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.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid

Diary of a wimpy kid cover artI literally laughed out loud every few pages reading Jeff Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid. I especially enjoyed how the cartoons throughout the book complimented the text.

The adorable little brother circling everything in the catalogue made me nostalgic.

There were times that I was surprised how mean the main character was to his friend. I liked that he suffered for this, because he does not set a very good example. He is hilarious in his inability to impress girls, bragging about all the wrong things.

This is a book that a lot of kids will relate to, especially boys and I hope that libraries use the opportunity of the movie coming out soon to promote it. I will definitely be going to see the movie, and hope they manage to maintain the same sense of humour as the book.

Thanks to Matt for buying me the book at the Tinlids sale!

Toothless

cover art of Junie B, First Grade Toothless WonderAmong my pile of books from London Public Library this week was Barabara Park’s Junie B, First Grade Toothless Wonder. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Junie was the first one with a loose top tooth in her class and I was the last, but it took me back to Gr. 2, and I think librarians and parents will enjoy it almost as much as the target audience. If a child comes into the library asking about the Tooth Fairy, or is worried about or proud of a loose tooth this is a go to book.

Park, Barbara. Junie B, First Grade Toothless Wonder. Ill Denise Brunkus. New York: Random House, 2002.

The Girls Like Spaghetti

I borrowed The Girls Like Spaghetti: Why you can’t manage without apostrophes! from London Public Library and I loved it. What an adorable and fun way to teach kids grammar! Truss and Timmons use hilarious animation to demonstrate what a difference an apostrophe makes in a sentence. I would highly recommend this for librarians, parents, teachers or kids trying to master grammar.

cover art

Truss, Lynne and Bonnie Timmons. The Girls Like Spaghetti: Why you can’t manage without apostrophes!. New York: G. P. Putman’s Sons, 2007.

Far-Flung Adventures-A review

the cover art

Paul Stewart & Chris Riddell’s Fergus Crane was extremely enjoyable. Whimsical language, names and images portray surprisingly down to earth themes. The protagonist is a child who is aware of his single mother’s struggle against poverty, and worries about her. This is a story lower or lower middle class children will be able to relate to, especially in areas where wealthy families go to private schools and public schools do not offer the same standard of education. The book speaks against child-labour and greed, but somehow manages maintains a playful and light tone. Steward and Riddell do an excellent job of making their story appeal to children and do not under estimate the intellegence and emotional maturity of their audience.