Isaac - Reviews

1 to 6 of 6
The Grouchy Ladybug
The Grouchy Ladybug
Author: Eric Carle
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 3
Review Date: 11/28/2009


"Hey you," said the grouchy ladybug, "Want to fight?"

Not only does the bad-tempered protagonist ask once -- he tries to pick a fight with every single character in the book! Only to get smacked around by a whale at the end.

Perhaps it "invites children to explore the concepts of time, size, shape, and manners" as advertized on the back cover...I think the more poignant lesson is that the biggest guy wins. It's disappointing to see author Eric Carle's award-winning investment in a book with such an unpleasant tone.

The book appears to be written for a 3-6 year old audience (in my opinion), but it's one children's story that we won't be keeping on our shelf.


The Grouchy Ladybug
The Grouchy Ladybug
Author: Eric Carle
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.3/5 Stars.
 13
Review Date: 11/28/2009


"Hey you," said the grouchy ladybug, "Want to fight?"

Not only does the bad-tempered protagonist ask once -- he tries to pick a fight with every single character in the book! Only to get smacked around by a whale at the end.

Perhaps it "invites children to explore the concepts of time, size, shape, and manners" as advertized on the back cover...I think the more poignant lesson is that the biggest guy wins. It's disappointing to see author Eric Carle's award-winning investment in a book with such an unpleasant tone.

The book appears to be written for a 3-6 year old audience (in my opinion), but it's one children's story that we won't be keeping on our shelf.


The Grouchy Ladybug
The Grouchy Ladybug
Author: Eric Carle
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 16
Review Date: 11/28/2009


"Hey you," said the grouchy ladybug, "Want to fight?"

Not only does the bad-tempered protagonist ask once -- he tries to pick a fight with every single character in the book! Only to get smacked around by a whale at the end.

Perhaps it "invites children to explore the concepts of time, size, shape, and manners" as advertized on the back cover...I think the more poignant lesson is that the biggest guy wins. It's disappointing to see author Eric Carle's award-winning investment in a book with such an unpleasant tone.

The book appears to be written for a 3-6 year old audience (in my opinion), but it's one children's story that we won't be keeping on our shelf.


I Was A Slave In Russia
I Was A Slave In Russia
Author: John Noble
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 7/11/2010


John Noble was the son of an American businessman, interned in Dresden under the Nazi regime during World War II. When Soviet troops occupied at the end of the war, John and his father were imprisoned without any charges -- John was eventually sentenced to 15 years labor in a Siberian prison mine.

In his book, he describes 9 years of gruesome mistreatment in the late 1940's and early 1950's. Compared with others I've ready, this title has less political commentary and more historical observation.

The style of writing is easy enough; the accounts of hunger, torture, grief, and death -- prisoners murdering each other without consequence, men being treated worse than animals, a system that rewards corruption and disparages honesty and wisdom -- all were described with a matter-of-fact perspective of a prisoner who had to deal with these realities on a daily basis.

Included in the book are first-person observations about the administration of Soviet prisons and gulags, the physical torture and mistreatment endured by prisoners, the community dynamics and conduct of different sub-groups within the prison system, the Vorkuta Slave Rebellion of 1953.

At the end he comments, "I was returning to the west, to a world of busy people developing their lives according to their abilities...From the Soviet Union, truly the richest country in respect to natural resources, but the poorest nation, I had come to a world of plenty which too often was not appreciated, for which too often gratitude was not expressed to God."

Excellent book. Too bad it's no longer in print...


The Persecutor
The Persecutor
Author: Sergei Kourdakov
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.5/5 Stars.
 6
Review Date: 7/5/2010


In the late 1960s, the USSR was grooming teenager Sergei Kourdakov to lead a campaign of terror against Russian Christians. Before he turned 20 in 1971, he had led over 150 attacks, interrupting bible studies, prayer meetings, and even baptisms to arrest, beat, and even kill local believers. This young mans biography describes his orphaned childhood, his training as a Communist party leader, his persecution of believers, and his eventual conversion and escape.

Penned by a young Christian who had only recently defected from atheism and communism, the story is understandably short on spiritual themes, and does not aim to provide theological insight. However, it is a transparent narrative describing the tragedy of hardening and indoctrination experienced by this young man and his peers, shedding light on a system shrouded in darkness and deceit.

Though Koudakovs life was threatened numerous times by agents of communism, his unexpected death in 1973 was ruled accidental. This historical account of persecution of Christians at the hand of the Soviet government was published as a draft; final revisions were never made.


A View from the Zoo
A View from the Zoo
Author: Gary Richmond
Book Type: Unknown Binding
  • Currently 3/5 Stars.
 3
Review Date: 10/8/2009
Helpful Score: 1


I'd be pleased to re-read portions of this book while waiting in the lobby of a Christian business or at my in-laws' for the weekend; I'd be disappointed to receive it as a gift.

Interesting anecdotes for leisure reading, colored with some Christian commentary at the end of each story. I found the book a quick, easy, and entertaining set of zoo-keeper stories. However, it was not quite as insightful and profound as the endorsements from well-known preachers and authors would lead one to expect. Mr. Richmond certainly is an effective story-teller; the subject matter is lively; the spiritual connections are appropriate. When I finished, though, it wasn't a book that I planned to keep on my bookshelf.


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