Julia Reviews! ‘The Mystery in the Old Attic’ – Tuesday’s Look at this Book!

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Title/Series: The Mystery In The Old Attic/The Boxcar Children
Author: Gertrude Chandler Warner
Year It Was Made: 1997
Publisher: Albert Whitman And Company
Time It Took Me To Read It: 2 Days
Back Of Book: Henry, Jessie, Violet, and Benny used to live alone in a boxcar. Now they have a home with their grandfather, and they are exploring an old house in Michigan.  When the Aldens arrive at the mansion, they can’t wait to start looking through all the rooms. They find an old diary that tells that a diamond and pearl ring is hidden in the house. The only way to find the ring is to solve the riddle written in the diary. But someone has already found the ring-and sold it! Who could be responsible? The Boxcar Children must find out!!!
My Review: This is such an amazing book! You’ll LOVE it! This is a great classic!!! My teacher read this book when she was little. It was her favorite, and now, it’s mine! (It’ll be yours,too!;)
Best Quote: He had just noticed that the ceiling continued above a wall that did not reach all the way  to the rafters. “There is a room behind that wall!” Benny exclaimed!

‘Mr. Gumpy’s Outing’ – Look at this Book!

* Every Tuesday we introduce you to a favorite book from our secret book room.

 

Today’s great book: Mr. Gumpy’s Outing by John Burningham (1970, Henry Holt and Company)

Interesting Facts about the Author: “John Burningham – A Life in Pictures”

Time to Read: we read it just before bed

Summary:  from the inside cover…”Mr. Gumpy lives by a river.  One sunny day he decides to take a ride in his small boat.  It is such a perfect idea, for such a perfect summer day, that he soon has company:  first the children, then the rabbit, the cat, the dog, the pig, the sheep, the chickens, and still others until – Mr. Gumpy’s outing comes to an inevitable but not unhappy, conclusion.”

Best Quote from the Book:  “May I come, please Mr. Gumpy?”  said the pig.  “Very well, but don’t muck about.”

Our View:  I knew very little of the book of John Burningham until I was surprised on my birthday with a large hardback edition of his book, Would You Rather?, a wonderfully illustrated read-aloud that asks the reader all kinds of outlandish questions to determine what they would like to do on a particular day.  When I ran across the book, Mr. Gumpy’s Outing, I immediately knew it was his book because of the familiar illustration on its cover.  His style of drawing is immediately recognizable and interesting, while all the while beckoning the reader to open the book and get reading.  The cadence of the words is also a wonderful example of a superior read-aloud for children.  Teachers/classrooms and families/homes need this book!

Favorite Illustrations from the Book:

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‘Cranberry Easter’ – Tuesday’s Look at THIS Book!

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* Every Tuesday we introduce you to a favorite book from our secret book room.

 

Today’s great book: Cranberry Easter by Wende and Harry Devlin (1990, Aladdin Books)

The Authors’ FUN Website:  http://www.harryandwendedevlin.com/

Time to Read: we read it just before bed

Summary:  from the website…”Mr. Whiskers realizes something must be done, but what? Just when things look their worst, his young friend Maggie comes up with a plan that may save the egg hunt, and convince Seth that Cranberryport is the place for him after all!”

Best Quote from the Book:  “Suffering codfish, Seth, these old folks are all alone.  Somebody’s got to help.  They need you!”

Our View:  I am especially fascinated right now by what I like to call “kind-hearted books.”  If there were ever a book that had kind-hearted characters in it, this would be the one – actually, the entire Cranberry series introduces us to a wonderful group of people.  There is something special and rare about a children’s book that does not speak down to children and does not create only child characters, but instead offers a story that brings generations together and instills a respect and wonder for those around us. The illustrations are colorful and interesting and will easily capture the attention of children of all ages.  From a sense of community to a sense of humor, Cranberry Easter weaves a tale of family and friends that will strike a familiar and hopeful chord with its readers.

Recipe Alert:  This series also includes a great cranberry recipe in the back of each book!

 

Baby Frederico Thursday Reviews! – ‘I Am Abraham Lincoln’

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*Every Thursday we introduce you to another quick bedtime story (or book review) from our family’s favorite resident reptile – Baby Frederico. His backstory can be found here.  Enjoy!

Baby Frederico loves his Momma Mia and Papá Frita, his buddy Grenelda the Grasshopper, blue crayons, popcorn and…books about Abraham Lincoln.  Here is something new:

April 10, 2014

Hi everyone,

Here is a brand new book, hot off the press, and by one of the coolest new children’s authors on the shelf – Brad Meltzer (he even signed his book for us).  My Papa Frita likes to watch his television show ‘Decoded’ on The History Channel; I like to read the great new series, Ordinary People Change the World, that he is now writing for reptilian (and human) readers like us!

So today, let’s make a list of all the great things I love about I Am Abraham Lincoln (2014, Penguin) with illustrations by the amazing (and former letterer for Marvel Comics!) Christopher Eliopoulos.  This is a book of history and helpers and heroes and friendship and politics and growing up…in just 38 short pages.

1.  There is nothing like a good book of words AND drawings, all in the same place. This book does that on EVERY page.

2.  There’s a turtle in this book, and you know how much I love small green animals.

3.  The book is written from the point of view of Abraham Lincoln as a little boy.

4.  Abe even gives us some ideas about how to deal with bullies.

5.  Abe tells us about how many times he failed before he was elected president of the United States.  My grandma always says, “If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again.”  Abe must have had a grandma like mine!

6.  There is even a page of photographs from Abe’s real life.

7.  The most important part of the book is that it explains how one person can make a difference – one child, one adult.  I could even be a hero to someone!

I am learning that ordinary people can and do change the world.  Abe is a lot more like you than you might think.  If you’ll read this book, there is no telling what it will make you stand up for now….and when you grow up!

Reading is it,

Baby Frederico

‘Baby Frederico Reviews’ – Thursday Books with Baby Frederico!

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*Every Thursday we introduce you to another quick bedtime story about our family’s favorite resident reptile – Baby Frederico. His backstory can be found here.  Enjoy!

Baby Frederico loves his Momma Mia and Papá Frita, his buddy Grenelda the Grasshopper, blue crayons, popcorn and…books (can you believe it!?).  Here is something new:

April 3, 2014

Hi everyone,

This is Baby Frederico and I have an idea.  I’m so glad you have been reading about my adventures every week for nearly eight months!  Since I am now a major part of this website and my picture is showing up on facebook and twitter every week, I was thinking about something.  I like to read too, so I would like to give you a few book reviews of my own, from the very unique perspective of a pint-size green reptile of course.

This week I’ll just start with a few of my favorite picture books of all time, the books that really got me reading and excited about books.  I’ll review others in the weeks ahead.  Here we go…

1.  A Color of His Own by Leo Lionni- it stars a chameleon who finds a true friend.  No wonder I love it!

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2.  An Extraordinary Egg by Leo Lionni – green reptiles all over this book, and it’s funny!

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3.  It’s Mine by Leo Lionni – three green frogs learn a good lesson.  This Leo Lionni guy is a rock star!

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4.  The Crows of PearlBlossom by Aldous Huxley – the snake is not nice in this story, but the joke’s on him!

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5.  Art and Max by David Weisner- two cool reptiles and awesome illustrations!  My favorite book cover, too!

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Reading is the thing,

Baby Frederico

 

 

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Julia Reviews: ‘Don’t Tell Anyone’ – Tuesday’s Look at this Great Book!

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I am always grateful when our 9-year old reads a book that excites her so much she has to write about it here on the website. This book came from her school library. Here’s the story:

TITLE: DON’T TELL ANYONE (2000, Puffin Books)

AUTHOR: PEG KEHRET

TIME IT TOOK ME TO READ: 2 WEEKS

BEST QUOTE FROM THE BOOK: “I WAS SO WORRIED THAT I COULDN’T EVEN SING,” SAID MEGAN’S LITTLE SISTER.

BACK OF BOOK: THE FERAL CATS LIVE IN THE OPEN FIELD NEAR MEGAN’S HOUSE. IT’S ABOUT TO BE BULLDOZED FOR AN APARTMENT BUILDING. ONLY MEGAN CAN HELP THEM. AN ODD MAN OFFERS TO HELP SAVE THE CATS, BUT HE ACTS SO STRANGELY, MEGAN KNOWS THERE IS SOMETHING NOT QUITE RIGHT ABOUT HIM. AFTER WITNESSING A HIT-AND-RUN CAR ACCIDENT, MEGAN SUDDENLY BEGINS RECEIVING DISTURBING NOTES PROMISING A LIFE OF DANGER IF SHE DOESN’T KEEP HER MOUTH SHUT. NOT KNOWING WHO TO TRUST, MEGAN WILL HAVE TO RELY ON HER WITS IN ORDER TO SAVE THE CATS- AND HERSELF- FROM THE TREACHEROUS ADVENTURES THAT LIE AHEAD!!!!!!!!!!!

MY REVIEW: I LOVE MYSTERIES, SO THIS WAS MY KIND OF BOOK. PEG KEHRET IS ONE OF MY FAVORITE AUTHORS. SHE IS SO CREATIVE AND DETAILED. THERE IS NO DOUBT ABOUT IT THAT YOU WILL FALL IN LOVE WITH THIS AMAZING AND THRILLING BOOK!!!

‘St. Patrick’s Day in the Morning’ – A Special MONDAY Look at this Book!

* Every Tuesday we introduce you to a favorite book from our secret book room, but since today is St. Patrick’s Day we wanted to share our favorite book on a Monday rather than a Tuesday this week!  Here it is:

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Today’s great book: St. Patrick’s Day in the Morning written by Eve Bunting and illustrated by Jan Brett (1980, Clarion Books)

Teacher Website:  http://www.houghtonmifflinbooks.com/readers_guides/bunting/

The Illustrator’s Website:  http://www.janbrett.com/index.html

Time to Read: short and sweet; March 17 was made for this book!

Summary:  from the back of the book…”Come and join Jamie Donovan as he creates his own St. Patrick’s Day parade and proves that he is big enough to climb Acorn Hill!”

Best Quote from the Book:  “The sun jumped up like a firecracker from behind the mountain.  ‘A happy St. Pat’s to you, sun,’ Jamie shouted.  The words made a great shimmer of sound in the emptiness.”

Our View:  This books has always seemed like an old classic to me.  It has that wonderful Jan Brett illustration to accompany the gracious, kindhearted text of Eve Bunting – and there is lots of green on every page to put you in that St. Patrick’s Day spirit.  The other aspect of the book that we like is how we watch the little boy figure out a way to become part of the grand celebration of the village.  There is just no way to consider a book like this as just a story for the holiday.  It is so much more and so beautifully told.