Review: The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes

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Category: 6-8 Reader

Published: 1944

Read: January 2016

Score: 4/5

Synopsis: (Goodreads) At the heart of the story is Wanda Petronski, a Polish girl in a Connecticut school who is ridiculed by her classmates for wearing the same faded blue dress every day. Wanda claims she has one hundred dresses at home, but everyone knows she doesn’t and bullies her mercilessly. The class feels terrible when Wanda is pulled out of the school, but by that time it’s too late for apologies. Maddie, one of Wanda’s classmates, ultimately decides that she is “never going to stand by and say nothing again.”

Review: This is a very quick and easy read and great for kids. It has a good message and is a beautiful little story about compassion, kindness and acceptance.

imagesIt’s about Wanda and how she tells everyone she owns 100 dresses and at the time this is unheard of as she is poor. The other girls make fun of her for telling such a fib. This story is told from the point of view of Maddie and how she feels bad for making fun of Wanda and when Wanda moves away Maddie vows to never make fun of anyone again.

This is a very fast read as it’s for the age group 6-8. It’s a good beginner book and feels more like a novel for them instead of a big word picture book. It’s been around for ever and is considered a classic but what I love about classics are the fact that the message still resonates today.

There are some illustrations and they are simple and well done. They give a little something to the story. This would be a great gift for girls as  boys might not like the “dresses” aspect of the story.

Overall a cute read and I can see why it has stayed such a classic.

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Review: Frightmares by Michael Dahl

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Category: 6-8 Fiction

Published: 2015

Read: October 2016

Score: 4/5

Synopsis: (Goodreads) What if you only had one hundred words to warn humanity of a deadly danger? What if your favorite sci-fi movie suddenly turned into a real-life worst nightmare? What if a girl you’ve never seen before keeps showing up in photos on your cell phone? What if you hear a knocking sound in the middle of the night? In each of the 27 tales in this book, people are afraid. Very afraid. Read their stories. See if you share their fears. Because if you don’t now . . . you will.

Review: This was a book I decided to pick up because it was Halloween and what a better time to read some “scary stories”. It’s an easy read for the younger kids and I got to say I was not really scared…at all but they were good stories and I am happy I read this.

It is a collection of very short stories, no more than a few pages each if that. They range from stories inside the house, around the corner and out of your mind. In each section you find stories that are in theme with these categories.

screen480x480Some of the best ones are The Stranger on the Stairs, about a boy who doesn’t like to go upstairs because of the man who sits at the top of the stairs. His mother doesn’t believe him until it’s too late. The Doll that Waved Goodbye about a girl who becomes obsessed with  a doll hand that her camp mate wears on a necklace around her neck… why won’t she let people touch it? Also, The Worlds Most Awesome Toothpaste, about a boy who learns what happens when he uses the best toothpaste in the world with the worse consequences.

Some of them can be scary for the little kids and even though it’s considered a 6-8 book it’s more for the 8-year-old than the 6-year-old. It’s  a lot of words and not a lot of pictures, but as I said it’s a little scary for some of the younger ones.

Unless you have that fearless kid…than hand them this book and let them go.

Overall it’s well written and clever and fun overall for anyone who likes these kinds of things. Being a horror fan I  liked it but at the end of the day it is a little kids book. I could see some of these stories being really awesome short movies that you find on Youtube. 6a01156fbb1c3d970c01bb0888165a970d

So if you want a quick read I say pick this up if “scary”stories are your thing.

Review: The Adventures of Miss Petitfour by Ann Michaels

With Illustrations by Emma Block

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Category: 6-8 Storybook

Published: 2015

Read: 2016

Score: 3/5

Synopsis: Miss Petitfour enjoys having adventures that are “just the right size – fitting into a single, magical day.” She is an expert at baking and eating fancy iced cakes, and her favorite mode of travel is par avion. On windy days, she takes her sixteen cats out for an airing: Minky, Misty, Taffy, Purrsia, Pirate, Mustard, Moutarde, Hemdela, Earring, Grigorovitch, Clasby, Captain Captain, Captain Catkin, Captain Cothespin, Your Shyness and Sizzles. With the aid of her favorite tea party tablecloth as a makeshift balloon, Miss Petitfour and her charges fly over her village, having many little adventures along the way. Join Miss Petitfour and her equally eccentric felines on five magical outings — a search for marmalade, to a spring jumble sale, on a quest for “birthday cheddar”, the retrieval of a lost rare stamp and as they compete in the village’s annual Festooning Festival.

Review: This is a simple and fun story for any young child to read. It’s a bit of a heavier read for the age group but once they are stronger it’s one that will be enjoyed. miss-petitfour_670

Miss Petitfour reminds me a lot of Mary Poppins in her demeanor and way she is written. The adventures are fun ones that are easily solved and always have a happy ending. My favourite is the “retrieval of a lost rare stamp” because the cat saves the day in that one.

Than there are the cats, with names like Captain Captain, Mustard and Your Shyness. They are each unique and full of fun characters.

miss petitfour catsThe mode of travel for Miss Petitfour and her cats is by table-cloth. They ride the wind to get where they need to go with hopes that the wind is going the right way. Each cat holds on to the tail in front and so forth. It’s a cute little concept and a nice twist on the umbrella form of travel.

My favourite part of the book is really big words were highlighted in this book and then explained in a fun way. There was different ways to say things and lots of big words I don’t even use every day. I think this is a great idea to introduce new vocabulary.

For kids this is a great book and a good one to help them read. It’s a little more advanced for the age group but once they are a stronger reader it’s a great choice.

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Review: The Fearsome Creatures of the Lumberwoods

Review  unnamed (3): The Fearsome Creatures of the Lumberwoods: Twenty Chilling Tales from the Wilderness

6-8 Age Group  Catagorized 

Score: 1/5

Synopses: Twenty bone-chilling tales about the most dangerous fantastical beasts in American folklore. Meet the Snoligoster, who feeds on the shadows of its victims. The Hodag, like a spiny-backed bull-horned rhinoceros. The Hoop Snake, which can chase prey at speeds of up to 60 miles per hour and then, with one sting of its tail, cause it to turn purple, swell up, and die. Illustrated throughout, including eight drawings printed with glow-in-the-dark ink.

The book was originally published in 1910 by William Thomas Cox and is now inspiringly retold by Hal Johnson, author of Immortal Lycanthropes. The creatures are all scales and claws, razor-sharp teeth and stealth, camouflage and single-minded nastiness. Straight out of the era of Paul Bunyan, they speak to an earlier time in American history, when the woods were indeed dark and deep and filled with mystery.

My Review: I did not like this book at all. I am usually all over the 6-8 books as they are fun, quick reads. This one was not fun at all at. Maybe I am being a little bias because I know what age group this book is suppose to be for. If it was categorized for a older audience would it have changed my opinion? I don’t know.  It’s also not so much tales, as different events associated with the certain creatures mentioned.

I like the idea of it being reworked from a older book. I also love cryptozoology. It’s fun and imaginative and I have read some great things over the years with that concept in mind. The pictures are nice too. They are a little “scary” but they are well done and the glow in the dark is always fun.

My problem is that it was kinda violent and racist. I get it’s a reworking but maybe updated it to the times as well as taken it down a notch for the audience it’s aiming for. There is a lot of death, blood, destruction. The “animals” are vicious, and that’s okay but he doesn’t have to describe all the ways they kill people in each chapter. I love horror movies and books, and gore but for the age group it was too much. Plus the hate for French people? I just don’t get it. Lots of references to French people and how horrible they are (according to the author and/or previous author).

Again, would I feel differently if it was for a older kid…maybe. All I know is that I would never recommend this book to a kid.

 

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