Saturday, April 18, 2015

Week in Review: April 12-18

The Family Under the Bridge. Natalie Savage Carlson. Illustrated by Garth Williams. 1958/1989. HarperCollins. 123 pages.
The Bears on Hemlock Mountain. Alice Dalgliesh. Illustrated by Helen Sewell. 1952. 64 pages. [Source: Bought]
Ramona and Her Mother. Beverly Cleary. 1977. HarperCollins. 224 pages. [Source: Library]
Ramona Quimby, Age 8. Beverly Cleary. 1981. HarperCollins. 208 pages. [Source: Library]
Ramona Forever. Beverly Cleary. 1984. HarperCollins. 208 pages. [Source: Library]
Red Berries, White Clouds, Blue Sky. Sandra Dallas. 2014. Sleeping Bear Press. 216 pages. [Source: Library]

Dragon Slippers. Jessica Day George. 2007. Bloomsbury USA. 324 pages. [Source: Library]
Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl's Courage Changed Music. Margarita Engle. Illustrated by Rafael Lopez. 2015. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 48 pages. [Source: Review copy]
Never Ask a Dinosaur to Dinner. Gareth Edwards. Illustrated by Guy Parker-Rees. 2015. [April] Scholastic. 32 pages. [Source: Review copy]
Happy Birthday to You! Dr. Seuss. 1959. Random House. 64 pages. [Source: Library]
Isaiah: God Saves Sinners. Raymond C. Ortlund, Jr. R. (Preaching The Word Commentaries). Crossway. 2005. 496 pages. [Source: Bought]
Bringing Narnia Home: Lessons from the Other Side of the Wardrobe. Devin Brown. 2015. Abingdon Press. 144 pages. [Source: Review copy]
Cross: Unrivaled Christ, Unstoppable Gospel, Unreached Peoples, Unending Joy. General Editors: John Piper and David Mathis. 2015. B&H Publishing. 224 pages. [Source: Review copy]

This week's recommendation(s):

I loved, loved, LOVED The Family Under the Bridge. It was a complete surprise how much I adored it! I am enjoying reading the Ramona series, and Ramona Quimby, Age 8 is fantastic! The commentary I read on Isaiah was AMAZING as well.

© 2015 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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Library Loot: Third Trip in April

New Loot:
  • The Zookeeper's Wife by Diane Ackerman
  • The Story of the Trapp Family Singers by Maria Augusta Trapp
  • Memories Before and After The Sound of Music by Agathe von Trapp
  • Mary Poppins, She Wrote: The Life of P.L. Travers by Valerie Lawson
  • George, Nicholas and Wilhelm: Three Royal Cousins and the Road to World War I by Miranda Carter
  • The Beauty and the Sorrow: An Intimate History of the First World War, Peter Englund, translated by Peter Graves. 
  • Anastasia and Her Sisters by Carolyn Meyer
  • The Far Side of Evil by Sylvia Louise Engdahl
  • The War that Ended Peace: To Road to 1914 by Margaret MacMillan
  • Pete the Cat's Groovy Guide to Life by Kimberley and James Dean
  • Who Thinks Evil: A Professor Moriarty Novel by Michael Kurland
  • The Infernal Devices & Others: A Professor Moriarty Omnibus by Michael Kurland
  • The Empress of India: A Professor Moriarty Novel by Michael Kurland
  • The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America by Erik Larson

Leftover Loot:
  • Enchantress from the Stars by Sylvia Louise Engdahl
  • A Life Observed: A Spiritual Biography of C.S. Lewis
  • Living by the Book: The Art and Science of Reading the Bible by Howard G.  Hendricks
  • War Bonds: Love Stories from the Greatest Generation by Cindy Hval
  • Emma: A Modern Retelling by Alexander McCall Smith 
  • The Upstairs Room by Johanna Reiss
  • The Acts of King Arthur and His Noble Knights by John Steinbeck
  • The Midwife's Tale by Sam Thomas
  • Three Musketeers by Alexander Dumas, translated by Richard Pevear
  • Happy Birthday to You by Dr. Seuss
  • Murder at Mullings by Dorothy Cannell
  • One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss
  • Green Eggs & Ham by Dr. Seuss
  • Princess of the Silver Woods by Jessica Day George
  • Princess of Glass by Jessica Day George
  • Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George
  • The Black Cauldron by Lloyd Alexander
  • Les Miserables by Victor Hugo, translated and with notes by Christine Donougher
  • A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein
  • The Princess Plot by Kirsten Bole, translated by David Henry Wilson
  • Otis Spofford by Beverly Cleary
  • Back to School with Betsy by Carolyn Haywood
  • Betsy and the Boys by Carolyn Haywood
  • Betsy and Billy by Carolyn Haywood
  • Cursed in the Act by Raymond Buckland
  • The Search for the Red Dragon by James A. Owen
  • The Just City by Jo Walton
  • Here, There Be Dragons by James A. Owen
  • The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall
  • The Iron Trial by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare
  • The Indigo King by James A. Owen
      Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Linda from Silly Little Mischief that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post-feel free to steal the button-and link it using the Mr. Linky any time during the week. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries.  

© 2015 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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Never Ask A Dinosaur to Dinner (2015)

Never Ask a Dinosaur to Dinner. Gareth Edwards. Illustrated by Guy Parker-Rees. 2015. [April] Scholastic. 32 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence: Never ask a dinosaur to dinner. Really, never ask a dinosaur to dinner. Because a T. rex is ferocious and his manners are atrocious, and you'll find that if he's able…he will eat the kitchen table. He'll grow fatter while the rest of you grow thinner, so never ask a dinosaur to dinner.

Premise/plot: The narrator shares with readers why they should never ask a dinosaur to dinner, why they should never share a toothbrush with a shark, why they should never let a beaver in the basin, why they should never use a tiger as a towel, why they should never choose a bison for a blanket, and finally why they should never share a bed with an owl. All in rhyme of course. This is a book all about the bedtime routine. It's a silly book, as you can tell.

My thoughts: I liked it well enough, I suppose. I think the rhymes worked for the most part. I can be a bit picky when it comes to judging rhyming books. I can get annoyed quite easily when it doesn't sound right. That being said, I didn't love this one especially. It was nice, but, not an amazing read.

Text: 3 out of 5
Illustrations: 3 out of 5
Total: 6 out of 10

© 2015 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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Seuss on Saturday #16

Happy Birthday to You! Dr. Seuss. 1959. Random House. 64 pages. [Source: Library]

First sentence: I wish we could do what they do in Katroo. They sure know how to say "Happy Birthday to You!"

Premise/Plot: The narrator shares how birthdays are celebrated in Katroo. Every single moment of the day is packed with special fun just for you to celebrate how wonderful and unique you are. It begins with The Great Birthday Bird from the Katroo Happy Birthday Asso-see-eye-ation coming to your house. But his special birthday greeting is just the start.

My thoughts: Happy Birthday to You is not a book I really enjoyed. Oh, I love Dr. Seuss's silly rhymes in general. But I didn't find this one particularly wonderful. I hope other readers appreciate it more than I did.

Have you read Happy Birthday to You! What did you think of it? Did you like it? love it? hate it? Is it one you grew up reading?

If you'd like to join me in reading or rereading Dr. Seuss (chronologically) I'd love to have you join me! The next book I'll be reviewing is One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish. 

© 2015 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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Ramona Forever (1984)

Ramona Forever. Beverly Cleary. 1984. HarperCollins. 208 pages. [Source: Library]

Ramona is growing up quickly--depending on your point of view. If you consider that she was four in 1955, and nine in 1984, then, her childhood is taking forever. But when you're happily rushing through the series, it feels like she's growing up so quickly. Ramona Forever is the seventh book in the series. Ramona is still in third grade, I believe.

"The Rich Uncle" Howie and Willa Jean have a rich uncle coming to stay with them. Will Ramona like Howie's uncle? He doesn't make the best first impression. He teases her about his name. He gives Howie and Willa Jean presents. Not that Ramona wanted a present. But. Since Mrs. Kemp BLAMES Ramona when Willa Jean breaks her present, she wishes that the Uncle had not come at all. Why is it HER FAULT?

"Ramona's Problem" Ramona tells her mother that she doesn't want to go to the Kemps anymore. She HATES going there after school, can't her and Beezus come home instead. They'll be really, really good and responsible...

"Being Good" How well are Ramona and Beezus getting along after school on their own?!

"Picky-Picky" Ramona and Beezus find Picky-Picky dead in the basement. Beezus suspects that their mom might be pregnant, and doesn't want to worry or upset her. They decide to bury the cat in their yard on their own.

"It" Beezus was right. Ramona is going to be a big sister. Their mom is going to have a baby in the summer. Is Ramona excited or not?!

"A Surprise, Sort Of" Aunt Beatrice has a big announcement. And why is she bringing Howie's Uncle to dinner?!

"The Chain of Command" Shopping for wedding clothes. Ramona is a thousand times more excited than Howie. Howie does not want to be a ring bearer.

"The Families Get Together" Wedding planning.

"Ramona Saves the Day" The wedding itself. Ramona, you guessed it, saves the day. This one has a very sitcom feel to it.

"Another Big Event" Is Ramona ready to be a big sister?!

© 2015 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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