Manga Review: Magic Knight Rayearth I, Vol.1-3

Magic Knight Rayearth I, Vol. 1Magic Knight Rayearth I, Vol. 3Magic Knight Rayearth I, Vol. 2
Magic Knight Rayearth I, Vol. 1 by CLAMP

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Three ordinary schoolgirls are magically whisked away from their class fieldtrip to the troubled land of Cephiro, where they acquire elemental powers. The benevolent ruler of Cephiro has been kidnapped by the evil Zagato, and the girls must brave many trials in order to become the legendary Magic Knights and save the land. With the help of a mysterious guru sent to guide them, they battle monsters, discover their powers, and meet friends and enemies along the way. But through it all, their kindness, loyalty, and courage supports them, and they learn to believe in themselves and each other.

This story is fairly predictable and commonplace – magic powers, legendary destiny, the ancient mage guide, ordinary people learning to battle monsters, etc… Yeah yeah, heard it all before.
But the girls are so CUTE!!! They’re really lovely and adorable, and I liked their hilarious dialogue. They are not complex characters, and I wish they had a little more depth to them, but they are definitely sweet! Continue reading

Book Review: The Tragedy of Macbeth

The Tragedy of Macbeth
The Tragedy of Macbeth by William Shakespeare

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

There are several reasons why I did not like this adaptation of Macbeth.

1. It’s supposed to be rewritten for children, but the vocabulary is NOT age-appropriate . Even if a preteen was reading it, there are too many big words that a child would not know . If you were reading this to a child, you would have to stop after every sentence and explain half the words! Continue reading

Picture Book Review: Pirates in the Library

Pirates in the Library
Pirates in the Library by Nadia Ali

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When a librarian makes a treasure map to help people find books in the library, a pirate crew thinks they will find real treasure, gold and diamonds, and they storm into the library! The pirate crew soon finds better treasure in the books they read and enjoy, but the pirate Captain is harder to convince. It’s up to the courageous librarian to show the Captain just how precious books can be.

This cute little story is full of fun and laughter, and I like the way that the crew all pick very different books on many subjects, and all their choices are detailed both in the text and in the illustrations. The cook finds a recipe book, the first mate reads a book about mutiny, and even the parrot finds a book about birds! Continue reading

Picture Book Review: Rapunzel

Rapunzel by Bethan Woollvin

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh, my goodness! This is wonderful!!! There is Rapunzel, stuck in the tower, with that evil witch visiting her every day. But does Rapunzel need a Prince to save her?? NO! Rapunzel figures out a way to defeat the witch and free herself from the tower, all on her own.

Rapunzel is resourceful and brave! She’s really quite ingenious, and (dare I say it?) full of spunk.
She makes friends with some forest animals, and with their help, she becomes a scourge to witches everywhere. I just love seeing a story where the princess takes action and saves herself! Continue reading

Picture Book Review: Stolen Words

Stolen Words
Stolen Words by Melanie Florence

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Such a beautiful book! This emotional little story shows a grandfather explaining to his granddaughter that he cannot teach her to speak his native language, Cree, because he has forgotten it. As a boy, he was placed in an Indigenous boarding school, separated from his culture, torn from his family, and punished if he spoke Cree.

In just a few poignant words, this book had me crying. It deals with a very dark issue in such a sweet and loving way, and shows that while cruelty may impact our heritage, there is also healing to be found. The story is told in a simple way that is appropriate for young children, but also has an emotional impact for good. Continue reading

Picture Book Review: Don’t Dangle Your Participle

Don't Dangle Your Participle
Don’t Dangle Your Participle by Vanita Oelschlager

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A hilarious and silly way to teach children about participles and what makes them dangle! Any English teacher would be incredibly happy to use this book in their classroom.

The bright illustrations are hilarious, and the various weird situations that the incorrect sentences describe are brought to life in every picture. If you leave a participle dangling in the wrong place, it could be the children at the zoo who are growling over their snacks, instead of lions growling as they should be!

One of the best things about this book is that it demonstrates how important it is to communicate clearly with language, and what silly results you will get if you aren’t careful with your words. Continue reading

Picture Book Review: Argyle Fox

Argyle Fox
Argyle Fox by Marie Letourneau

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

So much adorableness!!!!! I want to read it again and again, and I’m 35 years old. I don’t care! So cute!
Little Argyle wants to play outside, but the strong wind keeps messing up his games, knocking down his fort, and blowing away his hat. He decides that he hates playing in the wind, and sulks indoors until his mother tells him to think carefully of something that would be good to play in the wind. Argyle thinks carefully and creatively to come up with the perfect solution!

Cute little Argyle!! So sweet!! He’s full of imagination and really pours himself into his games. Reminds me of me when I was little; I was a very imaginative child who played lots of elaborate games of “pretend” with my siblings. Argyle plays pirates, dresses up like a spider, builds a castle fort, becomes a famous soccer star, and fights a dragon! I love this kid! Continue reading

Book Review: The Professor

The Professor
The Professor by Charlotte Brontë

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

There were so many things about this book that made me angry enough to spit nails! I can barely believe that my beloved Charlotte Bronte would write such stupid things.

The main character, William, analyzes the personality of everyone he comes into contact with, and he rips these people to shreds! Criticizing and never seeing anything good in anyone around him. Even if they have one good quality, he has to mention again and again how ugly they are or physically weak. What a nice guy!

He’s also really manipulative! He holds back a student’s paper, just to see their disappointed reaction when their paper isn’t graded, and they think they have failed his class. What a jerk! Continue reading

Picture Book Review: You Can’t Win Them All, Rainbow Fish

You Can't Win Them All, Rainbow Fish
You Can’t Win Them All, Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Rainbow Fish is confident in his abilities to win every game of Hide-and-Seek, but when he loses to a fish younger than himself, Rainbow Fish is upset and storms away, refusing to play with his friends anymore. It takes the gentle wisdom of Red Fish to convince Rainbow Fish to apologize for his poor sportsmanship and resume playing the game.

I loved the colorful illustrations, and the sparkly images of an underwater game of Hide-and-Seek! Rainbow Fish is a sweet character and all his little fishy friends are adorable. This book strongly reminded me of the simple excitement of a childhood game, and I could see my whole childhood wrapped up in this little story. Continue reading