"You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me."

-C.S. Lewis

What we read has such an impact on us, and I am always on the lookout for something that will inspire me to be a better person. Here is a sampling of books that have been in the teetering stack sitting on top of what is rumored to be my bedside table.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Willie Out West, by Rhonda Walker

Willie Out West is a children's read aloud about a young walrus who is asked to save a town from a villain.  The illustrations are adorable, and are the saving feature of the book.

As a teacher, I read many children's books, but this one just didn't make much sense to me.  The plot tends to jump from point to point without giving enough explanation.  This is evident from the beginning, as we don't know why Willie was bored by playing with his friends on the first page.  We also never find out why Willie is even chosen for the task of ridding Out West of its enemy.  We know that Old Walter is ugly, big, and people are scared of him.  But most children are going to expect more for motivation.  Also, targeting a character for being ugly and big is inappropriate in any book, let alone a children's book.  I would not read this to my class for this reason.

There does seem to be a lesson at the end of the story, as Willie realizes at the end that he shouldn't be bored by playing.  But again, this resolution doesn't make sense with the rest of the story, and children are going to be confused.

Two out of Five Stars

Disclaimer:  I was provided a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

101 Things Every Girl Should Know, by the Editors of Faithgirlz!

I chose this book for my daughter to read, and it was a good choice because she's already run off with it!  It's basically a girls' magazine in book form - very fun, visually pleasing format.  

Like a magazine, it's chock full of tidbits that tweens and younger teens would be interested in. The "101 Things" run the gamut from advice on social skills to health issues, recipes to crafty kinds of things.  As a young teen, I would have loved to have a book like this.  My daughter is loving it now, and that's about the best recommendation I can give.

The only caveat I had was a reference to the Twilight series.  For me, this is a big uh-oh because the romantic relationship in that series is extraordinarily unhealthy.  And I think (and pray) that many girls are starting to catch on to that.  I know my daughter has, so it's not a worry for me.  

But other than that, the book is a fun read that a lot of tweens and teens would enjoy.  

Four out of Five Stars

Disclaimer:  I was provided a copy of the book by the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.