Monday, February 28, 2011

February's Itty Bitty Book Reviews

Alrighty, it's the end of the month.  It's time for my Itty Bitty Book Reviews (ok. sometimes it's hard for me to keep them itty bitty....). These are just the books I finished and the ones I loved.  I read a lot of books. But I didn't like all of them. I didn't even finish some of them.  I'll talk about some of those after this...

Young Adult and Middle Grade Novels:

The Grimm Legacy by Polly Schulman
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Super fun! Seven-league boots, romance, mystery, a flying carpet and the best after school job ever. A unique book with a very likable main character who I wanted to see save the day and her new best friend (not to mention get the cute boy!)

You Wish by Mandy Hubbard
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A teenage girl's birthday wishes all start to come true.  A different one every day. So so funny! And sweet and romantic and brilliant. And who wouldn't love a book with a life-size My Little Pony prancing around?

Dear George Clooney, Will You Marry My Mom? by Susin Nielsen
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Great title, right?  And it's a great fun read. I really felt the MC's pain and loss. But I love how she tried to find the perfect man for her mother...albeit George Clooney.  And I love the twisty ending.  So clever!

Alcatraz Versus the Shattered Glass by Brandon Sanderson
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Oh. I don't know if I can even begin to write a review about this book or any of the Alcatraz books. It's virtually impossible to write an Itty Bitty Book Review for it or any of these books.  But. I. Will. Try. 

(ok. that was short and to the point, right?)

Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George
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Ah, so great, so awesome, crack. I couldn't put it down. 

Princess of Glass by Jessica Day George
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Luckily when I had to put down the Princess of the Midnight Ball I was able to pick this one up.  Jessica Day George, you are a magical writer. But could you please hire someone to do my housework when I read your books? Because, really, nothing gets done. And I'm holding you entirely responsible.

The Reinvention of Moxie Roosevelt by Elizabeth Cody Kimmel
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Cute! And clever! And I love all the trouble this girl gets herself in as she tries to recreate her personality but goes a bit too far and creates a few too many personalities! Haven't we all dreamed about reinventing ourselves? I love how the MC solves the problem.  Great ending.

Worldshaker by Richard Harland
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Wow. Such an interesting book. That is one intense world you created, Mr. Harland. Victorian society? Wildly different social classes? The lowest (a filthy) and the highest (one of the elite upper deck) meet and start to get all gooshy eyed over each other while planning a crazy-big rebellion?  Yep, it has all that AND it takes place on a Juggernaut.  (what's a juggernaut?  well, you'll just have to find out now, won't you?)

The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan
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Mmmmmmm.  I should have put one in the freezer.  Ack! It was so scary!  I had no idea it was about a Zombie Apocolypse.  I am just not a scary book girl. But the writing was fantastic! I stayed up waaaaay late curled up on the couch, tearing through the pages. I had to know what would happen. There was ZERO chance I could put it down and go to sleep. But I thought about that poor zombie baby for days...

Prinsoners of the Palace: How Princess Victoria became Queen with the Help of Her Maid, a Reporter, and a Scoundrel by Michaela MacColl
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I'm not much of a historical-fiction book lover. I love Karen Cushman's books. And there's some others I've enjoyed. And I'd probably love more of them if I wasn't so enthralled with the fantasy/science fiction genre. HOWEVER, this book has a great cover and caught my eye.  I read the blurb and decided to give it a shot.  And I was thrilled with it.  I love the spunky main character, a Lady who becomes an orphan and has to go into service as the then Princess Victoria's maid.. I love Victorian society and this book is a big brilliant puddle of victorian loveliness!

Picture Books and Early Readers:

Wild  Boars Cook by Meg Rosoff and Sophie Blackall

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So, funny.  Espcially the part where Doris tries to add broccoli to their massive pudding.  I still need to try the recipe in the back for the massive cookie. And I love the first book, too, Meet Wild Boars. 

My Friend is Sad by Mo Willems

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I heart Mo Willems. His sense of humor Wow. He is a genius. And I love the characters he creates.

There is a Bird on Your Head by Mo Willems

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Ha ha ha! These books are so fun to read aloud. If you haven't read any Elephant and Piggie books then you're really missing out.  Maybe I'll start buying these for myself so when I have a bad day I'll just pull out one of these....I'd be smiling in no time!

Billy Twitters and his Blue Whale Problem by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Adam Rex
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Speaking of funny.  HA! I had to read this to my family at dinner one night.  I couldn't even make it through it without giggling and guffawing.  Luckily I didn't shoot dinner through my nose (although my kids would have loved that.) Billy Twitter's mom threatens him, "If you don't clean your room we're getting you a blue whale!" He doesn't believe they'll do it.  He figures you can't just get a blue whale delievered overnight.  Apparently Billy didn't know about Fed-Up "Delivering Punishment Worldwide". 

Children Make Horrible Pets by Peter Brown
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Funny! And cute!  I love the illustrations in this book.  I got looking at it and he used paint and CARDBOARD in the pictures.  Cool, right?  This is a funny twist on kids wanting pets.  The girly bear finds a little boy in the forest and begs to kep him. Unfortunately her mom is right. Children do make horrible pets.

Chicken Cheeks by  Micheal Ian Black, Illustrated by Keven Hawkes

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Ha! My kids have loved this one. And they now know a whole slew of new words for bum. Great. Just great. :) Clever and cute.

Big Rabbit's Bad Mood by Ramona Badescu, Illustrated by Delphine Durand

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We love Big Rabbit's big bad booger-whiping Bad Mood and all the rotten things it does. And I love how Big Rabbit's finally figures out how to send that Bad Mood packing.

Now for the...

Itty Bitty Books-I-Didn't-Like-So-Much Reviews:

Of course, I will not be naming any books here.  But this is a good exercise for me, to figure out why I didn't like or didn't even finish some books.  I won't go around slamming books though, so I'll have to give them code names. And I think I'll use a produce theme this month. And, no, the titles are not at all clues to the real books. I'm just being a dork and coming up with dorky titles.

Rutabagas in Love
I had to put this one down. And it wasn't hard to do (that's a bad sign, right?) It was a young adult novel.  And I didn't like the languauge. I don't like profanity. It doesn't make me happy.  And, yep, I like books that help me feel happy. Also, it just wasn't hard to put down.  I think this was mostly due to the fact that the plot wasn't all that mysterious. I felt like I already knew what was going to happen that I think about it.  The MC really should have known what was going on, too.  Dumb girl.

Silence of the Swiss Chard
This middle grade novel is part of a series I love. LOVE. But this book...meh. There wasn't enough of a conflict. The main characters were already in love. There wasn't any of that "Will they ever fall in love?" thing. I like to call this the Moonlighting Effect. Anyone remember that old show Moonlighting?  I don't really even know what it was about. Bruce Willis was in it.  I was pretty young when it was on. But I just remember knowing that Bruce Willis and the leading lady were always trying to get together but they could never quite manage it. Because when they do...the show is over! So, back to the book...just not enough of a problem to keep me turning the pages.  (This was a bit of rambly review. But I'm tired. So, I'm not fixing it.)

Of Mice and Melons
Oh sad! I liked the premise of this young adult book. Clever! Fun! But...such crude language!  Blech.  Enough said.

The Scarlet Tomato
This picture book had such a fun title, a zany beginning and such promise. But then it just flopped. It had a boring ending. It's not one I'd read to my kids again.

Where the Red Strawberries Grow
It was a weird confusing picture book. It had such a fun refrain. That was the best part. My 3 yo loved that. But the rest was strange and disjointed. I don't know. I'm wondering what I missed.

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