Monday, January 28, 2013

Magic Monday - The Magic of Picture Books


The Man of Steel: Superman and the Poisoned Planet
by Matthew K Manning
Illustrated by Luciano Vecchio
Capstone Young Readers
Pub Date: Jan 1 2013
Book Description: POISON IVY is sick and tired of watching the Daily Planet newspaper produce billions of pounds of waste each year. With a little help from a recently discovered crashed kryptonite meteorite, IVY creates a voracious vine and covers the Daily Planet building with her creeping creation. That way, she can hold the paper hostage and keep SUPERMAN out!

My thoughts: This is a book kids will enjoy – it has enough action sequences to kapow (sorry, keep) them occupied.  The dialogs and scenes were a little repetitive and sometimes a little juvenile for me (but it will definitely work for the intended audience).  In spite of this one flaw (for me), the book is a short, quick read with the right amount of action packed, bright, comic book style illustrations to keep the spirit of comic books alive in the book. There are discussion questions, writing prompts, and a glossary of words that might be unfamiliar for kids reading the book at the end of the book – these definitely improve the reading experience.
This book is a part of a series of DC Super Heroes series (can be read separately) which I am sure will thrill comic book fans of this age group. And the price is reasonable too.

Rating: B-
Reading Level: 8 and up
Reread Level: 3/5

I Hate Picture Books 
Written & Illustrated by Timothy Young
Schiffer Publishing Ltd.
Availability:  Feb 2013

Book Description:Max hates his picture books and he’s throwing them all away. But he soon learns just how invaluable imagination is and has a change of heart. Find out why in this outrageous book that both pokes fun at and celebrates many of the classics of children’s literature. Join writer and illustrator Timothy Young for this irreverent and humorous story ideal for children and adults alike. Early Reader; Ages 5-8.

My thoughts: When kids read books, their curiosity rises, any identification with familiar thing excites, and they love to see similarities with characters and events in the book and themselves.
The boy in the book has decided he hates picture books. He lists all his reasons with passion - they don’t make sense, they get him in trouble, and some more. As he lists one last reason for why he hates them, he has a sudden revelation, and things turn around! Oh well, he loves them after all.

The illustrations are bright, colorful, and vibrant. The illustrations in the book include the boy along with the picture books he is talking about very well and that combination is just wonderful! This picture book is sure to bring discussions on every page reminds kids of the mentioned books (comments, well actually shouts, of “Hey, I remember this!” or “this book was great!” will fill the room). They will want to reread those books (yay! More reading) or if they have not read it before, they will want to now.

My little girl enjoyed this book – she is almost seven. she did all that I mention above and was very excited that the book bag she has brought in from school this week is a book that is mentioned in ‘I Hate Picture Books’! My ten-year old loved how the illustrations were done and enjoyed remembering the books he read earlier. I loved reading it to them and enjoyed how the author got into how kids of a certain age will feel about picture books (and I sincerely hope they will turn around and start enjoying picture books again if they feel they have outgrown them).

Overall, a great read. A must for elementary school age kids and kids of all ages!

Rating: B+
Reading Level: 5 and up
Reread Level: 4/5

Disclaimer:Thank you to NetGalley for sending me a digital review copy of the books above. I was not compensated for my review. My thoughts on these books were in no way influenced by the author or publicist. They are my personal opinions formed when I read the books.

NaBloPoMo prompt for today:
What emotion do you think is the biggest waste of energy and why?

Many years ago, I was reading a self-improvement book - not sure how or why since I don't remember feeling a need to read such a book at that age, but I guess, as it happens often with me - there was a book in front of me, so the obvious choice was to read it.
One of the chapter titles went something like this: Two emotions to do without – guilt and worry

And for some reason, when the rest of the book remains a faint memory, this chapter title stayed with me all these years. I guess it had something to do with how I was at that time - already tried to stay away from negative emotions of most sorts, including guilt and worry (and this nature of mine is sort of inherited - from my dad - who is one of the most positive persons I know).

And over the years, I have totally gotten how true this is - guilt over the past and worry about the future are really energy wasters. I am not saying we can get away scott-free of feelings after messing up - if accidental, then skip the guilt and if deliberate mistakes, then, well, again, guilt cannot atone for it. As for the future, we should plan for it but not worry about it.

For Musing Mondays at Should Be Reading, I picked the following question from the choices offered:
Tell us what you’re reading right now — what you think of it, so far; why you chose it; what you are (or, aren’t) enjoying it.
I am reading a great many books right now but for musing on one, I will choose Love and Leftovers by Sarah Tregay. I picked it up mainly for my Books in Verse Reading Challenge - I had not even thought about reading books in verse before though I do read poetry books. I had not been too aware of such books (well, at least not given too much thought to this as a genre by itself even if I had read something). And now, I am finding that I am enjoying this style and in particular, this author. 
For my Monday kid’s books reviews, the books reviewed here today go towards the weekly meme at Jen and Kellee's - and What are You Reading? From Picture Books to YA 
For What are you reading? @ Book Journey
Completed reading:
Saving Each Other by Victoria Jackson and Ali Guthy (review copy from publisher) - reviewed here 
Secret of the Nagas by Amish (Personal copy) – review coming Wednesday

Chloe's Vegan Desserts (digital ARC) – review coming next Tuesday
Superman and the Poisoned Planet (digital ARC) – review here
Following romances which I will review here
The Reluctant Earl by C.J.Chase 
Currently reading:
The Traveling Restaurant by Barbala Else (digital RC) 
Shakespeare on Toast by Ben Crystal (digital RC)
Love and Leftovers by Sarah Tregay (from library)
Bleak House by Charles Dickens
Following romances which I will review here
Checkmate, My Lord by Tracey Devyln (digital ARC) 
The Importance of Being Wicked by (digital ARC) 
Next on my list to read:
Murder in Mumbai (digital RC)

The Bracelet by Roberta Gately (review copy from publisher)   

2 comments:

  1. I have read a couple of the DC Comics for younger readers and think they would be especially good for reluctant readers. Thanks for the picture book recommendation, I Hate Picture Books - sounds like my second graders might enjoy it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I Hate Picture Books sounds adorable! Very clever concept and lots of fun. I may have to check that one out.

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