Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Bink and Gollie: Two for One

Somehow I am on Candlewick's mail list, and they sent me an ARC of "Bink and Gollie: Two for One" by Kate DiCamillo, Alison McGhee, and Tony Fucile.

I grinned. I leaped from my chair. I pretended I was only going to flip through it. I started reading while standing. I sat down and continued reading. I leaned back and read the whole book, and I can see your future: You, too, will read this book in one sitting. You will laugh. You will say, "Awww!" You will want to read it again, and you will want to share it with as many children as you can.

"There are no winners here," says Gollie to Bink after a particularly unfortunate incident at the state fair's whack-a-duck game. Without question, this book is a winner. Gollie may be shy about her several talents, but our authors and illustrator share theirs. "You're special, aren't you?" A resounding YES!

Thank you, Candlewick, for this terrific book! On sale: June 2012.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Finish line

My time has expired for this challenge. Since my last post, I read for another 3 hours (Heist Society by Ally Carter, 287 pages).

That brings my totals to...
Book 1 -- 3:20
Book 2 -- 1:20
Audiobook -- 1:00
Book 3 -- 3:00

Total time spent reading: 8:20.

Heist Society was great. At first I thought Carter might be glossing over some important details and not giving us enough to go on to mentally develop Kat's character. But I was so wrong. This is a smart book, a thinker's book, and I hope there will be more like it.

So I've enjoyed my mysteries, and it looks like I owe about $45 to CureSearch, because I am gladly changing my own rules to $5 per hour rather than per book.

Congratulations to all who completed the challenge! And thanks to Mother Reader for again hosting us all.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

24+ hours in

So far I have completed two books, I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You by Ally Carter (284 pages, 3 hours and 20 minutes) and The Adventures of Jack Lime by James Leck (126 pages, 1 hour and 20 minutes). I'm glad I finally read an Ally Carter book and am looking forward to continuing the series. I was nervous that the whole spy thing would devolve into teen romance and giggles, but it was all very cleverly written! Also clever were Jack Lime's three cases; I really enjoy the gumshoe language and will enjoy recommending this book to those who have outgrown Geronimo Stilton, Chet Gecko, and Encyclopedia Brown. Anyone who likes Sam Spade might enjoy this, too, in a tongue-in-cheek kind of way.

I also listened to Brava, Valentine (not a mystery but something I'd been listening to before the challenge began) for an hour in the car. I have to check the rules to be sure that counts. There could be a clause that you can only have one audiobook for every so many other print books that you finish.

I'm considering changing my donation to CureSearch to $5 for each hour I read instead of per book, and I'm still offering 25 cents for relevant comments--so let me hear from you!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Starting Line: 48HBC

I am ready to begin the 48 Hour Book Challenge, made possible by Mother Reader. See the post below for information about what I plan to read (mysteries) and where I'm donating (CureSearch).

My first book is I'd Tell you I Love You , But Then I'd Have to Kill You because, hard to believe, I have not yet read a book by Ally Carter. (I think Heist Society is also on my list, but we'll see if I get to it.

Happy reading to all who are participating!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Fifth Annual 48 Hour Book Challenge


I'm in. I'm signing up for the Fifth Annual 48 Hour Book Challenge, and I'm reading mysteries, spy novels, and crime fiction. I have 5 books on my reading list so far and will donate $5 toward solving the mysteries of childhood cancer for each book that I finish. I'll add 25 cents for each comment someone leaves (that actually relates to the discussion of the books). My chosen charity is CureSearch.

Thanks, Mother Reader, for offering up this challenge and giving us all a good reason to read and encouraging charitable donations!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Brownie and Pearl Step Out

Brownie & Pearl Step Out (Brownie and Pearl) Brownie & Pearl Step Out by Cynthia Rylant


My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Here is a simple, attractive book suitable for reading aloud (concepts: friendship, pets, birthday parties) but also wonderful for beginning readers.

A little girl named Brownie is on the way to a birthday party with her cat Pearl. At the doorstep, Brownie feels too shy to knock. Pearl confidently steps through the kitty door. Now Pearl must knock and follow her cat. Both have a great time at the party, of course.

No page has more than 4 sentences nor more than 13 words. The illustrations are large and colorful. This book will be an "easy sell," especially to young girls. Best of all, it's a worthwhile story for young and beginning readers!

View all my reviews >>

L. Frank Baum and the Wizard of Oz

Although I'm not in the habit of seeking out literary criticism in my husband's favorite magazine, I appreciated the American History article "The Matriarch Behind the Curtain" (Dec. 2009, pgs. 52-57) for its concise summary of Baum's life and failed work and writing efforts prior to the 1900 publication of The Wizard of Oz and the 13 sequels published through 1919.

Like many high school students, I had learned that the yellow brick road was a Populist parable. I never quite believed that, and this article quickly and efficiently articulates why that could not be so based on past writings of newspaperman Baum who identified himself as a Republican and actually wrote a poem in 1896 in favor of both the gold standard and GOP candidate McKinley. Dorothy's silver slippers (turned ruby for the movie) were not pushing for silver to back the U.S. dollar. The proponent of this idea was Henry Litchfield writing in American Quarterly in 1964. In 1992, Litchfield admitted there was no support for his theory. Nevertheless, I still learned about it in U.S. History class in 1993.

Thanks to American History for putting Baum's novel in historical perspective and calling it what it is--"America's most enduring tale of fantasy and adventure."