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Monday Book Review: “Natural Disaster,” by Ginger Zee; “Fresh Off the Boat,” edited by Larry Smith; and “Nuclear Family: A Tragicomic Novel in Letters,” by Susanna Fogel

December 18th, 2017

Fastest book review ever:

“Natural Disaster: I Cover Them, I Am One,” by Ginger Zee. (Kingswell, 2017, 282 pages, $26.99.) Sweet, tart, sad, beautiful, funny memoir from ABC News Chief Meteorologist, one Ms. Ginger Zee.

“Fresh Off the Boat: Stories of Immigration, Identity, and Coming to America,” edited by Larry Smith (Kingswell, 2017, $15.99). This is one from the six-word memoirs series, and I thought that would be the format throughout, but was pleased to find essays and photos included, too. Beautiful, touching book. Everyone, especially our President and his staff, needs to read it.

My favorite quote:

“But where are you really from?” Suki Kim

“Nuclear Family: A Tragicomic Novel in Letters,” by Susanna Fogel (Henry Holt, 2017, 199 pages, $16). I picked up this book at somewhere I never shop anymore: the library. Weird, I know. Good God, it’s funny. I mean, like hilarious funny. Crying and wiping tears from my eyes and reading pages out loud to my boyfriend funny, funny-as-David-Sedaris funny. So read it, already.

And in parting, in the words of my late, great Granny: “Even Jesus had to knock a few heads together in the pool hall sometimes.”

Happy Holidays from our house to yours.

Ambrosia, My Granny’s Recipe

Slice three or four oranges into a bowl, sprinkle with shredded coconut, add some maraschino cherries. If you want to get fancy like me, add pineapple chunks, drizzle the whole thing with honey, top with whipped cream. Bon appetit, babies!

Thursday Book Review: “Mouse, Look Out!” by Judy Waite & Norma Burgin; “The Story of Ferdinand,” by Munro Leaf & Robert Lawson; “Come Away from the Water, Shirley,” by John Burningham; “Where Is Little Reynard?” by Joyce Carol Oates & Mark Graham

December 14th, 2017

Awwww, I love these titles. Oldies but goodies that keep working to the top of the heap of books, which fell off my nightstand and is now all over the floor and the coffee table.

“Mouse, Look Out!” written by Judy Waite, illustrated by Norma Burgin. She looks *just* like my LuLu, this black kitty, who is out to get the little mousie. But is someone out to get her, too? This is a strangely ominous and comforting book, all at the same time. No matter, the kids will like it, and get it. I especially love the details from “the staircase no one used,” “the bed no one slept in” and the rest. Super-pretty art, and a good story. Originally released in 1998.

“The Story of Ferdinand,” written by the inimitable Munro Leaf & illustrated by the one-and-only Robert Lawson. You cannot beat the cool, pacifist-themed story and the pen-and-ink drawings from this 1936 classic. (The film opens tomorrow, I’ve heard, but that isn’t why I’m reviewing it now. Go buy a copy of the book.)

“Come Away from the Water Shirley,” written and illustrated by John Burningham, was first released in 1977. Her parents are what used to be called “old sticks in the mud.” It’s too cold for swimming, Shirley is told. Maybe they’ll play with her later. But Shirley doesn’t let that get in the way of her imagination, and off she goes to the pirate ship to battle the bad guys.

“Where Is Little Reynard?” by Joyce Carol Oates, illustrated by Mark Graham. This is the second book from this duo, released in 2003, following their first picture book, “Come Meet Muffin!” which, hello, is a great title. Little Reynard, an orange boy kitty, is one of seven. The only one who notices him is Lily, but then the foxes arrive. Is he secretly a fox? Lovely drawings and a sweet story.

Bon appetit, babies!

Wacky Mommy