"This holiday book follows the little girl, Biscuit's owner, as she shows Biscuit the sights and smells of Christmas--the young readers can take part in the festive sights and smells by scratch and sniff stickers found throughout the book. The little girl and her friend, who brings her dog, Puddles, helps out with the Christmas fun and both pooches get so curious about what the girls are doing that messes are sure to follow. My toddler loves this book. Biscuit's Christmas is a good story to teach young children about the activities of the Christmas season"
"Famed author Robert McCloskey ("Make Way for Ducklings," "One Morning in Maine," and others) wrote and illustrated this gently humorous parallel tale of two moms and their daughters on a blueberry hunt. One pair is human, and the other pair is bear!. As they proceed up opposite sides of rolling hill covered in blueberries, each member of the species copies the other: The moms focus on the task at hand, remembering the harsh winter ahead; the children ("Little Sal" and "Little Bear") focus on the immediate pleasures of eating blueberries--so much so, that each gets lost.
In a deftly portrayed switch, McCloskey shows the Little Bear following Little Sal's mom, and Little Sal following the Little Bear's mom. The two lost children are unafraid of following the mismatched grown-ups (ok, so McCloskey takes some liberties in this very light book). Eventually the two moms turn around and see who is following: Little Bear's mother discovers Sal and turns away: ("She was old enough to be shy of people, even a very small person like Little Sal.") Meanwhile, Little Sal's mom discovers Little Bear, and the mother back away: ("She was old enough to be shy of bears, even very small bears like Little Bear.") Each pair reunites and returns home, with an adventure and berries to savor over the winter.
McCloskey's deep blue-black drawings complement the appealing symmetry and innocence of the book, and the period furnishings, uncluttered landscape, and fashions add to the book's sentimental and enduring attraction. This is a very good bedtime story for little ones who can appreciate an affectionate and tender book."
"This is my favorite story from childhood and I honestly believe it had a big part in making me who I am today. [The story of Corduroy displays several morals and our basic human needs; its main lesson to me is to look deeper, beyond first impressions to see what is on the INSIDE of a person--that is what really counts.] The story is so charming, adorable and incredibly special.
It begins with Corduroy in a toy department of a big store. Shoppers hurry by and never seem to notice him.[MORAL: TAKE TIME TO SMELL THE ROSES PEOPLE! WHY ALL THE RUSH?] Every day Corduroy waits hoping "for somebody to come along and take him home." [ BASIC NEED: SECURITY AND BELONGING.]
One day a little girl stops to look at Corduroy and tells her Mother that he is the bear she has always wanted. The Mother explains to her daughter that they have spent too much money already and points out a flaw in Corduroy, he is missing a button. [MORAL: IF YOU CAN'T SAY SOMETHING NICE, THEN DON'T SAY ANYTHING AT ALL!] The girl is very obedient and doesn't make a scene (like some children would today) and walks away with her Mother. [MORAL: RESPECT AND OBEY YOUR PARENTS.]
Corduroy decides to go look for his button that night. The INTRIGUING part here is Freeman doesn't state WHY Corduroy is looking for his button--is it to look better in order to get a home? (I really don't think so, nothing in this book is about vanity.) Why then? Answering that question is left up to each individual reader. [MORAL: LOOK FOR THE GOOD INSTEAD OF THE BAD IN PEOPLE AND THAT GOES FOR BEARS TOO!]
The next day, still buttonless, Corduroy wakes up to the warm smile of the girl who came to see him the day before. She introduces herself as Lisa and tells Corduroy that he "is going to be [her] very own bear." She continues to explain that she counted her money in her piggy bank and her Mother said she could bring him home. [MORAL: PATIENCE AND SAVING MONEY.] She lovingly carried him home in her arms.
Corduroy looked around the room. "This must be home," he said. "I know I've always wanted a home!" As Lisa sat down to sew a button on his shirt to make him more comfortable she said the sweetest thing, something every child (OK ALL OF US) need to hear: "I LIKE YOU JUST THE WAY YOU ARE." And they give each other a hug.[BASIC NEED: LOVE AND ACCEPTANCE!]
I highly and wholeheartedly recommend this to children of ALL AGES! I give this my highest rating! Every child should own this endearing classic!"
"DROWNING RUTH is deceptively clever. What seems initially like the conventional, usually predictable murder yarn turns out actually being a meticulously crafted story of considerable artistic merit. The circumstances of the drowning of Ruth's mother serves as the catalyst that precipitates an intriguing flow of interrelated events in the lives of Amanda (the drowned woman's sister) and her niece Ruth. Christina Schwarz is a wonderfully talented writer who has woven a rather intricate tale of psychological suspense. There are many engrossing trwists and digressions (but quite necessary) in this very emotional marrative. The mystery is sustained throughout because the reader, as if carefully and thoughtfully fitting together all the jagged pieces of a puzzle, learns in successive chapters what actually occurred that particular wintry night so long ago in the past of both Amanda and Ruth. The writer does a marvelous job in pacing the delicate unravelling of the knitting. This is a thoroughly enjoyable thriller.
I recommend this book very highly."
"My son is 4 years old and loves his Froggy books and Little Critter. He thinks (and so do I)Froggy is extremely funny. We both enjoy reading these books together. Especially when Froggy stands up, when at his desk,staring at Frogolina. These books are perfectly in sync with readers ages 3-6 year olds. Very humorous and silly enough to make an adult chuckle!!!!"
"Seventeen-year-old Julie Harmon is no stranger to hard manual labor, especially after the death of her father, leaving her the main support for her mother and sisters in their remote mountain home. So when Hank asks her to marry him, she thinks any life they build together will be easy by comparison.
Within weeks, Julie learns just how much hardship the two will have to face in order to make it day to day. Deaths, natural disasters and mean-spirited opportunists combine in such formidable force that the young couple is almost beaten before they've started.
In times like these, Julie and Hank often wonder what it's all worth...but with time, they learn just how much they do need and love one another, and the fledgling life together they're nourishing."
"I can't remember the last time I read such an explosive, unnerving story. House of Sand and Fog is everything a dramatic, suspenseful, culture-clash novel should be. I was intrigued and frightened, my emotions going through the wringer a countless number of times. My loyalties went from one character to another then back again through the course of the novel, never really deciding who to love or who to trust. A dark, drastic tragedy of a drama that unfolds in the most terrifying way.
Through an administrative error of the County Tax Department, Kathy Nicolo's house is seized out from under her. On top of this, her husband has left her and she has no one to turn to. Forced to live in her car and rented motel rooms, Kathy befriends one of the Sheriffs that came to evict her. Deputy Sheriff Lester Burdon finds himself in love and completely infatuated with helping Kathy get her house back. Meanwhile, Iranian immigrant Colonel Massoud Behrani is desperate to pursue his version of the American Dream: to acquire the dignity, status and respect he once entertained as Officer in the King's Airforce in his native country and to provide for his family and secure a healthy future for them. His desires come in the form of a house, an investment opportunity recently seized and up for auction at an unheard of low price. These two incidents run parallel courses that eventually collide into an explosive downward spiral.
Andre Dubus has written an electrifying, hair-standing-on-end, riveting book that only builds more tense as readers turn its pages. A fascinating and thought-provoking novel that shows how one simple thing can escalate into something huge and horrible through others irresponsibility and stubbornness. Reading parts of this book was akin to a dreamworld, a fog if you will, that will send readers into a panic, struggling for air. The writing evokes many opinions and emotions and will undoubtedly inspire numerous heated discussions. Masterfully told with poetically bold language that breathe with life. Awesome."
"Mercer Mayer writes wonderful books for beginning readers. My first grade daughter can read his books with relative easy, which helps her with her confidence. There are enough challenging words to keep her learning. She really enjoyed reading this book and pointing out to me how the sister was misbehaving. Rather than using the story as an excuse to misbehave, we use it as a learning tool. It is a story any parent can relate to!"
"Midwives is a wonderfully written and powerfully told story of a family's life in small-town Vermont and the events that changed it forever. Gripping and real, Chris Bohjalian has woven together a murder mystery that will have readers guessing until the very end.
Sybil Danforth, midwife and mother of the story's narrator, 14-year-old Connie, has a thriving practice and normal family life. Then the unthinkable happens: on a cold winter night in the middle of coaching Charlotte Bedford through her lengthy and strenuous labor, tragedy strikes -- Charlotte dies while trying to give birth to her son. With phone lines heaving with ice and roads too treacherous to drive upon, Sybil is forced into a decision -- to save the unborn baby via a homemade Caeserean or let him die along with his mother.
As the events of that evening unfold, readers are privy to shocking information: the Caesarean Sybil is forced to perform may have been done on a living woman. Soon a courtroom battle ensues, pitting the medical community against midwifery, and readers will be left wondering after each page is turned what really happened on that cold, dark night.
Chris Bohjalian is a very talented writer who has obviously spent a lot of research on this novel. Telling this story in a female voice as accurately as he did makes Midwives all the more compelling and authentic. His writing style was very easy to understand even though it jumps back and forth between past and present. A hearty mystery with a riveting conclusion. I will be reading more by this author."