Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Dragon and the Turtle Go On Safari

"Padraig the dragon and his best friend, Roger the turtle are determined to spend the whole night outside. As brave explorers at the base of Mount Sillymanborrow, the boys use their imaginations to have fun while munching on crunchy baked bugs and toasting s’mores over their campfire. But when the sky gets dark and the sounds of strange animals fill the forest outside their tent, their safari gets scary. This adventure is just what the boys need to discover that the dark might be frightening, but their friendship is stronger than fear." ~~ synopsis from publisher's website

The Dragon and the Turtle Go On Safari by Donita K. Paul and Evangeline Denmark. Illustrations by Vincent Nguyen

I love a good children's book, especially one with good illustrations. Good illustrations, along with a good story, keep a child's attention when being read to or when reading a book on their own. This book has both! 

This book is a story about a turtle and a dragon who want to sleep outside all night - what kid doesn't want to do that? Well, their imaginations go a little wild and they hear strange creatures roaming around in their backyard. The illustrations of these strange creatures make the story so much fun to read.

And along with this great story about the safari, there is a little bonus story at the back of the book as well as lessons, conversation starters, that will help us open up some dialogue with our kiddos.

Great book and one that I look forward to reading to my Grands when they come for a visit! 

Read an excerpt


Disclaimer ~~ I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Color Blind: a Memoir by Precious Williams

Wow! What an amazing book! And what an amazing woman, to come through the ordeal called her life, to make it to where she is today.

"As a baby, Anita Williams was farmed out by her glamorous Nigerian mother to a couple in their late 50s, Nanny and her wheelchair-bound husband, Gramps, to be brought up as a proper English girl with the Queen's accent. Altruistic, Christian, and modest of means, Nanny tells her: "Your colour doesn't matter, Anita. You're just the same as me underneath." Yet Anita stuck out like a sore thumb in mostly white Fernmere, visited occasionally by her haughty, highly critical Mummy Elizabeth." ~~ from Publishers Weekly 

Even though she was given up to a foster home as a baby by a mother who apparently couldn't be bothered with a child, unless it was convenient for her, Precious spend most of her life looking for love and acceptance from her mother. This book was at times very disturbing to read, I can't even imagine what it would have been like to live this life.

The author did survive this life and has gone on to become a journalist. More information about all of her achievements can be found at the author's website. http://www.preciouswilliams.com/

I read a ton of biographies when I was growing up and have gotten away from them. I have not read one for quite awhile. This is a genre that I need to rediscover. Reading about other people and what they have gone through makes me appreciate the life that I have and reminds me how strong human nature can be, when it means one's survival. 

Five Chinese Brothers

This book, Five Chinese Brothers, was mentioned several times in the book The Last Will of Moira Leahy

"The beloved story of five brothers who use their special powers to rescue the First Brother from being unfairly put to death." ~~ from Publishers Weekly

I loved this story as a child and remember reading it over and over. What a nice reminder of my childhood while reading another story that I now love. I need to find this book and read it again. 

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Last Will of Moira Leahy by Therese Walsh

I lost my twin to a harsh November nine years ago. Ever since, I’ve felt the span of that month like no other, as if each of the calendar’s thirty perfect little squares split in two on the page.

So starts The Last Will of Moira Leahy.  I had been seeing this book hyped up all over the place; book/author web sites and Facebook pages.  It caught my attention and it was something I really wanted to read.  And then lo and behold, I received a signed copy of the book in a contest!  It was destiny - I was meant to read this book! 

That first line really catches you, doesn't it?  What happened to her twin?  And how does Maeve go on living her life, without her sister, after that?

This story was very captivating from the start and goes back and forth between the present and that time leading up to 'nine years ago'.  It is an amazing, mystical story that made me stop and ponder it all when I was done. That is the best kind of book to finish, one that you continue to think about long after it is over.

from the author's website ~~ Maeve Leahy is a busy professor of languages at a university in upstate New York. So busy that she leaves little time for memories—the memory of her lost twin, Moira, and of her many lost opportunities.

Until a childhood relic and a series of anonymous notes changes everythingresurrects her long-dead dreams, a lost language, her most painful recollections, and prompts her to cross an ocean in search of ancient history.

There, Maeve will learn new truths about her past, and come face to face with the one thing she truly fears. Only then can she choose between the safe yet lonely life she's built for herself and one of risk, with bonds she knows can be both heart-breakingly delicate and more enduring than time.

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