Monday, January 28, 2013

Miss Julie's Book Reviews so far...

I, Miss Julie (Children’s Librarian), am ruthlessly working to finish my Winter Reading Challenge. I am making headway, but I keep adding books to my challenge sheet, so I might not finish!

Hank the Cowdog
I started my winter with The Original Adventures of Hank the Cowdog by John Erickson. The audiobooks were recommended to me, so I decided to have a listen. Hank is head security at the ranch, which is not an easy profession. Hank is a special kind of dog, though, built for the job-living for the law and loving every moment. When Hank is framed for a murder on the farm, his life is turned upside down: the dog who enforces the law becomes an outlaw. Hank gets into some pretty exciting wild west style adventures. If you like dogs, wild west adventures, and a good laugh you will love these books.

For a truly enchanting story, you will want to read The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo. This book draws you in to a fairy tale filled with despair, betrayal, love, and forgiveness. I must warn you this story is very dark at times and probably can be very scary and disturbing for the sensitive reader. But if you can read through the darkness, I promise you will find light! This story is filled with just as much light and love as it is filled with darkness and despair. I have a lot of favorite books, but this one is at the top of the list!

The Water Horse
I must admit, the only reason I checked out The Water Horse by Dick King-Smith is because I thought the picture on the cover was beautiful.  Lucky for me, the story is just as beautiful as the cover! The Water Horse pulls you into a world of imagination and fantasy when Kirstie and her brother, Angus, acquire a strange and unusual pet. Taking care of this new creature isn’t easy, but the family works together to keep him safe. This is a wonderful book that the whole family can share; my only complaint is that the book is too short!  I guess sometimes it is ok to judge a book by the cover.

Cheshire Cheese Cat
The Cheshire Cheese Cat: A Dickens of a Tale by Carmen Agra Deedy and Randall Wright is a lovely story about a cat and a mouse who meet at Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese, an English pub where many famous writers were known to frequent.  The book has many positive attributes; the use of new and unusual words is incredible, the plot is unique and innocent, the characters are well-developed and likable, unlikely alliances form and secrets abound that keep the story interesting. This is a good book and a sweet story; however, because elementary children have not yet been introduced to Charles Dickens, I'm not sure if they can truly understand his role in the book.  If you are an avid reader and like sweet stories and want a bit of a challenge, this book is for you. It might also be interesting to read it alongside a biography on Charles Dickens.  Perhaps after finishing The Cheshire Cheese Cat, you might be inspired to read A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens.

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