Tag Archives: children’s literature

Not the Eddie Murphy version

9 Mar

We have a new obsession at our house. It’s The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle by Hugh Lofting.

Oh, what joy the digital pages of that free download are bringing my boys. I’m telling you – public domain books are where it’s at.

Not only is it a charming little read with fanciful ideas and interesting characters – reading it via Kindle for iPad (if you want to get specific) is super super fun. Yep. You read that right. Super. Super. Fun.

See, the book is packed full of all sorts of geographical and zoological references. Some real. Some less than so. For instance, when the Purple Bird of Paradise flew over the Azores we could immediately Google both. Azores: real. Purple Bird of Paradise: less than so. Photographs of the beautiful localle now flood our mind while images of a swooping feathery wonder flood our mind’s eye.

Another tidbit learned whilst researching: The Fidgit Fish is a creation of Hugh Lofting, whereas the little guy’s most frightful nemesis, the Dogfish, is a creation of God (read: REAL). Imagine how hungry the Dogfish has been all these years searching for his make-believe snack!

My suggestion is this: Get yourself a Kindle (advertisement endorsment, please), or an iPhone (pretty please), or an iPad (Apple, do you hear me?), or a really relevant set of Encyclopedias that follow you around as you read, and sit down with this classic. Its fusion of fact and fantasy is fascinating. Find the stuff at your fingertips and Flash! – fiction fun.


Boy Review

25 Nov

Our house is in turmoil.

Angst ridden boys are littering the floor.

We left our book in Ainsworth.

Horrible stuff, I tell you. Makes me shiver. But, lucky for you it leads to this post. Hurrah! Our current family read-aloud is the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan. If you haven’t read these books, you should. They are riddled with adventure, conflict, danger, friendship, Greek Mythology, smatterings of humor, and big splashes of really cool monsters. But don’t take my word for it! (Did I just quote Levar Burton???? Butterflies are currently residing in the sky AND my stomach!)

This is what my boys had to say when asked why they love this series:

Owen: It’s just, it’s a book about myths. There’s so much adventure and action.There’s lots of monsters. It’s awesome.

Joseph: I love Percy Jackson because he is awesome. The books are so awesome, because they are so awesome. I love Percy Jackson.

Charlie: Because I do.

So there you have it, folks. Obviously the books are “awesome”. Obviously they are must-reads. So do.

These are them (in case you want to judge them....).

Big Pumpkin….

28 Oct

Today’s book recommendation comes thanks to my husband, the Halloween-y season, and a great deal on produce at Walmart. I love them all. Wait. Really, I love my husband and I LOVE a great deal on produce. I’m pretty cool with Halloween. It’s fine. Reformation’s a bit cooler, I like to think. Christmas? Birth of the Savior. Hard to beat that. You know, though, Easter is pretty heavy on the amazing stuff, too….

Stop. This is not a holiday competition post. It’s a book review post. I’m so sorry. My mind is a delta of tangents. Today’s book?

We’ve got a whole load of Halloween literature (thanks mostly to one very generous Halloween loving Grandma) and this is undoubtedly our favorite. Wait. Really it’s AJ’s favorite. (Mine is Boris and Bella by Carolyn Crimi and Gris Grimly. You should read that one. And this one, of course.) This is so much AJ’s favorite that 3 years ago after our paperback copy ripped, we got him a hard back copy for his birthday (in mid-November) and he was elated. And it wasn’t false elation, either. Real, genuine elation, that’s what it was. I’m not sure what about this book he finds so completely charming. Maybe it’s the outward aggression by the book’s protagonist towards a pumpkin? Maybe it’s the obvious arrogance of not only a mummy, but a vampire and ghost, as well? Perhaps it’s that ever driving desire for underdog success? It could be the story’s promise of a sweet treat. Heck, it’s probably the cliff-hanger ending that really sells it. There is SO MUCH packed into one bitty book and one prodigious pumpkin.

Do you want to know what else you can squoosh in a squash?


Wait for it……



Read this!!!!

18 Sep

Hold on to your bindings, folks – it’s time for a Book Recommendation.

My oldest says to me the other day,

“Mom, sometimes I DO judge a book by its cover.”

Well, guess what. So do I. Interestingly enough Owen and I were judging the same book in opposing ways. He thought it looked boring. I thought it looked quaint and adorable.  Here, I’ll show you. But I won’t let you judge for yourself. No way. You’ve got to read the thing in order to own that honor.

Okay, I know. I used my webcam. But it's real time. This is me. Now. Wow, right?

The Willoughbys by Lois Lowry. This book is charming the collective pants off of our family. Right off. I really think you should read it. Wait. There are some things you should know. There’s a ton of negative energy spun in a bizarrely positive way residing within these pages. That sounds weird, right? Well, it’s true. If you want all lollipops and rainbows, look elsewhere. If you want children and parents plotting against one another, bad German, and an overuse of the word “dolt”, LOOK HERE! The humor is clever. The characters lovable (and odious). The plot diabolical.

Things crammed into this lovely little book:

  • Countless literary allusions (of good books – ones you want your children to someday read)
  • An annotated bibliography of said literary gems (that makes them sound super interesting and fun, thus peaking interest)
  • A gorgeous use of the English language (I have yet to find one dangling participle)
  •  A dynamic and unique vocabulary (this household is now using the word “obsequious” on a regular basis)
  • A glossary (that not only correctly defines words, but also procures giggles from my children)
  • Four worthy orphans with a no-nonsense nanny (That’s a direct quote from the text. In context it will make you guffaw.)

Soooo, are you curious? Oh, I so hope you are.