A book ahead of its times! The ending is so oddly in tune with contemporary thought on happiness and depression, Burnett could have written Burns’ classic self-help tome, Feeling Good. That aside, the timeless story is one of survival and friendship -- two little wretches who grow into healthy, strong, loving young people. Interesting isn’t it that research shows...Read More
Bump, bump, bump on the back of his head. Winnie Ther Pooh. Haycornes and Heffalumps.
How many times have I read these charming stories to my own kids, skipping whole pages so bedtime doesn’t stretch on until 10pm?
The tone is gentle, paternal (without being didactic). And there’s a lesson to writers...Read More
Simple, straightforward prose and a moving tale of survival.
The prose is almost poetic in its stripped-down simplicity; it mirrors the thoughts (as I imagine them) of a young boy, yet hints at depth in his character that make me willing to spend almost 200pgs with him and...Read More
(One of my all-time favorite Paterson novels.) Distance brings you nearer.
Paterson uses the third person in this and most of her novels, first person being too egotistical, in her view (some essay/lecture of hers). But the voices of the characters are so vivid, so alive, it could be written in crayon and I’d stillRead More
An adventure-filled story that ends up being a bit of a mystery. Are the borrowers real?
I can see the appeal—what child doesn’t wonder who got off with their pencil stub or favorite toy car? The characters are richly drawn, the details making the little people believable and the whole story credible.
I don’t see the necessity of...Read More
My first thought: wow! Dahl is on LSD! Which makes sense for an early 80s book (child of the 60s/70s). But no, not psychotropic drugs, just a little Freud and Jung with a dash of Platonic forms. Ok, on to at least one real thought: BFG’s fabulous voice of made-up words, rhythm and bizarre syntax that never muddles meaning. It is so vivid and real, and so surprisingly...Read More
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst. Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 1972.
Viorst respects the child’s world; her protagonist wakes up grumpy, gum in his hair, and as the day continues everything else seems to go so wrong...Read More
Engaging the child within everyday family life. The lyrical text is sweet and gentle, reminding me of Rosemary Wells, and with it, Russell uncovers everyday details to engage the world of a child. The sorts of details that may drive a parent batty, but get at how closely children observe aspects of the world that appeal to or interest them. There is a deep understanding of...Read More
Super-fast summary: Little mouse Lily has a crush on her teacher. She so wants to impress him with her new purse, but ends up disrupting class and being scolded. Her crush quickly turns to anger and she draws a cruel picture, but later repents and all is well.
The bigness of Lily's angst, like Ramona’s in the Ramona Quimby books, shows...Read More
One of my children’s favorite books, though a little long for a bedtime read-aloud. It’s the story of Officer Buckle and his police dog, Gloria, who is (unbeknownst to Buckle) full of hysterical antics. Rathmann uses ...Read More