Monday, January 4, 2016

A Collection of Children's Books

A Perfectly Messed-Up StoryA Perfectly Messed-Up Story by Patrick McDonnell
Reviewed by Jason Koivu
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

* * * The following three reviews are of books read & reviewed (sort of) by me and my niece Emma * * *

More like...A Perfectly AWESOME Story! I can't believe Emma didn't want to get this. When I found it at the library and suggested it, she gave me her scrunched up, "Whaaat? Really? I don't know..." face, but I persevered. Something about A Perfectly Messed-Up Story had her name written all over it.

VINDICATION! She loved it! Granted, I had to "play it big" in my reading, going over the top as the main character, Louie, a Casper-pale midget with a bad comb-over sporting a yellow onesie, who attempts to tell his perfect story only to be foiled by huge globs of peanut butter and jelly and the like dropping on to the page from some imagined reader above.

"Once upon a time, little Louie went skipping merrily along," begins the story which worryingly continues on in such a staid manner, threatening to bore young readers/listeners. But then on page three, like most kids books do, the author throws in his monkeywrench, and soon enough Louie is being bombarded by all manner of sticky messes, impertinent fingerprints, and various sorts of stains. He becomes so exasperated that he gives up, but just when it seems there's no hope for this book, the story begins again, Louie makes it all the way through without a single droplet of PB&J, and all is right with the world!

Emma's favorite part, and mine too, was when the peanut butter plopped right on Louie's face. Many a giggle ensued!


The Gingerbread Man Loose on the Fire TruckThe Gingerbread Man Loose on the Fire Truck by Laura Murray
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

The Gingerbread Man Loose on the Fire Truck should have been a no-look pass that led to a game-winning slamdunk. Instead, Laura Murray dropped the ball.

Emma was NOT impressed with this story of the famous Gingerbread Man visiting a fire station on a school fieldtrip. That surprised me, because she absolutely LOVES the original story, so I figured this would be a no brainer.

Like most sequels looking to cash in on a successful original work, this mimics its predecessor. Most notably it rhymes and has chase scenes. But instead of enjoying the read, I found myself racing through this as fast as can be, all the while Emma tried to flee!


Yeah, you just keep on driving, buddy...

Little Green Peas: A Big Book of Colors (with audio recording)Little Green Peas: A Big Book of Colors by Keith Baker
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A wide and thin rhymy book about pea people that goes nowhere and is essentially meaningless, but mildly enjoyable just the same.

Little Green Peas is page after page of pea people sailing, flying kites, playing baseball, skiing and more all with a focus on colors.

This was Emma's library pick and I think she thought she'd like it a whole lot more. She thought the little peas were cute, but she learned her colors years ago, plus the reading level was too easy for her (she'll be six next week) and the lack of a plot or even any kind of tension really left us both feeling flat. That's not to say we didn't like it. We did...somewhat.

On the Emma-o-meter Little Green Peas registered as a half smile with a bemused sigh.

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