Tag Archive: library



One GorillaOne Gorilla by Anthony Browne

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was another I picked up at the library to beef up my lagging reading goal. So glad I did!

The artwork grabbed me even before I lifted it off the shelf. It reminds me of Eric Carle’s illustrations. Maybe a little more detailed?

I had to laugh out loud as I was selecting the tags for this book. You see I read the pictures, the names of the animals and oooo the pictures. In tagging I realized: THIS IS A COUNTING BOOK!

A teacher or parent could have loads of fun presenting new information each time this book is read aloud. Even beyond young children the science presented about primates could launch several discussions about the different classifications. Field trip to the zoo! An art class using water colors. Oh… and we can learn our numbers. I suppose that would be the place to start. But again–The pictures!!! They inspire me to get out my brushes and paints. I need to learn how someday. I must grow beyond drawing!

Check it out, read it aloud to a small child. Smuggle it into your room and enjoy the illustration!

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Help Me, Mr. Mutt!: Expert Answers for Dogs with People ProblemsHelp Me, Mr. Mutt!: Expert Answers for Dogs with People Problems by Janet Stevens

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’ve fallen behind in my reading goal for this year so I decided to include a few picture books or other short books to catch up. Most of the books I’m reading lately are quite long. So these are a bit of a relief for my eyes and energies.

Help Me, Mr. Mutt! Jumped out at me when I visited the library last. I loved the cute dog on the cover and decided that would be a good one to try.

The idea of a dog answering letters for other dogs with people problems was delightful. I loved the sneaky letters after Mr. Mutt’s reply from Queen the cat were hilarious. I loved that Mr. Mutt was able to give charts to prove his answers (though I wonder at his fact finding abilities–seems rather fake news to me). Still, the dogs reading said letters would be grateful to see their desires as proven fact. A great introduction to charts and how they work!

And while I think this was all fun and games, I think a good pet owner would insert proper care for said pets when reading this book aloud to a child. After all, if a child were to read this to his or herself, he might think it okay to give pets people food or sugary foods, or follow other advice not so good for a dog or cat. Still, read with a sense of humor it could be a fun book for parent and child or teacher and students to share.

And did I mention the illustrations? They were awesome! Fun read!

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Kali Goes to the Library


MommaDar didn’t bring her phone or camera so you’ll just have to take it from the dog’s mouth.

We live in a very small town. Our library is dog friendly. The librarian usually has treats for the dogs that come to visit but she had just run out. Even so a nice man, MommaDar seemed to know him, offered me a treat.

It didn’t seem right. I think MommaLaura wouldn’t approve of taking treats from strangers, so I smiled at him and smelled the wonderful library smells.

MommaDar doesn’t get books at the library. She turns in her hats and other things and picks up the donated yarn to make other things. She reads library books on her Kindle.

It doesn’t matter. I can tell that the library is MommaDar’s favorite place. I can’t wait to get back.


I Am Nujood, Age 10 and DivorcedI Am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced by Nujood Ali

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Thank you, Yvensong, for suggesting this read.

I was able to pick up the Overdrive and Kindle versions from the e-library. I loved the narrator: Meera Simhan. She did a great job reading for what was supposed to be a 10-year-old.

This is a great book to open the discussion of how girls and women are treated worldwide. When we look at what this poor girl and other like her have gone through, we, here in America, think that could never happen. But we have not gone far enough here. There is so much more work to show that equality is what is needed for a better world for everyone.

Nujood Ali has written a book that is short and sweet. I do believe that it could be read by all ages, and should be read by males so they can move to better understanding.

What I loved about reading along on the Kindle as the Overdrive narrator read to me were the foreign words that were hyperlinked to definitions. Even so, there weren’t so many that one couldn’t guess by context as to what they meant. I suggest everyone read this treasure.

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A Tale for the Time BeingA Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Over a decade ago, I met an online friend that would change or at least, modify my life. I met Judith on LiveJournal, you remember that old site, better than MySpace but not quite as social as FaceBook. Judith was chatting in her journal about Chris Baty and the NaNoWriMo scene (Which resulted in my first novel being written between the Ides of March and the Ides of April. I didn’t finish the novel then as we had to move to a new city and I just couldn’t stay with it. But I added more than enough wordage to that novel in November 2002 to “win”. (First of 10 or 11 novels since.)

The other thing Judith introduced me to was BookCrossing.com. The concept that grabbed me with BC was how my read book could be recycled to others and then the new reader and the old could discuss this story. The book could travel even when I couldn’t, so it felt like a message in a bottle thrown out to sea. It is fun to see where your book could end up and the friendships that develop over said book. I still belong but since my eyes aren’t what they used to be, I am happy for the invention of Kindle and other e-readers. So I release far fewer books nowadays.

Besides Judith, what do the above paragraphs have in common, and what do they have to do with ‘A Tale for the Time Being’? The art of writing and the art of reading. Both concepts play strong in this story. Rather than a message in a bottle, this message floats ashore in a Hello Kitty lunchbox in layers of freezer bags. The writer was in Tokyo, the reader/finder in Canada. Years separate the two. Yet a bond is formed. Oh, yeah, Judith read and reviewed this and hooked me in. I think she didn’t like the Zen parts of the book. I found that part delightful. I have to admit that most of the book is believable whereas the Zen bits are a little more ‘magical’. But the title twinkles with that magic. If you read it right.

Anyway, I HIGHLY recommend this book. I actually read it one and a third times. I borrowed the Kindle version from the library. Between reading it on my Kindle app on my Tablet and listening on my old Kindle text-to-speech, I managed to get to about 36% in. Then I found that my library also had the OverDrive version. So I restarted reading the book with the author’s voice. That pumped up my ratings for this wonderful tale. Each layer of depth into the story has its own built-in amazements. Level one, tree book, and the Kindle version, there are many footnotes and definitions to help with a deeper understanding of that time in history or that country, language. But the narration includes minor helps. Hearing a voice say the Japanese names or words adds to the believability of the whole story. Ms. Ruth Ozeki has an impeccable voice and narration, her variations of voices for each character supreme! I enjoyed rereading the first third with her help. I felt I gained deeper understanding just by hearing her. Please, if you get the chance to pair both versions, go for it!

By the way, I want to thank Jonelle Patrick and her Mysteries and website: http://jonellepatrick.me/ for introducing me to many contemporary Japanese subjects presented in A Tale for the Time Being. At least I was forewarned.

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Review: Champion by Marie Lu


ChampionChampion by Marie Lu

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Five stars! And that’s with me starting to read it on book three! I never do that. I like to start at the beginning and read a long series to the end. Starting in the middle or later can be chancy at best. But there was no choice. I saw such high ratings and I think a GoodReads friend recommended it. So I jumped over to Amazon. WAY too expensive for me right now. So I went over to my library website to see if they had it. The had the regular version of book two and this third book. BUT with this large print book I was able to land the audio-CDs. How lucky was that?

Let me take a moment out for a font complaint. Why is it that large print versions don’t give spaces between lines? Even with the larger font I still couldn’t read it straight through. I needed to use my trusty dusty bookmark to keep track, like a first grader! Old eyes, what can I say?

What kept me going, though, was the audio version. The voices of June and Day were read by Mariel Stern and Steven Kaplan respectively. They were wonderful narrators! I must make sure when I finally get this series for myself that I get the Audible Whispersync with the Kindle version.

I must marvel at the writing of Marie Lu. That I can come into the story this late in the game and not feel lost is to her credit. Sure, I felt like I was missing a little background on how it all started and how relationships grew, or didn’t, but I felt I already knew, somehow. There wasn’t a lot of background descriptors dragging the story out, so I assume Ms. Lu snuck it all in there somehow. Magic!

And I am surprised that coming out of the book I have a hunger to read the entire series, real soon! I put all the books on all my wishlists. Just reading a book three should have had me feel I was finished, ya know?

Oh, and if you read this one, have some Kleenex on hand near the end. It’s not horrid, but I haven’t cried like that near the end of a book for a long time. But that shows the amount of truth that this story held for me. No, I am far from being a teen–65, but I could still relate to all that was going on with these characters.

Oh, and this is the first book in a long time that felt that either guys or girls could read it with equal fervor. Each chapter is either June or Day (Daniel) and both are tough but caring human beings.

As I have said before, where were authors like Marie Lu when I was a teen? This book kept my interest from beginning to end. And I think that if you are unlucky enough to not get the first two books you can start here and still have an active adventure!

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Eleanor & ParkEleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh, how, sweet! One of my GoodReads friends, Lovely Primrose, recommended this to me. That was a long time ago. I couldn’t afford it so I put it on hold from my library. It seemed forever before it came my turn to read. Of course, I ordered the large-print version. I was glad. It was quite comfortable for my eyes to read. Even more, it was a joy for my heart.

Romance. Yuck! That’s what I usually think. But this book grabs you right from the beginning. You get the story from Eleanor and Park’s points of view. The angst of the story wasn’t ‘does he/she love me?’ but rather the angst of not fitting in. And it shows the inner beauty of these two people.

You get to see how their lives work at home and it all becomes clear why they act the way they do. Even though it was a hefty one, because of being large-print, book, I found I didn’t want to stop reading. I thought about it when I wasn’t reading. And… I am sad it came to an end. I would love to see a book two. It isn’t needed except for the fact that I miss the characters. It ends with a satisfactory feeling. But… please, please, please??

I recommend this one for anyone young at heart.

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Stars Come Out WithinStars Come Out Within by Jean Little

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was an Inter-Library Loan. That meant I only had two weeks to read it. Yikes! And the font… well, it was darker and good sized, but the lines were too close together. That made it difficult for me to read, but not impossible. Under really good lighting and short sips of the book, I managed to finish. Yay! I thought often, that Jean Little, herself, would have had a hard time reading this. My eyes aren’t nearly as bad as hers were, but I have similar problems. I have two eyes that operate independently from each other. Tracking is a big problem for me. In fact, I mostly read with one eye. The other goes on vacation. Its function is for far away. When I was young I had to hold the books really close. Not so close as to get print ink all over my nose, but near enough. As my eyes age, they let me pull the book away a bit.

With floaters, diabetes, and macular degeneration, I have deep fears of blindness. On the other hand, I have a great fascination with how people deal with it. I have always been amazed at abilities the disabled people portray. I remember reading about Helen Keller when I was in grade school. The week I got to see Miracle Worker on television, I walked around my house pretending to be blind to see if I could do it. After all, my great grandmother was blind. She made pot holders on her sewing machine for everyone in the family. She managed to get around her house just fine. No one lived with her. She had no guide dog, that I know of. And she never complained. Her conversations were like normal, none drew attention to her blindness. She could whip out her harmonica and play us all tunes. She was amazing. I could see and I couldn’t sew or play the harmonica.

Anyway, back to the book. This is the second part of Ms. Little’s autobiography. Her eyes were getting worse. That’s bad for a writer. Especially for back then. Her way of writing a book was with a typewriter. How, if you can’t see, do you go through the editing process? Granted she had a good support group with family and friends. People would read to her. She was already established with an editor and publisher, but she was also a bit of a perfectionist, as we should be at that stage.

As Jean Little goes through all these setbacks you see her honest reactions. No, she isn’t always graceful in her acceptance of her disability or the ways around it. I loved the fact that she was able to show her grumpier side, or the parts when she did feel sorry for herself. She let us see her faults, her humanness. That was what kept me reading, I think. That and the dog. Oh, I wanted to hug that dog!

Within these pages, Jean sprinkled in poetry. Hers and others. She gives us clues into her reading life, her favorite authors and books. For those who love childrens’ books, it is fun to see titles or authors of much adored reads of the past.

Now that I have finished reading the book, I want to see a part three. I want to go read her childrens’ books and those she admired that I didn’t read as a kid or mother. I understand she has a website. I am off to go research. I hope you enjoy this autobiography as much as I did.

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Sing You HomeSing You Home by Jodi Picoult

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book was special!

I was lucky enough to get both the audio CDs and the large print hardback from the library. I highly recommend reading it like that. As a music major, who thought seriously about moving into music therapy, I found myself relating to the main character, Zoe.

Not only was this well written, there were songs sung in the narration! The narrators’ voices were well done. And the a capella singing voice is angelic!

It was depressing to me to give the book back to the library. I loved it so much I know I will be buying the Kindle/Audible combo to enjoy again in the future.

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The Last Little Blue Envelope (Little Blue Envelope, #2)The Last Little Blue Envelope by Maureen Johnson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What a delightful series! I am sorry to be finished with book 2. I do hope there will be more. For the young adult this widens the world to seek out life beyond the comfort zone. For those of us that are older and for whatever reason bound to our situation of home and hearth, this lets out our wanderlust. We travel with Ginny and her friends to fulfill the requests of her belated Aunt Peg’s ‘scavenger hunt’ listed in her 13 blue envelopes.
For me, it was during a couple weeks of the summer when I chose to watch over other walls than my usual four. I was house sitting for relatives and friends. It would still be me sitting somewhere. But it got me out of my bed and on other sofas. Meanwhile, reading this special book, I felt I was really traveling, after all. packing and unpacking was involved. So though my real life was spent doing my usual within the same city I live in, I was in London, England, Amsterdam, and Paris.
I read finished reading this over a week ago, already returned the book to the library. But I loved it so much that I think when I feel the wanderlust, I will look this series up again. It was that much fun.

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