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FatherCraneMadeMeDoIt

FatherCraneMadeMeDoIt

Huggly's Thanksgiving parade - Tedd Arnold
For more reviews, check out my blog: Craft-Cycle

A nice story about some little monsters who go on an adventure into the human world. Funny illustrations. I loved the weird way the monsters interacted with the humans ("big people guy", "booming people voice").

Silly and fun book. I also enjoyed the little bit about friendship at the end.
Scholastic Reader Level 1: May I Please Have a Cookie?: May I Please Have A Cookie? - Jennifer Morris

For more reviews, check out my blog: Craft-Cycle

An adorable introduction to using your manners. This is a good book for young readers. With simple words and short sentences, it is a very good beginning book for children. 

I loved the humorous way of teaching manners. Also, the pictures are well-done with a variety of emotions expressed (happy, sad, mad). Many books only feature happy characters so I was glad to see other emotions in this book. Great for teaching about emotions as well.

Look for the Lorax - Tish Rabe, Christopher Moroney, Jan Gerardi
For more reviews, check out my blog: Craft-Cycle

This is a nice, easy-to-read book. Set in pre-Once-ler times, the book goes through the Lorax's world with simple rhymes and descriptions. The reader is exposed to the various animals that live around the truffula trees and learn about opposites at the same time.

Growing up, The Lorax was my all-time favorite book (and to be honest, it's probably still my favorite children's book as an adult). While the kids I work with enjoy the colorful illustrations of the original, the text is a bit long for them. So finding this book in the Little Free Lending Library was perfect. This is a great book to introduce young readers to the Lorax.
You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost): A Memoir - Felicia Day
For more reviews, check out my blog: Craft-Cycle

I listened to the audiobook and it was amazing! It was read by Felicia Day and Joss Whedon (foreword), which made it that much better.

I didn't know much about Felicia Day before checking this out from the library. I knew she was a gamer and had seen her on Tabletop, but I didn't know much else. My husband told me not to watch The Guild, because I wouldn't like it. Joke's on him. I immediately started binge-watching it and loved it. It was even funnier after hearing about some of the random things about filming in the book (baby with a power-strip anecdote). 

This is a hilarious book. Day goes through many major events in her life from homeschooling, becoming a violin prodigy, filming The Guild, to her fame afterward. There are some dark places along the way, but I loved how Day used those moments to call out bad things in the world (harassment of women who game) and motivate the reader to create change. 

Well-written, extremely funny. I am now a huge fan of Felicia Day. Great read, I highly recommend getting the audio-book. 
Dairy Queen - Catherine Gilbert Murdock
For more reviews, check out my blog: Craft-Cycle

I picked this book up at the Little Free Lending Library, because as someone who grew up in a small town in Wisconsin surrounded by farms and a bad high school football team, I thought I could find something to relate to in it. 

At first, I hated the book. I thought D.J.'s narration was really annoying and the whole Brian-love-interest storyline was eye-rolling and predictable. But as I kept reading, it got a lot better. This book isn't just about football or love or friendship. It's about finding your place in life and all of the things that are part of it. It's about family and relationships and talking things out... and yes, it's got a lot of football in it. But even if, like me, you aren't a huge fan of football, there is still a lot to enjoy in this book.

It's funny in a cute way (not a laugh out loud way). It's empowering as D.J. finally gets the push she needs. But most of all, it is a nice, fresh look at teenage life and one girl's journey in figuring out who she wants to be. 

I will say that I think the whole lesbian-plotline thing could have been handled better. There is a resolution of sorts, but I don't think it was pushed as far as it should have been. Despite the importance of the relationship, it sure didn't get a lot of mention in the text. The end seemed like a quick fix and D.J.'s thoughts and opinions about lesbians was still kind of fuzzy. She said some not-so-great things previously in the narration and while it's assumed she probably doesn't think that way by the end, things aren't laid out as clearly as I feel they should have been.

Overall, a good read and an interesting story. 
Sidewalks - Valeria Luiselli, Christina MacSweeney, Cees Nooteboom
For more reviews, check out my blog: Craft-Cycle

This is a phenomenal collection of essays.I loved it. I have only read one other book by Luiselli (Faces in the Crowd) and loved it as well. I would really like to read more by her. She has a very unique and imaginative way of describing things and expressing her insight into various topics.

This book includes essays on language, travel, and self-identity, among other things. From looking for a grave in a cemetery to accidentally becoming a Venetian citizen, Luiselli describes some of her experiences in her characteristic wit and delves into their deeper meaning for her life and the world as a whole.

Beautifully written. You've never read anything quite like this. Highly recommend.
Batman Classic: Starro and Stripes Forever: With Superman and Wonder Woman - Gina Vivinetto, Rick Farley, Kanila Tripp
For more reviews, check out my blog: Craft-Cycle

Overall, a good story. I liked that this book included Wonder Woman and she actually had a role in the defeat of Starro.

Kind of an advanced read for children. The pictures are pretty simple and not super-cartoony so probably better for older children who are interested in superheroes. For younger superhero-enthusiast, I think the Super Hero Squad books would be a better fit. Yes, I know there's a whole DC vs. Marvel thing going on there, but it's my point of reference. Any of the Lego Batman ones would probably work for DC fans, but I have not read any of them.
Batter Up!/Soccer Star! (SpongeBob SquarePants) - David Lewman
For more reviews, check out my blog:Craft-Cycle

Thoughts on Batter Up!

Nice story about trying and doing your best. Silly and funny like the show, but without any of the controversial humor. Overall, a fun read, especially for fans of SpongeBob 

Thoughts on Soccer Star!

Another silly SpongeBob sports story. It is a fun, simple story, filled with funny moments.
Carnival (Team Umizoomi) - Nickelodeon Publishing

For more reviews, check out my blog: Craft-Cycle

Cute story. A nice adaptation of the TV show. Good for fans of Team Umizoomi. There are a lot of learning exercises, as in the show, to test shapes, patterns, and counting. 

A nice read for kids.

Come Out, Bear - Bob Barner, Don Stuart

For more reviews, check out my blog: Craft-Cycle

 

A nice book with soothing text, a simple story, and feel-good illustrations. A wonderful picture book. 

The Zombie Chasers #4: Empire State of Slime - John Kloepfer
For more reviews, check out my blog: Craft-Cycle

I found this in the Little Lending Library by my house and thought it looked right up my alley. I love zombies and gross-out books like Captain Underpants and The Day My Butt Went Psycho. Unfortunately, this one did not live up to my expectations. 

This is the first book I have read in The Zombie Chasers series, so I didn't really know what to expect. The writing was okay. Kloepfer comes up with some truly gruesome and impressive descriptions to describe the slimy zombies. But sometimes it just felt like his looked up synonyms for "gross" and "monster" online and threw them into the text haphazardly. Sometimes they just didn't fit all that well, like when he randomly referred to the zombies as hellhounds. That is not a word I would have expected used to refer to humanoid zombies. 

Also, the plot was pretty loose. I'm not sure exactly what happened in the first three books, but based on this one I can pretty much guess. Basically, in this one, people become rezombified and the group has to once again save humanity. However, it really just turns into a string of zombie encounters. They are entertaining, but don't really tie the story together. The story drags on with the lack of story. Also, the cliff-hanger ending was a huge disappointment.
Moving Forward Sideways Like a Crab - Shani Mootoo

For more reviews, check out my blog:Craft-Cycle

I received a copy of this book through Goodreads in exchange for an honest review.

I didn't really know anything about the book going into it. The summary on the back cover sounded interesting enough. Once I started reading, I was really confused. The back cover says Jonathan's parents split up, then his mother vanishes and later transitions into a man. So reading this, I assumed Jonathan was raised by his father. It took forever for me to figure out he was raised by a lesbian couple who then separated (one of whom transitions into a man). The summary wasn't wrong, but was rather vague. The family dynamics were very unclear and confusing to start. Even I, as someone who comes from a "non-traditional" family had to reread sections to figure it all out. It was such an easy fix, it seemed silly to start out so vaguely. 

Once I got over that bump, I was ready for the book to get good. Unfortunately, that never happened. "Moving forward sideways like a crab" is the beautiful idea of telling a story from a roundabout way, focusing on all of the surrounding details. This is a great concept, but makes for a very drawn out and dull read. 

At one point, Sydney states, "of course one wants relief after suspense, and I must admit that in a life like mine, there seems to be constant suspense and little relief, even now" (187). This pretty much sums up the book. There is so much buildup and it really doesn't lead anywhere. Nothing amazing or profound happens. By the end, the layout is pretty predictable. It ends right about where you expect it to, with little actually occurring. Yes, there is some emotional stuff and relationship stuff, but it was pretty boring. 

Also, Jonathan himself was a very irritating character. I couldn't get over how whiny, self-centered, and petty he was. I just kept wanting to slap him and shout, "It's not that big of a deal! Chill out!" He seemed so overdramatic all the time.

There were also moments that felt unrealistic. At one point, some of Sydney's friends visit the house. Jonathan overreacts (big surprise) and starts freaking out, babbling on in the narrative, comparing it to a circus and saying other transphobic things. Then he passes out, one of the visitors is nice to him, and he magically is not transphobic anymore. I'm glad he changed, but it came about so suddenly and awkwardly that it didn't feel real. 

Boring book. I bumped it up to 2-stars, because I think it had an interesting idea, but horrible execution. 

The Quicksand Book - Tomie dePaola

 

For more reviews, check out my blog Craft-Cycle

A cool book that is as educational and as it is entertaining. A great way to learn about quicksand. The information is simple and easy to understand while still incorporating a fun story. A nice way to learn.

And I really liked the ending. 

 

Rapunzel's Wedding Day (Disney Princess) - Walt Disney Company

For more reviews, check out my blog Craft-Cycle

It has been a while since I read this book, but I remember liking it. It's a funny misadventure about Max and Pascal running all over town, trying to get the wedding rings back and making a mess. It's a fun and quick read with an interesting story.

Rapunzel's Royal Wedding/Belle's Royal Wedding (Disney Princess) (Pictureback(R)) - RH Disney, RH Disney

For more reviews, check out my blog Craft-Cycle

Thoughts on Rapunzel's Royal Wedding:

Kind of interesting, because it is basically what was happening at the actual wedding during Rapunzel's Wedding Day while Maximus and Pascal were trying to get the rings back. 

Cute story, but not much happened. It was just basically what Rapunzel had to do to get ready for her wedding day (way to not help out, Eugene!). I did like seeing more stories with Rapunzel's brown hair after feeling gypped during Tangled: The Series when Rapunzel get's her magical blonde hair back (Brunettes, unite!). 

Nice illustrations, although what kind of monsters eat wedding cake with a spoon!?

Thoughts on Belle's Royal Wedding:

Similar style to the Rapunzel story. It was cute and the illustrations were nice, but not much happened. I did think it was weird reading about their wedding and never knowing what "The Prince's" name is. Minor thing that isn't really important, but as I'm an adult, I'm like, "So what does she call him? She's like 'Good morning, Prince' and 'Can you pass the salt, Prince?'" Seems weird. Anyway, the story was fine, if you like the whole Beauty and the Beast thing. I'm firmly on the Stockholm Syndrome side of the argument, but whatever. 

Okay books. My only real commentary is on the weirdness of books written for children about princess weddings. Yes, we all know girls are supposed to grow up and marry the prince at a lavish wedding that they are supposed to plan. Let's give them some real adventures, huh?

Super Hero Squad: Iron Man's Super Power Mix-Up - Zachary Rau
For more reviews, check out my blog Craft-Cycle

Found this is the Little Free Lending Library by my house and, as a big fan of superheroes and picture books, I picked it up to give it a read. 

This is a fun story about mixed-up super powers. The illustrations are cool, because of the superhero mashups. I ended up bringing this book to work (I work with 3-5-year-olds) and all of the kids enjoyed it as well, (especially Tiny Hulk Smash!). 

I don't know much about the Superhero Squad, but my one complaint would be that there are absolutely no female characters in the book. A quick Google search revealed that there are a decent amount of female characters in the series (Invisible Woman, Storm, Ms. Marvel, Scarlet Witch, Wasp, Black Widow, Sif), but none appear in this book despite the mixed cast of Avengers and X-men. 

Overall, a fun read with great illustrations. Would just like some more female representation.