Mem Fox Art by Judy Horacek
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
ISBN: 9-7801-5206-704-5
Buy From Indigo

Description: There are red sheep and blue sheep, wind sheep and wave sheep, scared sheep and brave sheep, but where is the green sheep? The search is on in this cozy, sheep-filled story from acclaimed author Mem Fox and popular Australian cartoonist Judy Horacek. Complete with sleepy rhymes and bright illustrations, this book is sure to delight children of all ages, from the very young to those just beginning


Jake's Review:  Mom says she used to read this to me all the time as a kid, but I don't really remember. The pictures are really bright and funny and I like the rhyme. This is one that I think Jesse will like because it is simple to read and he's not really good at reading.

Jake's Rating: 8/10

Mom's Review:  My buddy Carianne lent this one to me a long time ago because the night she babysat Jake, he made her read it over and over and over again.  He loved  it so much that I had to go out and buy my own copy of it because I was worried it would fall apart from overuse. The delightfully silly artwork is worth the price of the book alone. This is a lovely board book for just reading to a young child and also for the the child beginning to read on their own. For younger readers it nicely and simply introduces concepts like opposites and colours (Dear spell-check I am Canadian this is how we spell it - stop telling me I am spelling it wrong)  I - all done in a fun quirky manner. A fabulous book for story-time -- and I can attest great for establishing a bedtime ritual -- I can still recite it word for word.

Mom's Rating: 9/10

Brady Brady and the Runaway Goalie
by Mary Shaw and Chuck Temple

Brady, Brady Incorporated
ISBN: 9-7809-7355-571-4
Buy From Indigo

Description: When the Icehogs’ goalie goes missing before the big game, Brady Brady saves the day!




Jake's Review:  I love the Brady Brady books even now. The story is really easy to read and the pictures are really funny. Brian would love these books because he is as obsessed with hockey as Brady is. Brady is a good friend but he is kinda goody goody. Mom and dad have been reading this to Jesse and he actually sits and listens without throwing the book so its gotta be good.

Jake's Rating: 8/10


Mom's Review: The whole family (even Jesse) adore the Brady Brady series. The kids love the adorable colourful artwork and the simple fun stories that deal with Hockey (which as you know is a Canadian passion - especially for young boys).  Each story teaches important lessons like telling the truth, teamwork, believing in yourself and the importance of being a good friend. This story was our introduction to Brady Brady and it hooked us all in and we have each and every one of the Brady Brady stories. In this installment we learn more about Chester the Goalie and how he learns, with the help of his team, to believe in himself. The books are self published and you can get them online (with some fun swag too) and also at many bookstores.  Good stories for reluctant hockey obsessed boys.

Mom's Rating: 9.5/10

All of these books belong to the Rayment library and nobody gave us nothing for telling you all about them

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