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Sunday Book Review: “Sanity & Tallulah,” by Molly Brooks; “Anne Frank’s Diary,” graphic novel by Ari Folman & David Polonsky; “Maus” by Art Spiegelman

October 14th, 2018

Book reviews/sunshine

Book reviews/sunshine

(Photos by Nancy Ellen Row Rawley)

* Debut! The first book from author Molly Brooks, “Sanity & Tallulah” (Disney-Hyperion, 2018, ages 8-12, 240 pages, $12.99). Geeky-smart girl scientists Sanity Jones and Tallulah Vega run the show in this brand-new graphic novel. They live in a beat-up space station on Wilnick, with other scientist families. The girls pull off an amazing experiment, but when it goes wild (literally), they have to scramble before the situation gets worse. The mod art is a lot of fun, and the story is good.

* “Anne Frank’s Diary,” the graphic novel version, adapted by Ari Folman, with illustrations by David Polonsky (Pantheon Books, 2018, $16.48). This is a lovely adaption of Frank’s story and will no doubt be appreciated by readers of all ages.

* It makes me want to revisit “Maus,” Art Spiegelman’s World War II classic (Pantheon Books, 1991, 296 pages, $28.40). This was the first novel I ever read and revolutionized the genre.

Friday Night Book Review: “I Don’t Want to Go to Sleep,” by Dev Petty & Mike Boldt, also we have a cougar on my street and it’s in my neighbor’s yard

October 12th, 2018

Book reviews/sunshine

(Photo by me, Nancy Ellen Row Rawley.)

Cougars are big. Also a little scary. Don’t turn your back on one. (My advice.) I saw it last night, just loping down the street like it rented the place. This shit is bananas.

And now for a book review…

“I Don’t Want to Go to Sleep,” by Dev Petty, illustrated by Mike Boldt (Random House Children’s Books, 2018, ages 3-7, 32 pages, $16.99).

Frogs = funny and this series proves it. (“I Don’t Want to Be Big,” “I Don’t Want to Be a Frog,” “There’s Nothing to Do!”) Frog doesn’t want to go to sleep, because hello, winter is coming and there will be snow! Pig told him all about snow. And he’ll skate, and drink warm drinks, and what is hibernation and why should he do it?The illustrations are funny, the story is funny, and the littles will laugh.

Tuesday Book Review: Little Books for Little Kids – “Where Do Jet Planes Sleep at Night?” by Brianna Caplan Sayres & Christian Slade; “1 Grumpy Bruce: A Counting Book,” by Ryan T. Higgins; “My Little Golden Book About the Solar System,” by Dennis R. Shealy & Richard Johnson; “WeeHeeHee: A Collection of Pretty Funny Jokes & Pictures,” by Wee Society

October 9th, 2018

Book Reviews

(Photo by Nancy Ellen Row Rawley)

“Where Do Jet Planes Sleep at Night?” by Brianna Caplan Sayres, illustrated by Christian Slade (Random House Books for Young Readers, 2018, ages 0-3, 26 pages, $8.99). This super-cute series of board books includes the titles “Where Do Diggers Celebrate Christmas?” “Where Do Steam Trains Sleep at Night?” and “Where Do Diggers Sleep at Night?” Well, the questions needed to be asked. As far as jet planes go… it looks like they play hard, then their dads tell them stories.

The art is sweet and bright. Kids will love these titles.

“Where do biplanes sleep at night – those planes from long ago?
Do moms say, ‘Stop your stunts, kids!
Tomorrow’s another show”?

“My Little Golden Book About the Solar System,” by Dennis R. Shealy, illustrated by Richard Johnson (Golden Books, 2018, ages 2-5, 24 pages, $4.99). It’s not “The Happy Man and His Dump Truck,” or “Katie the Kitten,” and it’s definitely not “The Poky Little Puppy.” Oh, no. This one is for the junior-junior scientists in the crowd who fall between the ages of, say, 2-5.

So that’s basically every kid aged 2-5, because they all love science, dirt, the stars, bugs and water at those ages. Cool book. And there is just something about the Little Golden Book titles that makes us all happy — the gold spine, the familiarity — all good.

“1 Grumpy Bruce: A Counting Board Book,” by Ryan T. Higgins (Disney-Hyperion, 2018, ages 0-3, $7.99). Bruce is pretty much a grouch, but his friends are not. I’m anti-skunk, but “2 uninvited skunks” are pretty cute, and so are “3 mice throwing a party” and all the rest. Cute.

I like big books and I cannot lie. This is a big book, with a big title, courtesy of Wee Society: “WeeHeeHee: A Collection of Pretty Funny Jokes & Pictures” (Wee Society, 2018, $22). You can draw in it, use it as an activity books, and tell everyone the jokes. Here’s one now:

“What kind of shorts do clouds wear?
Thunder-wear.”

Get it??? lol lol lol lol lol

Bon appetit! Happy reading!

WM

Monday Book Review — What’s New on My Nightstand: “Ship It,” by Britta Lundin; “The Christmasaurus,” by Tom Fletcher & Shane Devries; “Star Wars Most Wanted,” by Rae Carson

October 8th, 2018

Good Life

Summer 2018

Summer 2018

(Photos by Nancy Ellen Row Rawley)

“Ship it,” by Britta Lundin (Freeform Books, 2018, 375 pages, $17.99). First of all – the cover of this book. Let us just pause a moment and adore it. Claire and Tess, “Demon Heart” fangirls at large, grace the jacket of Britta Lundin’s novel about fan fic, Comic Cons and teen lust and love. (Lundin is a screenwriter for the CW show “Riverdale,” and you may know her from her comic books.) I will give her a shout-out now cuz she’s from the Oregon coast, attended Reed College *and* the University of Texas at Austin, where she earned her MFA in Film Production. (Nice!) Now she lives with her wife in Los Angeles, which I’m sure is great? But not the Oregon coast.

More on the cover – beautifully illustrated comic art is hiding under the dust jacket. It’s worth the price of admission just to have this comic, I’m just saying.

On to the book: It’s sexy, it’s funny, it’s tortured and beautiful. Basically these are all of my favorite things, so win, win, win and win. Claire is a queer, questioning, quirky and awesome teenager who writes fan fiction about a show called “Demon Heart.” Smokey and Forest star. It’s clear to mostly everyone – except Forest – that the pair are gay. Forest has fits because they’re not! Chaos ensues! And Claire meets a girl, Tess, on the Comic Con tour.

This book is long overdue.

“Star Wars Most Wanted,” by Rae Carson (Disney/Lucasfilm Press, 2018, 348 pages, $17.99). In keeping with today’s theme of art… Why do Star Wars books not contain more art? Sure, the picture books do. (See “Are you Scared, Darth Vader?” which is kind of one of my favorite picture books in the universe.)

But the chapter books? They need art, and they mostly do not have it. Even a few small pieces would be good.

OK, there, I’ve put in my two cents. Now, it’s time for holiday shopping, and please put “Star Wars Most Wanted” and the Darth Vader picture book at the top of your list. You’ll find someone who loves them, for sure, and it’s always good to have some extra gifts on hand, no? Perhaps wrap up a few tins of those Pirouette cookies, too. The chocolate hazelnut ones are nice, and you can re-use the tins for markers or colored pencils.

Rae Carson’s book, which has a cool cover by illustrator Florian Nicolle, tells the tale of Han and Qi’Ra, before “Solo: A Star Wars Story.” Lady Proxima, the Scrumrats, the White Worms gang, sewers and intrigue, pirates and missions… Go for it.

“Christmasaurus,” by Tom Fletcher, illustrated by Shane Devries (Random House, 2018, ages 8-12, 371 pages, $13.99) is just a cool-sweet little book and finally! Art!

Thank you. Good art, too. Fun art. Also, cool typefaces and REALLY BIG PRINT and really fun graphics.

The book itself is a sweet combo of dinosaurs, Christmas and humans. It reminds me of the “Land Before Time” series, and oh man, we loved those movies for years at our house. “The Christmasaurus” has the same sweetness, bittersweetness, and magical storytelling that “Land Before Time” does. Add this one to the holiday list, too.

Bon appetit, babies!

WM