Happy 4th of July everyone, and thank you to our military for keeping us safe here and abroad.
Enjoy the day!
Saturday, June 11, 2016
Putter and the Red Car
Putter and the Red Car is the story of one family's cross country road trip narrated by a lively 7 year old Airedale terrier. The book incorporates ideas related to family, change, and geography with a backdrop of brightly colorful illustrations.
This story takes the family from Boston, Massachusetts to Seattle, Washington. With lots of attractions to see as the family travels cross country the reader learns more about the inside of hotel rooms than the amazing outdoors. Granted, the story is told by a dog but even so the author missed the opportunity to educate the reader by making the story more interesting by detailing more of the attractions and cities they had to drive through than being in the car and in various hotels. There was a few interesting pieces such as Mount Rushmore and a tipi museum, but that was quickly lost.
The illustrations weren't as adventurous either showing lots of pictures of the family and dog in the car and in hotels, but again not focusing on the great things going on around them through their travels. Instead of making the road trip exciting and fun, or even using comparisons and contrasting about of the landscapes, the author made it sound boring by focusing too much on how the dog feels on the trip instead of what he sees. The author noted more of the every day type stuff that the reader doesn't need to read this book to know more about, though it is true to its title. The book focuses on the car and the dog.
Though the story is assuredly simple, children who have dogs will enjoy reading a story told by a dogs point of view learning more about how a dog may feel on such a long and tiresome trip. Focusing on a younger age group the kids will enjoy the dogs adventure more, an older age group will need more substance.
Wednesday, June 8, 2016
Blue & Other Colors by Henri Matisse
Series: First Concepts with Fine Arts
April 18th, 2016
Ages: 2-4 years old
Children’s Book Board Books Colors and Shapes
Brilliantly colorful cut-outs are used to teach colors and shapes in this board book designed with artwork by Henri Matisse.
Blue & Other Colors takes children through Matisse's color palette by showing his various collages. From simple collages to more complex each page focuses on certain colors. Though the book doesn't focus on shapes, it could have. Matisse uses various abstract shapes in his cut outs where many are randomly set. The author also focuses on the color blue, yet they do mention various other colors.
Matisse tries to use various shapes, depth, and scale to his cut outs, but many seem very elementary. Children will be able to relate to this simplicity trying to duplicate his work. The text is straightforward, easy for young children ages 1-3 years old to be able to listen to and repeat.
The information about Matisse will interest young readers that is found in the back of the book, though many will not understand his cut out technique. Using gouache paint and various sized scissors to create his affects Matisse really tried to create something different in the later part of his life when his mobility began to fail him. The cut outs in each collage are relateable to children and is something that parents might appreciate as well.
Tuesday, May 24, 2016
Miranda Mayne, the daughter of a notorious pirate, spent most of her life in the hustle and bustle of London society, though her true love was always the sea. Promising her father she will stay away from the life that killed her mother, Miranda accepts the marriage proposal of a man she thinks she can trust—only to discover that his true intentions are to secretly capture her father. Trapped between loyalty and deceit, Miranda’s heart falls prey for her true match only to find that he is out of her reach. Will she lose everything she holds dear or can she save her father, find true love, and most of all—find herself before reality prevails?
What others are saying!
"Wow this book had me captivated with a true romance novel with the heroine, hero, and villain along with innocent bystanders made this story one of a kind yet reminded of a Jane Austin classic with the time period of the story. I chose the marking of some violence and sexual content because there was some but it was all so romantic and intriguing. There were times when it was hot and heavy, ruthless, dangerous, on the edge of the seat kind of relationships that you could really feel and be drawn into the story line. This is a book that is very hard to put down until you finish it! I have read many of Renee Hand's books for her younger audiences and since this is the first adult novel I have read of hers I was pleasantly surprised and very pleased to have been able to read a different genre of Renee's. Kudos for a job well done!! Loved it!"--Missy Mae-Amazon
"Loves' Conqueror is a well-developed historical romance that will take the reader on a journey of two characters and their struggle to find true love. Beginning with the most notorious pirate on the seas and the woman who dared to love him. Her death in childbirth caused many changes in the hard core pirate. Forcing his daughter to live a pampered life in London away from him. Knowing that her father would approve, Miranda Mayne accepts a marriage proposal from an accomplished man who has ties with the crown. It isn't until she discovers that her fiancé’s goal is to find and destroy her father, that she realizes she made a mistake. Forced on a journey where she is used as a pawn, she finds love with the captain of the ship, only to learn that he is out of her reach. Determined to find her father before her fiance does, and wiggle her way into the heart of the man she loves, Miranda digs deep within herself and finds a strength she never knew she possessed. This is a well written page turner that will capture the hearts of others." Children's Book Reviewer
Friday, April 29, 2016
Where’s Warhol by Catherine Ingram and Andrew Rae
Laurence King Publishing
May 3rd, 2016
Reviewer: Renee Hand
Where’s Warhol is an incredibly detailed journey through various historical locations around the world.
Similar in style to Where’s Waldo, this book has readers looking through 40 pages of vibrant scenes that Andy Warhol explored; he is placed among them in places such as the famous Studio 54, The Bauhaus, and Basquiat at Washington Square Park.
Andy Warhol is well known for blurring the lines between commercial art and fine art. His silk-screen renderings of banal objects like Coke bottles and a Campbell’s Soup can established him as the leader of the Pop Art movement, as does his multi-image portrait of Marilyn Monroe.
Readers are going to have fun scouring each page to find Warhol somewhere in the scene. Certain pages are easier than others. With so much going on in the scene one really has to focus, but while doing so it’s easy to miss small details the illustrator threw in there—which is why the author and illustrator created pages in the back to look at the scene more closely to find more famous people. The info in the back also tells more about each place and the people of that time and their connection with Warhol.
Not only are art lovers and Warhol fans going to enjoy this book, but also readers of all ages who like to search and find. This book is a unique piece to add to any picture book collection.
Tuesday, April 26, 2016
Magic Cakes by Christelle Huet-Gomez
Hardie Grant Book
March 8th, 2016
Cook Book Desserts
Reviewer: Renee Hand
“bakers of all ages will enjoy this 72-page dessert extravaganza . . .”
Magic Cakes is a simply delightful way to make three cakes with just one cake batter. A magic cake is very different than other cakes. The three layers are unique in texture and taste. One layer is dense and moist. Another layer has a delicate cream filling that tastes like pudding, while the third layer is light and spongy. The secret in all this is not some magical enchantment but the separation of egg whites at low cooking temperatures.
There are around 30 recipes from classical cakes to cupcakes, cheesecakes, quiches, and much more. The ingredients to each recipe are simple with less than 10 ingredients per recipe.
The measurements are laid out in two different ways: in grams and in ounces. This might need a little bit of getting used to depending on which country one lives. Some recipes are meant to be baked in smaller baking dishes, especially some of the cakes.
The egg whites are definitely key in these recipes. If your whites are not whipped well enough it will taste accordingly in the final product. Some of the ingredients can be modified that are more familiar to certain countries.
Though these recipes are simple in nature it does take time to have them turn out right. But don’t fret, the author gives the reader every tip needed for success, the baker just needs to be patient with the process.
Illustrations on every page help the baker with what the final outcome of the dessert should look like.
This is a great guide. Overall, bakers of all ages will enjoy this 72-page dessert extravaganza and the challenge to make these flavorful, yet simple recipes.
Friday, April 22, 2016
President Lincoln: From Log Cabin to White House by Demi
February 7th, 2016
Ages: 6 and up years old
Children’s Book Historical Reference
Reviewer: Renee Hand
Abraham Lincoln From Log Cabin to White House is an accounting of Lincoln’s humble beginnings in Kentucky to the height of his prominence and prestige as president in the White House.
The timeline of events begins on February 12, 1809, when Lincoln was born in Kentucky. It then progresses to his home life and his various moves, highlighting the importance of his mother and father in his life. His love of animals is prevalent throughout the pages in the various things that Lincoln does. His love of reading fueled his desire in becoming a lawyer and throughout his life he proves to be honest and kind.
From his start in being elected to the U.S. Congress in Washington, DC, to his election as president, Lincoln’s journey wasn’t easy, especially with slavery and the Civil War going on. He was a man torn between his wishes for peace and his belief that slavery was wrong.
Readers are going to love using this book as a secondary source for learning more about Abraham Lincoln, one of our country’s most beloved presidents. Though this book doesn’t cover all the facts of Lincoln’s life it does give a good summary that young readers will understand and enjoy.
The author also added in one of Lincoln’s greatest speeches, “The Gettysburg Address,” as well as a quick timeline of his life in the back of the book with fascinating facts that will interest young readers. With colorful illustrations and fabulous quotes on each page, children of all ages will enjoy learning about Lincoln’s life and his journey to the presidency.