Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Magic Monday - From the undergrowth to the subway..



The Bramble
Lee Nordling (Author), Bruce Zick (Illustrator)
Lerner Publishing Group
Carolrhoda Books
Pub Date   Sep 1 2013
Description: In this beautifully illustrated and mostly wordless book, Cameron isn't small, but he's not exactly big. He's not slow, but he's also not quick. He wants friends, but it never quite seems to work out. And in a game of tag, he's going to end up "it." Or at least that's how things are on this side of the Bramble. On the other side, it's a different story. On the other side of the Bramble, something extraordinary can happen, something that changes everything.

My thoughts: Great illustrations and unique story-telling help convey a message that needs to be repeated often – bullying is not cool. But friendship is way cooler. And you learn that you can find and make friends in the most unexpected places.The illustrations might be a little scary for really young kids but has something of 'Where the Wild Things are' in a toned down kind of way - both in color (since bright color is not something you will see in this book - mostly muds and shadows!) and in dialog (almost none). That toned-downness fits this book though and I did enjoy reading - the pictures - in this book.

My kids thoughts: 
My little girl: She said that this book is different, loved how they all became friends towards the end, did not like the fact that there were mainly boys in this book. When I mentioned that I think I did see a girl, she replied saying that the girl was not given enough of a role! She gave this book 4.5 out of 5 stars mainly because of the ‘girl’ factor mentioned here.
My little boy:”I loved the concept of using pictures mainly to tell the story. (he loves cartooning). The book was awesome; and how the little boy figured out how to get the mean boy not to bully him anymore; how he dodged the wave – it was pure genius! I give this book 10 out of 5 stars.”

Rating: B+
Reading Level: 7 years and up
Reread Level: 4/5 

Rifka Takes a Bow
Betty Rosenberg Perlov (Author), Cosei Kawa (Illustrator)
Lerner Publishing Group
Kar-Ben
Pub Date   Sep 1 2013
Description: Rifka’s parents are actors in the Yiddish Theater in New York, but one day Rifka finds herself center stage in a special role!  A slice of immigrant life on New York’s Second Avenue, this is a unique book about a vanished time and a place – the Yiddish theater in the early 20th century -- made real through the telling of the true life story of the 96-year-old author as a little girl. 

My thoughts: Loved the illustrations – the pages seemed to sparkle with life and energy infused with color and confetti. The little girl accompanying her parents to their work and her view of their workplace – the Yiddish theater – was enchanting. It also made me wonder what my kids see when I take them in to work sometimes. The peek into life in the earlier part of the last century was also enchanting - wow! All the stuff mentioned in this book was there 100 years ago – but some of it must have been fascinating for people at that time – while now we take them for granted – even flying cars! Learning more about the history of Yiddish theater and theater life was a plus.

My kids’ thoughts:
My little girl: I liked it because loved the tour of the dressing rooms (loved it when she got to play with the makeup and accessories), learned the secrets of the props used (blood/drinks/and more).  Pretty colors were a big plus for her.
My little boy: He liked the illustrations and the facts he learned and the theater tricks. 

Rating: A
Reading Level: 5 years and above
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 the books were in no way influenced by the author or publicist. They are my personal opinions formed when I read the books.

For my Monday kid’s books reviews, all the books reviewed here today goes towards the weekly meme at Jen and Kellee's - What are You Reading? From Picture Books to YA 
For What are you reading? @ Book Journey  

Completed reading:
Ten
And Then There were None
Many more
All books reviewed here
Books reviewed at Brazen Reads by me
A few more that I have to review
Currently reading:  
The Wig in the Window  by Kristen Kittscher  (advance copy from the publishers)
'Til the Streetlights Came On: Lessons Learned from Neighborhood Games by Daniel J. Porter (arc)
A couple more books
Next on my list:
Many to choose from
Monday Musings: I realized that I love talking about reading - I love reading, I definitely enjoy talking - so talking about reading follows naturally. But I do not always find enough people to talk to about everything I want to discuss - when other people have read the same books, or have similar interests in reading, it sparks a whole different level of conversation. Blogging was thus a natural progression for me. Reading other book bloggers posts, their comments, and writing my own reviews gives me a chance to do this without straining my vocal chords a whole lot (which I do anyways talking about other things!) And I do have companions now - at least, one reading companion who reads books I am reading - my 10 year old son (when I read the books he does which is often - we recommend books to each other!!). And my little girl - I am working on her too...:)

Also Mingling at Monday Mingle.

4 comments:

  1. i also like talking about books but i think there is not one person i know who loves books as "hardcore" as i do so i turned to blogging instead :D

    my musing mondays post:
    http://wp.me/p3v5T1-4J

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  2. I am a book addict.

    Most of my family are book addicts.

    Even my Grandlittles are book addicts!

    I love reading reviews!

    They give me such good direction.

    Thank you for sharing yours.

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  3. The Bramble looks like a fun book to read with my brothers. I will have to look into it.
    Here is my Monday post.

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  4. The Bramble looks delightful! And good for your daughter, for noticing a lack of girls! Awesome that she objects to that even so young. :)

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Love to hear from you! I do read all your comments and do reply whenever I can.. but I will definitely hop on over to visit you...