Margaret the Medusa

*I received Margaret the Medusa for free from Untreed Reads

I think Margaret should have been identified as a Gorgon. Sure she can be compared to the most famous gorgon Medusa, but to refer to the species as Medusas is problematic for me. I’m a stickler with mythological references.

I liked that the superficial changes Margaret attempted didn’t sway the children, but I hoped that she would earn friendship with kindness or something more substantial.

The way she does make a friend is adorable, but I think the others (or at least one of them) should see she is capable of being friendly and be swayed. I like the use of the gargoyle but that reinforces the need to use the term “gorgon”. Gorgon and gargoyle make for some good alliteration.

My favourite part of this book was the art, well done!

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Duck & Goose Find A Pumpkin

cover art of ducj & gooseI find myself enchanted by Tad Hill’s Duck & Goose books. The characters are so cute I want to paint them on the library wall (I would put them on a nursery wall if I had a baby). This adorable story of a duck and a goose trying to find a pumpkin for Halloween is simple and elegant, with the illustrations saying more than the words. I love when the two birds look at each other and realize their mistake.

This is the only Tad Hills book I own but they are all so wonderfull I’d like the whole collection.

It’s a Book

It's a bookI love technology, I have every intention of getting an e-book reader, I play gameboy on long bus trips, I have an iPod,PS2, Wii, and I spend way too much time on the computer. That said, I have an old-school love for books. I love the way they look, the way they feel, and there are certain books that I will always prefer to have in print. With everyone in a panick about how the print book will do with the growing popularity of e-books I want to say that Lane Smith is brilliant to write It’s a Book

This picture book is amazing! I’ve laughed each time I’ve read it and I bought it after reading it at the library. There is a video version of the book that cuts out the conterversial swear at the end, although because he is referring to a donkey kids may not understand the reference.

Spork

cover art of sporkWhat it is

A picture book about a spork who has a spoon and fork as parents and doesn’t feel like he fits in with the other dishes.

Why I read it

I was browsing bookstores in Vernon (waiting for a library meeting, since there aren’t buses very often from SA) and I came across it in a display.

Why it is awesome

  • A story about not fitting in
  • A story about being of mixed heritage
  • Adorable art
  • Not too much text, kid friendly
  • A happy ending that the kids will enjoy

Who will like it

  • 4-6 year olds
  • Librarians and teachers
  • Parents of children who are of mixed race or visibly different from their peers.

100 Years of Canadian Children’s Books: 1830 to 1930

children's books on display  If you are interested in Canadian children’s literature you may want to take a trip to McLennan Library, Lande Reading Room, Fourth Floor, 3459 McTavish Street because McGill University has an exhibit

“providing a sampling of the books being read in eastern Canadian towns and villages during a one hundred year period, beginning in the 1830s.  Items on display include a selection of children’s literature, school primers and textbooks written by Canadian authors or published in Canada”

I wish I could go check it out!

This would have been me if I could fold

cover art of the strange case of origami yodaI may or may not have broken my toe, but in any case I was hesitant to step out of bed on my yucky bruised foot so it was a perfect morning to just read a book cover to cover. I will start by outlining my bias that will influence this review:

  • I am a HUGE fan of Yoda (posters and action figures huge, well not now but not all that long ago)
  • I was definitely on the sidelines at school dances on the rare occasion I attended
  • I have tried to make an origami Yoda but my folding skills are not up to par and it never comes close to looking like Yoda

These are all factors that add up to an instant love affair with the book The Strange Case Of Origami Yoda, the story of a bunch of kids in Gr. 6 who follow the advice of an origami Yoda  finger puppet despite the unpopularity of the kid who’s finger its on. The kids wonder if the puppet who steers them toward the (mostly) right moves to help them save face in awkward situations is magic.

The book uses different perspectives and hilarious doodles to tell the story, and it is a quick enjoyable read for those actually in Gr. 6 or grown up geeks such as myself. It was laugh out loud funny, quirky and well presented with pages that appear crumbled like a kid’s notebook.

Peer pressure, first crushes and the general difficulty of fitting in for tweens is realistically dealt with. I would highly recommend this for kids who enjoyed Diary of a Wimpy Kid.

Who’s the target audience?

I have put down Mrs. Kaputnik’s Pool Hall and Matzo Ball Emporium several times and read something else. It just does not speak to me, no offense to Rona Arato. The characters do not have the depth I like to see in something with a plot that does not progress quickly.

Young children will not be comfortable with the word choices and flow of the book. The parts about the dragon are childish but the parts about being an immigrant are not accessible. I’m really not clear on who this book is for.

I hate to give a bad review, but I honestly don’t think I will finish the book, there is so much great stuff out there.

Any one else have an opinion on the book?