Thursday, September 26, 2013

Is a Worry Worrying You? by Ferida Wolff, Harriet May Savitz, Marie LeTourneau (Illustrations)

Is a Worry Worrying You?Is a Worry Worrying You? by Ferida Wolff
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Is a Worry Worrying You? is a wonderful story filled with silly pictures and situations to help explain to children different kinds of worries they may face and how to get rid of them.

This is a book that should be read to all children. Actually adults could learn from it as well. Because we all have worries, it doesn't matter your age. And children unlike most (not all) adults don't understand why they are worrying or how to over come their worrying. I know myself I am a big worrier. I worry about a lot of stuff, stuff that is beyond my control but I just can't help. I'm getting better at it that. But enough about me back to this book.

I don't think I can say anything negative about this book even if I tried. I for one will be going out and picking up myself a copy. Because you never know when a worry will be worrying you. :)

I received a copy from Tanglewood Press, via Netgalley for review.

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Magic Words From the Ancient Oral Tradition of the Inuit

Magic Words: From the Ancient Oral Tradition of the InuitMagic Words: From the Ancient Oral Tradition of the Inuit by Vanita Oelschlager
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Beautifully, beautifully illustrated. The colors just jump off the pages.

Magic Words is a poem which has been translated from Inuit, it is very short and simple. But yet it's message and meaning are far from it. The mind is magical and powerful thing. The words and images work tell a story that when you read it over again you see other things that you never saw the first time through it.

Great for Pre-K up through primary aged kids.

Arc copy provided by Vanita Books, via Netgalley.

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Sunday, September 22, 2013

The Ballerina & The Fighter (The Ballerina and The Fighter, #1) by Ursula Sinclair

The Ballerina & The Fighter (The Ballerina and The Fighter, #1)The Ballerina & The Fighter by Ursula Sinclair
Rating: 2.5 stars of 5

I was given a copy in exchange for an honest review
Warning potential chance to spoil.

I almost gave up on this book when I first started. It wasn't doing anything for me at all, folding my laundry was exciting me more. I know that sounds harsh, but to quote Miss Cyrus:

The writing at times was irksome, "Sure 'nuff we found it". I don't normally nit pick like that but it annoyed me. The first part of the story had me shaking my head, because I'm like who does that. Who just takes their picture with random people they don't know. Someone who was watching you and your friend dancing on the beach? I don't care how "hawt" the person is, its just, I don't know, weird (and I like weird) maybe creepy is a better word.

By the way this isn't going to be a negative review of The Ballerina & The Fighter, because it did improve story wise. I wanted to not give up, folding laundry could wait a little longer. The writing was still a little irksome for me but it wasn't standing out to me as much.

So yay!

The Ballerina & The Fighter is told from two different point of views, both Maze and Ivy's. Starting when they were teenagers meeting for the first time in the Summer before they both heading off to peruse their perspective paths in life. A summer that was both wonderful and heartbreaking for Ivy. Memories that eventually lead her to push Maze out of her life.

After many years have past the book switches to present day. Both are successful in their careers Ivy, a Prima ballerina and Maze, who has never lost, a match is one of the top fighters of mixed marshal arts.

Their lives, only connecting through texts that only occur on key dates and Google searches. But one day that all changes. Maze keeping track of Ivys career takes in one of her shows, in fact buying out the box so he can watch it alone. Never been able to get her out of his thoughts even though it's been many years.

Potential, there is so much potential for this.

After the initial hump of ugh, the story held me. It was sweet, sad, suspenseful. I can see why people have rated higher. To me it was an okay read. I'll check out the blurb for the next book because well with that ending there HAS to be one.

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Thursday, September 19, 2013

Yellow Crocus by Laila Ibrahim

Yellow CrocusYellow Crocus by Laila Ibrahim
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

First of all a rating, 4.5 stars.

So where to begin with this review.

This book is wonderful, and deeply moving. Tugging on many many emotions. My heart swelled up and it also broke, my eyes filled with tears but I also smiled. Felt struggle and pain also pride and joy. Pure happiness as well as pure agony.

The topic of slavery in the US has also been of interest to me, as a small child one of my favorite books was Freedom Train: The Story of Harriet Tubman, a book that I have read many times and still own today. I have written papers in University about slavery and abolitionism, it should never have happened.

  No person should have ever been allowed to own another.  No race, gender, creed, sexual orientation is any better then the other. We are all equal and should be treated as such.

But other then a story involving slavery, Yellow Crocus is a coming of age story. The bond and love between 'Lisbeth and her nurse, Mattie is so strong and that time, space and skin color can't do anything to break it.

Yellow Crocus follows both their story, switching sides through out the book. Essentially it's told from the side of 'Lisbeth as we watch her grow and come of age. She is naive and innocent to the ways of world, she knows that her family and other white families "owned" black people as field hands and house slaves. But she really has no idea of the cruelty behind it, she is led to believe that they are helping them to become more Christian and this is just the way it is. That is the best thing for them, they are protecting them. Until one day she witnesses the terror in a poor little girls eyes, an image that haunts her day in and out. Waking her up to question and realize all that she was taught to believe,   that owning another human being, slavery is wrong.

So now why 4.5 stars and not 5?

It got to the point where I knew what was going to happen in the story, I just new it was going to happen. Also I would have liked to seen more events from Mattie's side. And I wanted more in the end, I wanted more story.

I highly highly recommend this book, if you have any interest in that point of time in history or if you just want a story that will touch your heart.

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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Carrot by Vanita Oelschlager, Kristin Blackwood (Illustrator)

CarrotCarrot by Vanita Oelschlager
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Read Now copy via NetGalley

What drew me to this book was the big orange cat on the cover, and as a lover of cats (especially orange ones) I just had to check it out.

Carrot is a cute little rhyming book about the daily adventures of Carrot the cat. One day she sees a white long haired kitty named Buffy looking rather royal like on a yacht. After spending sometime admiring Buffy she starts to wonder what her life is like and what her own life would be like if she could be Buffy. At first it all seems to be wonderful and exciting, thinking of all the things she could do and see. But after more thought Carrot starts to think of all the things she would miss if she lived in that world rather then her own.

This story is a great for teaching children that as much as some other persons life may seem more interesting and better then theirs, things are not always as they seem. And to think about all that they have, that would be missed out on if you they could change places with someone else.

I do have some issues with the book, some of the words are rather big for a children's book, especially for those trying to read it on their own. The story it's self while I found it to be cute seemed just a tad too lengthy. But that is just MY opinion.

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Friday, September 13, 2013

It Happened at the Fair by Deeanne Gist

It Happened at the FairIt Happened at the Fair by Deeanne Gist
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Cullen is a young inventor, his father wanting him to go for his dreams has purchased his tickets and applied for him to go to the World Fair in Chicago. Cullen's invention is the automatic fire sprinkler, it's the next step in fire safety and prevention. It could save the lives of many. But he's having a hard time selling any because he can't prove it works.

Della is a young attractive lady who is a teacher for deaf children, teaching them how to read lips rather then use sign language. The whole purpose is to treat them as if they where like everyone else. But is this way of thinking and teaching only going to make them stand out more? Make them feel even less then normal when they are able to read the hate full things people say about them because they are "different"? They are living in a time where to be different, means there is something wrong with you, you're dumb and you should be locked up in the mad house.

Cullen is losing his hearing in one of his ears and with the help of Della's private lessons he starting read lips. Through these lessons and outings together feelings start to grow between the two. But the thing is there is a girl back home who Cullen is to marry but now he's doubting if ever really loved her in the first place.

It Happened at the Fair is a sweet story. With blooming and unexpected love, heartbreak, tragedy. The connection between Della and Cullen made me smile many times and we witness it growing through out the story.

I really enjoyed the pictures through out, it really helped in placing me at the fair with them. Looking forward continuing this series.

Review copy provided by Howard Books, via NetGalley.

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