Sunday, December 26, 2010

Book Review - A Tale Dark and Grimm

Author: Adam Gidwitz
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Reading Level: Ages 9 to 12
Source: Personal Copy
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

Description from GoodReads:
Brooklyn schoolteacher Adam Gidwitz offers imaginative new slants on children's classics in this new collection inspired by nine Grimm Brothers fairy tales. Never before have Hansel and Gretel had an adventure like this!

If anyone is looking for a way to squeeze in another Debut Author book before the end of the year, may I suggest the dark and gruesome A TALE DARK AND GRIMM by Adam Gidwitz? This book is oh so good. Gidwitz channels the original Brothers Grimm in this variation of Hansel and Gretel. This is no Disney version of a Grimm story. In this version, Gidwitz maintains the original feel but does so with a modern day voice and a unique layering of Grimm tales into one story.

As the narrator of A TALE DARK AND GRIMM cautions "if there are little kids...why don't you go hire a babysitter.." Gidwitz's A TALE DARK AND GRIMM will appeal to children who love Lemony Snickets or Pseudonymous Bosch thrown in with a generous dose of R.L. Stine. I have to admit that the narration was part of why I loved this book so much. The interaction between the narrator and the reader seems to assist the reader in processing the story and in understanding some of the more intense sections of the book. With that said, I do realize that some children may not handle scary stories well or do best when reading them aloud with an adult. Rather than limit who should read this, I would encourage parents to read it with their child if there are concerns. I would also remind parents that children love scary stories. And they love stories with happy endings and where children turn out to be the heroes.

If you are in doubt about this book, I would encourage you to check out Gidwitz's Frequently Asked Questions (click here). He does a much better job of explaining the reason and purpose for the blood and gore. Understanding that for some children, it might be better if they wait some before attempting to read this book.

As I read through the book, I appreciated Gidwitz's ability to create a richly developed story and means of holding the attention of readers through the various journeys that Hansel & Gretel find themselves on. Characters seemed well fleshed out and the pacing of the story never seemed to bog down. This was particularly impressive in light of the fact that Gidwitz is a new author but one who obviously has a strong ability to tell a story.

If you are interested in checking out a short story by Gidwitz, author Pseudonymous Bosch had him as a Guest Ghost over on his blog. Here is the link to his version of Cinderella, click here.

Book Review- How To Raise A Dinosaur

By Natasha Wing
Illustrated By Pablo Bernasconi
Published by Running Press
Released on October 2010
Ages 3-8
Source- Natasha Wing
4 Stars- A Must Have for Dinosaur Fans

Just about every youngster at one point or another desperately wants a pet. Little do people know that just like cats, dogs, and hamsters, dinosaurs make great pets, too! How to Raise a Dinosaur is a unique novelty book complete with a die-cut jacket, dino-bites, sturdy cardstock pages, and lift-the-flaps on every spread! Perfect for any dinosaur lover, it also serves as a way for children to understand the importance of caring for a pet (quoted from Goodreads).

If you've wanted to have a dinosaur as a pet, then you need to get this book! This how to guide tells you all you need to know about taking care of your pet dinosaur. With a price tag of $8-$200, dinosaur lovers of all ages can easily purchase their own pet (be sure to ask your parent's permission first).

This is a cute, fun read that my kids and I enjoyed. Really, any book that makes my kids laugh out loud deserves a great recommendation. The fun illustrations make this book one that kids ages 3-8 will really enjoy. As a parent I enjoyed the thicker pages, the easy to read story, the couple lift the flaps and how each page had something unique on it. This is story I recommend for young dinosaur fans!

In My Mailbox

This was a meme we started participating in on Mundie Moms, which was started by The Story Siren. It's a post were we share the latest goodies we've receive in our mailbox. Where's what we've received the past two weeks for either review or bought.

From Scholastic:
* Bulldog's Big Day by Kate McMullan, Illustrated by Pascal Lemaitre, published by Scholastic, to be released on February 1st, 2011.
* Tony Baloney by Pam Munoz Ryan, Illustrated Edwin Fotheringham, published by Scholastic, to be released on January 1st, 2011 (not pictured).
* My Glitter Castle by Lily Karr, published by Cartwheel Books, to be released on January 1st, 2011.
* Easter Bunny Basket by Lily Karr, Illustrated by Kyle Poling, published by Scholastic, to be released on January 1st, 2011.
* Clifford Takes a Trip by Norman Bridwell, Published by Scholastic
* I Spy An Egg In An Nest by Jean Marzollo, Illustrated by Walter Wick, published byCartwheel Books, to be released on January 1st, 2011.
* Penny and Pepper by Jeanne Betancourt, Illustrated by Kellee Riley, published by Scholastic, to be released on January 1st, 2011.
* The Civil War, One Event, Six People by Aaron Rosenberg, published by Scholastic, to be released on January 1st, 2011.
* Ways to Live Forever by Sally Nicholls, published by Scholastic *new cover release*
* Dear America-Like The Willow Tree by Lois Lowry, published by Scholastic, to be released on January 1st, 2011 *not pictured*

From Natasha Wing:
* How to Raise a Dinosaur by Natasha Wing & Pablo Bernasconi, published by Running Press, released on September 28th, 2010.

From Bloomsbury:
* Another Whole Nother Story by Cuthbert Soup, Illustrated by Jeffrey Stewart Timmins, published by Bloomsbury USA, released on December 7th, 2010.

From SourceBooks:
* Real Mermaids Don't Wear Toe Rings by Helene Boudreau, published by Sourcebooks, released on December 1st, 2010.

From Del Shannon:
* Kevin's Point of View by Del Shannon, published by Flatiron View Books, released on October 26th, 2010.

What goodies have you recently received?
I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves. ~ Anna Quindlen

Good children's literature appeals not only to
the child in the adult, but to the adult in the child.
~ Anonymous ~