Monday, January 8, 2018

Thomas' 17th Illustrated Story -- Book 4

Once upon a time, there was something very wonderful, and it was like magic – it was science.  It was the science that made the young dragonflies climb out of the water and up a tree.  It was the science that made the dragonflies’ wings like glass.  It was science that set the dragonflies’ wings free.  And it was science that made it so that the dragonflies can see the beautiful world thousands of times with their eyes. 
                                                                                                            The End.




Book 575


Solar Eclipse 2017, Science Across America, 2017.

I'm only about three months late in reviewing this book.  That's not bad, right?

I did buy this book prior to the total eclipse that was supposed to be visible in our city in South Carolina.  My son read all about the eclipse, had his special glasses, and was otherwise ready for the eclipse.  Alas, the weather did not cooperation.  It did get as dark as dusk (not quite midnight), which was quite dramatic, but he did not get to see the stages of the sun's cover.

The book, however, saved much of the day, as he had fun activities to work on after the eclipse.

Book 574


A Walk in the Tundra, written by Rebecca L Johnson, illustrated by Phyllis V. Saroff, Carolhoda Books, 2001.

We have this book for my son's third-grade Science class.  He is learning about ecosystems, and the Tundra was on of them. 

The text for this book is good, and the illustration are detailed and helpful, but this book is set up more for literature than a science class.

Book 573


Pigs Rock!, written by Melanie Davis Jones, illustrated by Bob Staake, Viking 2003.

I don't know the author's other work, but nothing about the text or 'story' struck me as being anything special or unique.  Usually I love the illustrator's work, but this time, the work felt flat, without any sense of whimsy or fun.  To me, both the author and illustrator were sleepwalking through this book.




Book 572

The Divorce Papers, by Susan Rieger, Crown Publishing, 2014.

I found this book for a dollar, it looked interesting, so I bought it.

Full disclosure:  I spent seven years working in Criminal Law, and five years working in Family Law (before becoming a Children's Librarian).  I have drafted many, many divorce pleadings, answers, orders, agreements, and letters.  I found this book, if not exactly hilarious, at least amusing.  I think, however, the coming from a law background is a prerequisite for enjoying this book at all.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Thomas' 16th Illustrated Story


Once upon a time, there was a cat named Buster.  Buster was a beautiful cat... most of the time.  The rest of the time he was a beautiful dragon.  He had magic fire breath that could turn bad dragons into humans, and then he would chase them away.  And it could turn bad humans into dragons, and they would move away.

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                                                                                                            The End.


Book 571


Cruising Paradise, by Sam Shepard, 1997.

I reviewed this book on Goodreads last Monday (July 24th).  Then I went on a short vacation with my family, and today (July 31st), I just read that the remarkable Sam Shepard has died.


This is the book that made me want to become a writer. It is also the book that made me adore Sam Shepard, but that is a completely different story. 


These stories are breathtakingly perfect. I don't mean they are the polished gems of a technically brilliant wordsmith. I mean they are perfect in their pure, raw, gut-wrenching beauty. The characters in the story may be the most hideous creatures you have ever encountered, and yet you can be moved to tears when you travel with them through their hardships. 


Sam Shepard is an underrated genius.