Review: The Bad Seed

the-bad-seed.jpgReview:

The Bad Seed

Author: Jory John

Illustrator: Pete Oswald

Publisher: HarperCollins Children’s Books, 2017

Source: Public Library

Sunflower Seed (my name for the seed) is a baaaad seed. All the other seeds are afraid of him. He’s always late, doesn’t wash his hands or feet, cuts in line, and never listens.

Why is he so bad? Well, there has been some real tragedy in Sunflower Seed’s life. Once he was part of a happy family. Then his sunflower home drooped and he and his family were packed away in darkness. The next thing he knew he was heading down the gullet of a sunflower-munching giant! He survives due to a lucky spit, but Sunflower Seed is certainly damaged by the experience. He becomes BAD.

Readers and listeners might recognize a few of our sunflower friend’s traits, but the good news is he is ready to be happy again. He’s not perfect by any means, he’s learning to make the change. It’s a nice little message for all of us.

I love the seed illustrations. There are peanuts, corn kernels, almonds, pistachios, cashews to name some of the seed friends. They are cute and really kind of funny.

Review: Plant a Kiss

Plant a KissReview:

Plant a Kiss

Author: Amy Krause Rosenthal

Illustrated by: Peter Reynolds

Publisher: HARPER, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, 2012

Source: Public Library

I’ve got another picture book that is one both listener and reader will love. It’s not in my October theme, but it’s so good I had to include it anyway.

Little Miss plants a kiss. A kiss, you ask? Yes, a kiss. And with some sunshine and water and patience (and I suspect a bit of love, too), the kiss grows. What do you do with a kiss that grows? Little Miss knows. A kiss is meant to be shared.

With its lovely sing-song rhymes and illustrations reminiscent of Quentin Blake’s work on some of Roald Dahl’s books, this is one picture book that should be added to every library.

Review: Goldfish Ghost

Goldfish GhostReview:

Goldfish Ghost

Author: Lemony Snicket

Illustrations by: Lisa Brown

Publisher: A Neal Porter Book by Roaring Brook Press, 2017

Source: Public Library

Here is a wonderful little picture book ghost story. As the title suggests, it’s about a goldfish ghost. He lives in a bowl in a boy’s room (Alas! How many of us have had goldfish ghosts!), but it is a bit lonely there. He goes out to the local seaside town to try and find a friend, but no one seems just right. In the town, at the beach, and even over the ocean he finds plenty of folks. However, “It can be hard to find the company you are looking for.” So true! But don’t give up hope. Somewhere goldfish ghost is sure to find a friend.

With Lemony Snicket’s dark style of humor (but not nearly so much as the A Series of Unfortunate Events series) and Lisa Brown’s simply lovable goldfish ghost, this book is sure to please not only the listener but the reader, too.

If you’ve got kids or grandkids who will be getting plenty of candy and you are looking for a nice Halloween alternative, try this book. It’s a real treat.

Review: It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

It's the Great PumpkinReview:

It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown

Author: Charles M. Schulz

Publisher: RP Kids, 2010

Source: Public Library

It’s the time of year when TV stations are going to be playing the old classic cartoon, It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown. It’s fun to watch, so it must be fun to read, too. Right?

No, no and more no. I felt exactly as I do when reading many graphic novels. Too many noise-words and explanations that don’t move the story forward. Some things – like when Charlie Brown has trouble with the scissors – just didn’t translate that well into print. I didn’t like the use of the word “blockhead” (although it may be some slight bit better than today’s equivalent of dumbass – but probably not since the intention is the same. And I don’t really like that part of the cartoon, either.) What happened to the Snoopy vs. the Red Baron section of the cartoon? It’s completely missing in the picture book version. To be strictly honest, Snoopy is wearing the helmet; he just doesn’t go flying off on his doghouse. And since when does Lucy say, “Ewwww” when kissed by Snoopy? She yells “Dog germs!” You have to get these things right.

 

This book is a pass for

Review: Muddy

MuddyReview:

Muddy: The Story of Blues Legend Muddy Waters

Author: Michael Mahin

Illustrator: Evan Turk

Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2017

Source: Public Library

Muddy tells the story of Muddy Waters. Throughout his childhood in one of the poorest and most heavily segregated areas of Mississippi to his later years as an influential artist in American music, Muddy’s life embraces music. He was persistent and determined and despite many difficulties and disappointments, he continued to have the ultimate faith in the music of his heart.

This picture book reflects the raw emotion of Muddy’s own music. The language is like music itself. “It was shake off the dust and wring out your worries and laugh and cry and feel alive music.” That may describe Muddy’s blues, but it also describes the language used in this book.

The illustrations, too, add to the beautifully written text. It’s primitive and raw and full of deep, rich colors. We can even feel the music through the illustrations. My favorite pictures are of Muddy Waters himself while playing his music. They depict his belief and love for his songs. We can sense the energy of the listening audience.

Reading this book will inspire readers to actually listen to his songs. Fortunately, there is a list of available “Best of Muddy Waters” compilations noted at the end of the book. Really, it’s time to listen to those old blues songs!

Review: Goodnight Goon

Goodnight GoonReview:

Goodnight Goon

Author/Illustrator: Michael Rex

Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, a division of Penguin Young Readers Group, 2008

Source: Public Library

If you haven’t discovered this parody of Goodnight Moon yet, this is the month to do so. It’s got all the right stuff – tombs and black hats, skulls and screechy bats. It’s enough to make you, well, smile.

OK, it’s really not scary. It is adorable. You just can’t help but like all the monsters as they are rounded up and made to go to bed. After all, even they need their rest!

Learn more about Michael Rex at: http://mikerexbooks.blogspot.com/

 

 

 

 

Review: Octopuses One to Ten

octopuses one to ten

Photo Credit: http://www.simonandschuster.com/books/Octopuses-One-to-Ten/Ellen-Jackson/9781481431828

Review:

Octopuses One to Ten

Author: Ellen Jackson

Illustrated by: Robin Page

Publisher: Beach Lane Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster’s Children’s Publishing Division, 2016

Source: Public Library

October 8 (today) is World Octopus Day, and in celebration, I will review Octopuses One to Ten.

At first glance this may seem like just another simple counting book. It is not. The intended audience is for grades K-3. Yes, it counts, but it also includes plenty of scientific information about octopuses. By combining both the math and the science, we get a book that is both new and interesting. For instance, did you know that octopuses have three hearts (#3) and nine brains (#9)?

I also love the illustrations because they are more than simply pictures of octopuses. That is interesting enough by itself, but what I really like is that when readers are exploring the ten types of octopuses listed in #10, there are extra pictures that show the size of each one in relation to the size of a person. The giant Pacific octopus can grow bigger than a man, while octopus wolfi is about the size of a thumb.

At the end of the book are included a few “octopus” craft projects that I am sure the kids will love. (Who wouldn’t want to gobble up an Oreo octopus?)

Learn more about Ellen Jackson at: http://www.ellenjackson.net/

And Robin Page at: http://www.robinpagebooks.com/

Review: Be Quiet!

be-quiet.jpgReview:

Be Quiet!

Author: Ryan T. Higgins

Publisher: Disney Hyperion, 2017

Source: Personal Purchase

Be Quiet! is a wordless picture book. At least, Rupert the mouse is thinks it is supposed to be one. His friends, Nibbs and Thistle, love the idea. They think it should be a visually stimulating book, filled with plenty of strong-but-silent characters. The trouble is this: they just can’t stop talking about it.

In actuality, this book is filled with lots and lots of words – and just as much fun. Nibbs and Thistle might be mice, but I am sure everyone will be able to visualize plenty of folks (and maybe even themselves) in their places. The illustrations add to the entertainment. Be sure to check out the end papers when reading this book. It will provide plenty of amusement for both the reader and the listener.

If you are not familiar with Higgins’ work, be sure to check our Mother Bruce and Hotel Bruce.

Review: Odd Dog Out (And Kevin Giveaway Winner!)

Odd Dog OutReview:

Odd Dog Out

Author/Illustrator: Rob Biddulph

Publisher: HarperCollins Children’s Books, 2017

Source: ARC

In Odd Dog Out all the dogs are just the same except for one. She marches to the beat of a different drummer. While the others seem all prim and proper, she’s unique with a funky cap and colorful ribbons twisting around her body. However, the fact that she is different makes her sad. Shouldn’t she be someplace where she fits in?

She decides to leave and go to another town (Doggywood) where the other dogs are more like her. In fact, they are just like her. She thinks that this must be the ideal place for her. That is, until she meets someone who is also different – and his opinion of his dissimilarity gives our doggy friend a new perspective.

And now the moment we’ve all been waiting for: I am excited to announce this week’s giveaway winner. Congratulations to Susan at Susan Loves Books! You’ll receive a full set of all of Rob Biddulph’s books, including Kevin!

Well, that’s the end of the Rob Biddulph book reviews (for now – I certainly hope to enjoy more of his work!)

 

*Note: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. All opnions are my own.

Review: Blown Away

blown-away.jpgReview:

Blown Away

Author/Illustrator: Rob Biddulph

Publisher: HarperCollins Children’s Books, 2014

Source: ARC

For those of you who loved Sunk!, here is another Penguin Blue adventure.

Penguin Blue has got a brand new kite and a wonderfully windy day to try it out. The problem is that the wind is a little more than Penguin Blue can handle. Alone, anyway.

Penguins Jeff and Flo try to help – but end up going along for the ride, too. Wilbur the seal and Clive the polar bear (in his raft, of course) try to weigh in, but once again to no avail. The group sails along until they spot a soft-looking island where they drop off.

The island is a nice place and the adventurers make new friends, but it is not home. Unfortunately, they are stranded – or are they? I love the little twist that gets them back to their polar home. And the little stowaway? But no, once again no spoilers – you will just have to get the book and look for yourself.

Don’t forget! There’s a giveaway going on this week where you can win your own copy of all of Rob Biddulph’s books! All you need to do is follow Two BookWorms Blog and like any of this week’s posts for your chance to win. Best of luck!

 

*Note: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.