Friday, March 14, 2008

This Week's Reading

Ugly Fish
by Kara LaReau, illustrated by Scott Magoon
Ugly Fish reminds me a lot of some of the fish I've kept over time, except with a more pronounced underbite. The big problem with keeping anything other than goldfish is that violent death is likely to enter the picture at some point. This book is good preparation for that. And, for whatever reason it's not all that scary.

Mean Soup
by Betsy Everitt
Elise picked this one randomly off the shelf, and it has proven a very good read. Horace is having a lousy day, and his mom knows just what to do. I can see us making some mean soup of our own one of these days.

You're Somebody Special, Walliwigs!
by Joan Rankin
Through a series of unfortunate events, Walliwigs gets separated from his biological mother and ends up being raised by a chicken. It's a great story, and I hope I'm as good at being a mom as Martha the chicken. We reviewed Scaredy Cat a few weeks ago, and this is a similarly quirky but warm story. I like this author!

I'm Not Cute!
by Jonathan Allen
There are few things more annoying to a little one than constantly being called cute and adorable and having one's cheeks pinched etc. The poor little owl in this story has a hard time getting the grown-ups in his life to appreciate his point of view. Luckily, his mom knows what's what. I love this story, but it loses points for having the little owl go to bed at night.

Stuff On My Cat
by Mario Garza
This is a collection of pictures of cats with silly things on them. I saw a picture of Leta reading this on dooce one day and thought we'd give it a try given that Elise and Leta are of similar temperament and Elise loves all things cat these days. She has had endless fun looking through the pages and making up stories about the cats.

And in a complete departure from the norm, I'd like to mention what I read this past week.

The Final Confession of Mabel Stark
by Robert Hough
I've never been that excited by the circus, so it was odd to have Elise point to this on the shelf and for me to say "okay" and give it a try. Mabel Stark was a real-live tiger trainer back in the teens and twenties. Reputedly the best in the business, in fact. She got married a lot and mauled a lot and there aren't a lot of details known about her life other than that. Hough has quite the imagination and there were some parts of the book that I thought were a little too descriptive. But I love the idea of this tough old lady who trained tigers into her 80s.

Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency & The Long Dark Tea Time of the Soul
by Douglas Adams
I last read these two books in high school, and had a sudden hankering for them. This past Tuesday would have been Adams' 56th birthday, which should serve as a reminder to us all to look after our heart health. Anyway, I like Dirk Gently, and I like the silliness of these stories.


Anonymous said...

Gee, all of those--except stuff on a cat--are new to me. The Mean Soup made me think of a favorite of mine and popular with the kids. It is called Enemy Pie and tells how a day bakes a pie that will help get rid of the narrator's new enemy who just happens to be the new kid int he neighborhood. Part of the secret is to play with the enemy all day before feeding him the pie. It gets the kids going on what should go in the pie and what will happen if the boys eat it.
Thanks again for sharing what you read.

Anonymous said...

As you think about what to get for the coming week here are two titles that I have recently read to classes at school that got raves from kids and from me.

No Such Thing by Jackie French Koller is about a monster under the bed and the boy who moves in to sleep in the bed. Both of their mamas says "There is no such things as..." boys or monsters, depending on the species here. When the two young ones meet they learn that valuable lesson that sometimes kids know more than their parents.

That Rabbit Belongs to Emily Brown by Cressida Cowell is the perfect story of a strong young woman who knows all about friendship and having adventures. The queen sends various of her minions to Emily's house, always just as she and Stanley her stuffed rabbit are about to begin a new adventure, to request that the queen be given the rabbit, which she calls Bunnywunny. Emily holds her ground against lots of offers and not too concealed threats. In the end she teaches the queen a thing or two about how to enjoy toys. The illustrations are wonderful and so is the story.

Enough already. Enjoy.

SWE said...

Thanks for the recommendations-we're just starting a "monster" phase so No Such Thing is very timely indeed. Interestingly, from your description I absolutely remember reading this one at the library and deciding not to bring it home because monsters weren't an issue at the time.

I was excited to see that the library's computer system showed it on the shelves at our branch, but when we looked today it wasn't there. Apparently, it hasn't been checked out there in over 5 years so who knows where it actually is. I know it's there somewhere, though. The librarian marked it as MIA and requested a copy from another branch for us. We ~love~ One Monkey Too Many by the same author, btw.