Archive for December 29, 2013



Abigail and Her Pet Zombie
Abigail and Her Pet Zombie by Marie F Crow
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I loved the pictures and enjoyed this as an adult, but there were so many things that I couldn’t feel comfortable with. Why is this humanoid a pet? How is it that the teacher didn’t understand and let the zombie stay in school when this zombie was so good at art? Why not let the zombie go into special ed and see what he/she could learn given a chance. Is this how we treat those who are slower? Obviously the zombie was good at making friends. Why is the zombie not allowed a gender? If this zombie felt sad and alone why not let him go to school? I felt like if this was read to children it could give them more reason to make fun of others, and lead them to disrespect teachers. Where are Abigail’s parents? Still, like I said at the beginning, as an adult I loved it. Had it landed in my home when my own were children, there would have been many discussions about my many questions.

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There's No Such Thing As Monsters
There’s No Such Thing As Monsters by Michael Yu
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What great pictures! I loved them so much. I loved the story, too. The rhythm falls apart, though, when the title theme is repeated. Still, I think this would have been a favorite for my children and I to read so long ago. This was a great message to all of us that see things with our imagination after dark. That dark coat hanging on the door can look like a person standing there. It has had my heart beating with fear on occasion. 😉

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Children's book: Pete the Amazing Dragon (Fairy tales books)
Children’s book: Pete the Amazing Dragon (Fairy tales books) by Tal Nir
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I love dragons! I love chocolate! How could I resist this free Kindle book? I loved the cover picture, too. The rest was only okay. Sorry. I wanted more and bigger pictures and was annoyed by the writing that had many uncomfortable sentences. Rhyming ‘well’ with ‘well’ well…

When I review children’s books I try to think of what my children would have liked, what would have spawned great conversations, what I would have enjoyed. I think mine would have gone back to books with more and bigger illustrations. I do like the fact that you can get the coloring book. That would have drawn us all into possible addicts of Pete the Dragon. This one just didn’t work well as a Kindle book for me.

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A Charlie Brown Christmas
A Charlie Brown Christmas by Charles M. Schulz
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I have always related to Charlie Brown. He is wishy-washy in a debate as he is able to see both sides of the argument and then because of that both side are mean to him. The good side of being that way is that you can pick and chose and grow with your opinion. In the end, he always wins. Heck, the cartoons are headed with his name. That cute little wooden tree wins, too. Of course, for this former tree-book-lover turned Kindle-e-book-lover. tree-hugger, my choice of tree would have been the live potted kind that can be planted outside later. This year my tree was a recycled catalogue folded into the shape of a tree for collecting and displaying a few Christmas/Holiday cards. We don’t have room for trees in our tiny over crowded apartment.

Back to the review. I love the cartoon. Usually the book is better than Hollywood versions. In this case, not so much. I couldn’t read it at all on my Fire. I could barely read it on my Tablet. I didn’t even try on my Second Generation or Kindle Keyboard. There is no text-to-speech available. On those Kindles there is no color pictures. But for the purpose of handing a tablet to the child to listen to the story this stinks! And this book isn’t loanable. The only good way to read it is the PC Kindle. And hey. where is the great music? I miss Schroeder’s piano playing!

Though the Christmas tree, which has become just as commercialized as the rest of what used to be a Holy Day which was borrowed from pagan religions and even the date was changed for Christ’s birth to win over the pagans aligning closely with Solstice. SO let’s instead stay with Peace and Love and respect for our planet as steward. Care for people as Christ did for the woman at the well. The Angel said “Be not afraid.” Fear is what is causing the bigotry and wars. That to me is the real reason for the season: Peace and Love and Be Not Afraid. Possible that was the message of this illustrated book with font too small too read. Great pictures. though!

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The Saving Mars Series
The Saving Mars Series by Cidney Swanson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh. My. Goodness. I love, love, love this series! Oh, how I wish this would have been around when I was a young adult. I think it would have been the motivation I needed to pursue being an astronaut, math skills be damned!

Don’t be afraid to read it if you are a little younger than a “young adult”. I think even as young as a 10 year old could read it as this is a fairly benign story. Still it is a great adventure with space travel and futuristic life on Mars and Earth. I’m 64. I can’t get enough of these books. There are older characters to relate to in the story, too.

Speaking of characters, as much as I love the girl from Mars, Jess, her brother, Eth, is even more fascinating. He is a highly functioning autistic person or maybe he has Asberger’s syndrome. The author never applies a label, which I find refreshing. Eth uses what he knows and plays the role he is assigned in the mission even through his own disabilities. But then the rest of the crews does the same thing. Each character has their own short-comings and strengths. That is why the series works so well.

As I have stated in the reviews of the first two books, I think guys would like this as much as the gals as there are characters they can relate to, and the action and adventure just keeps coming.

On this, the third book for me, I found it a little less action and more setting the stage for more to come. I can hardly wait for the next book, but I have to wait for my next paycheck as I have spent my allotment for books for this month. By the way, this three volume set is still $.99.

I think everyone, especially science fiction buffs will love this series. The author has done her homework and even gives websites for Mars fans to look up all they need to know about Mars and spaceflight. Enjoy!

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