Monday, March 28, 2016

Book Review: Claude in the Country by Alex T. Smith

Book received at no charge to facilitate my review.
Get ready for a wild ride. Claude and Sir Bobblysocks have arrived at the farm with all of their quirky humor intact.

Boredom builds when Claude is cooped up indoors until he can stand it no longer. He sets out for a walk in the countryside on a quest for fresh air with his best friend, Sir Bobblysocks. Before long they come across Mrs. Cowpat, the farmer, at Woolybottom Farm and hilarity ensues when they are invited to help her with the farm chores. Claude tries his hand at gathering eggs, acting as a sheepdog and riding a horse but getting the pigs ready for the county farm brings out the fun and charm that young readers have come to expect with Claude.

It never ceases to amaze what what is expressed in the simple hues of black, white, and red like the soft pink of a pretty pig to the angry red of a blazing bull. All while the reader cheer on Claude in his new adventure. Is it enough to get Claude to move to the countryside forever? Another fabulous rendition of an endearing character perfect for the early reader.


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Monday, March 21, 2016

Dirt by Teffanie Thompson BOOK REVIEW

Book received at no charge to facilitate review.
Washington can think of no better way of spending his summer vacation than at a basketball tournament performing as a star in the sport he loves. When his parents inform him he must give up his spot in the tournament to focus on his reading skills, Washington feels as if his life is ruined. It gets worse when his parents insist he accompany them on a family reunion to East Texas with extended family he barely knows.

While reading under a tree and with the help of red dirt, Washington travels back in time to witness the horrors of slavery through the lives of his predecessors. The cruel treatment a slave receives for merely reading a book shocks Washington. Will his life ever be the same after what he sees and will he recognize literacy is a gift? 

Dirt expounds not only on the importance of family but also the importance of education. A must read for the young adult reader who might need to be reminded of the importance of literacy. An inspiration to African American community of what education can accomplish and a sober reminder to others of the dark past we sometimes forget.

Rating ★★★

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Monday, March 14, 2016

Book Review: Walter Plume and the Dehydrated Imagination by Rebecca Lynn Morales

Book received at no charge to facilitate review.

When Walter discovers he has a super power of bringing dead grass and plants to life, he can't help but wonder what kind of world he has stumbled upon that gives him his magic. He's not prepared to find an elf named Aimee and a bunch of other unhappy elves who think his purpose for entering their world is to save them.

After meeting the evil Ickabod Von Snot (one of the funniest antagonists names I've ever seen), Walter understands why everybody seems so sad. Ichabod's rules are so restrictive that they squash the fun and imagination of the residents in the newly discovered world. Walter must make it to the Fountain of Whimsy to save the elves and bring life back but Ickabod tries to thwart him at every turn.

Beautiful imagery leads to spectacular world building in this fantasy that will leave the young reader glued to to pages. Relatable characters add to the magic of the story with never a dull moment.
Rating: ★★★★☆