Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Various Children's Books - Various Authors

I've found myself with access to a bunch of children's books this month and have plowing through them. Rather than review them separately, I figured I would combine and conquer...

Zipping, Zapping Bats by Ann Earle is a short book that provides children with an interesting look at those nighttime mammals that so many fear. This provides some great information, even for adults like me, while being entertaining. Its a great starter book for kids to gain some ease with non-fiction.

Harry and the Lady Next Door by Gene Zion is one book in a series about a cute little dog named Harry who is naughty. In this book, Harry is not too fond of the next door neighbor's singing and goes to pains to remove the "noise".  Though he is naughty, he is clearly misunderstood and you can't help but fall in love with Harry. This series is illustrated by two-time Caldecott Honor winner Margaret Bloy Graham.


Over and Over by Charlotte Zolotow is the story of a little girl learning about the holidays and seasons. The writing itself is nothing impressive, though the author is famous and very successful, but the illustration is beautiful thanks to Garth Williams.

The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner is a little story of four children whose parents have died and left them alone in the world, depressing. The children are meant to go live with a grandfather, who they assume is mean and hates children, and so they have run away. They find an abandoned box car in the woods, after wandering town to town to find food and shelter, and decide to create a home there. Eventually they are found out by a doctor who introduces them to a millionaire in his town, who it turns out is the dreaded grandfather who ends up being loving and kind.  Blah...  The whole story is unbelievable and silly. One of those books written years ago that just doesn't stand up to the new millennium's understanding that children actually have brains and can think.

The Spiderwick Chronicles by Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black is the first book in a series of five about the Grace children (Mallory, Jared and Simon) whose mother is recently divorced and moves them to a dilapidated family estate. Upon their arrival, the children discover the estate holds more than dust and desolation. They discover things living in the walls, which leads them to a secret room that holds an old book that leads to a world with special creatures like dwarves and trolls. They only question is, will they enter?! A very simply written chapter book which inspires children to read the others in the series (even those of us who generally don't like series).


Jeane said...

I loved the Harry books as a kid. And I do remember reading the Boxcar children- I don't recall all those cheesy details about the benefactor but I remember liking the bits about how they fixed up the boxcar to make it liveable. I bet if I read it now I'd find it unbearable, though.