Classic Book Review: A Little Princess

A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett

A Little Princess
by Frances Hodgson BurnettTasha Tudor (illustrator)
5 out of 5 stars
Little Sara Crewe is wealthy heiress, and she is treated like a princess at Miss Minchin’s boarding school for girls. Her father loses all his money and dies abroad, so Sara is forced to work as a servant. But she never stops behaving like a noble princess with kindness and generosity to everyone.

I always love rereading this book. Sara has such a gentle personality, and she’s so intelligent and adorable. I love how imaginative she is and how she is always making up stories and living inside her head. She has a marvelous intuition about people around her, and she can see through their facades right to their heart.

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Classic NonFiction Review: The Life of Charlotte Bronte

The Life of Charlotte Bronte by Elizabeth Gaskell

The Life of Charlotte Bronte
by Elizabeth GaskellAlan Shelston
5 out of 5 stars

Charlotte Bronte was truly an extraordinary individual. This biography written by her friend Elizabeth Gaskell is a powerful history of the tragic life the Bronte sisters led. Their strong personalities and steady faith drew them closer together, and provided the genius for their incredible writing.

I loved reading about the eccentric Bronte family, and the close relationships between the siblings. Their isolated home among the moors of Yorkshire inspired similar vigorous settings for many of their books. It was interesting to see how their personal experiences led to fictional creations like the terrible Lowood School in ‘Jane Eyre’ or the awful governess situation in ‘Agnes Grey’. There are many parallels from their real lives to their writing.

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Picture Book Review: I Believe In You!

I Believe in You by Sabrina Moyle

I Believe in You
by Sabrina Moyle (Goodreads Author), Eunice Moyle (Illustrations)
5 out of 5 stars

A unicorn helps a young dragon who wants to learn to fly. First they try a superhero cape, then a rocket ship, and finally a big bunch of balloons tied to the dragon to help him fly. All through their experiments with flying, the unicorn is supportive. The unicorn listens and encourages the dragon every step of the way.

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Craft Book Review: Kids Book of Paper Love

The Kids' Book of Paper Love by Editors of Flow Magazine

The Kids’ Book of Paper Love: Write. Craft. Play. Share.
by Editors of Flow Magazine
5 out of 5 stars

This amazing craft book has writing paper, scrapbook paper, stickers, bookmarks, cards, envelopes, postcards, decorative stamps, photo booth props, and cutouts you can paste and use elsewhere for dozens of creative projects. There are little paper dolls and 3D houses you can assemble. The book is full of games and activities. There are even little journal books you can remove for your own notes!

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Nonfiction Book Review: Space Maps

Space Maps by Lara Albanese

Space Maps
by Lara Albanese
3 out of 5 stars

This book has amazing maps of star constellations, our solar system, planets, galaxies, and comets. There is a wealth of information about gravity, dwarf planets, black holes, the moon, and spacecraft. I especially liked reading the history about how ancient cultures viewed the stars and the folklore and mythology that grew up around certain constellations.

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Picture Book Review: Paris Cat

Paris Cat by Dianne Hofmeyr

Paris Cat
by Dianne Hofmeyr
1 out of 5 stars

Paris Cat is born in a dirty alleyway where her cat relations eat fish bones. She runs into a dressmaker’s shop to get out of the rain, and begins sewing her own wardrobe from the fabric scraps. She visits a theater and dances onstage with Josephine Baker (who is a famous erotic dancer from history known for her skimpy costumes) and Chiquita the leopard. Eventually, she opens her own dancing club and cafe where her cat family and friends can benefit from her fabulous fashion creations and jazz music.

The reason for my low rating is the inclusion of Josephine Baker in this book in her skimpy costume. Paris Cat joins Josephine onstage for some erotic dancing in very revealing clothing.

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Picture Book Review: Teaching Mrs. Muddle

Teaching Mrs. Muddle by Sheryl McFarlane

Teaching Mrs. Muddle
by Sheryl McFarlaneAlice Carter (Illustrations)
5 out of 5 stars

Kayla is anxious on her first day of kindergarten, but she quickly forgets her nerves when she has to help her teacher, Mrs. Muddle. The teacher gives everyone the wrong name tags, and the students have to figure out everyone’s names to give the right name tag to their classmates. Mrs. Muddle can’t find the gym, and takes the students to the library instead. Kayla was worried about getting lost, but discovers she can easily find her way around school when she has to step in to help Mrs. Muddle. At the end of the school day, the children have spent their whole class time teaching Mrs. Muddle, but they have learned more than they realize.

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Picture Book Review: Kindness Grows

Kindness Grows by Britta Teckentrup

Kindness Grows: A Peek-through Picture Book
by Britta Teckentrup (Goodreads Author)
5 out of 5 stars

This book teaches the reader that mean words and arguments cause a crack to form between friends, but kind words and working together makes a tree of friendship grow. Thoughtlessness and selfishness only tear people apart, but forgiving and smiling at one another results in a happy atmosphere of support.

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Picture Book Review: Bea by the Sea

Bea by the Sea by Jo Byatt

Bea by the Sea
by Jo Byatt
5 out of 5 stars

Bea loves lions. She is obsessed with everything to do with lions. But Bea hates going to the beach, because the sand is scratchy and gritty. When she goes to the beach with her mother, Bea meets a Sand Lion who helps her appreciate all the fun you can have with sandcastles and playing in the sand. Sand Lion is afraid of the water, so Bea helps him to not be afraid of the little waves on the shore.

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Picture Book Review: When Pumpkins Fly

When Pumpkins Fly by Margaret   Lawrence

When Pumpkins Fly
by Margaret Lawrence
4 out of 5 stars

Sanikiluaq is a remote town that gets all its supplies through cargo planes. At Halloween, the plane flies in pumpkins for the school children! Each class gets to carve a pumpkin, and they draw names to see who gets to take it home for their front porch. They light candles inside each pumpkin. The children don their costumes and get bags full of candy trick-or-treating at each house. Then the whole community gathers for a Halloween dance. But when they go to bed, the children wonder if the tunnaat spirits will come out and steal the pumpkins. Or will the pumpkins freeze when the candles burn out?

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