Friday, February 10, 2017

Book 552


Goodbye Mog, by Judith Kerr, HarperCollins, 2003.

Every time my son saw Santa this year, he asked for a Mog Cat.  I may not be the quickest person in the world, but I knew what he was getting for Christmas.  Since he was getting the cat, I wanted him to have some of the books, too. 

Our little hamster, Fred, started showing signs of slowing down shortly after Thanksgiving.  By this time he was around three years old, which is remarkably old for a hamster.  I wanted to prepare my son for the inevitable, so I made sure that Goodbye Mog was among the Mog books.

The inevitable happen late on New Year's Eve.  By this time, my son had already read Goodbye Mog a few times.  As we were digging the hole to bury Fred, my son told me Fred was tired and he wanted to go to sleep forever.  So he did.  And that Fred's body was dead on Earth but his spirit alive in heaven.  There were a few tears -- OK, mostly from me -- but my son accepted that Fred had had a good long life and now he was at peace.  So, thank you, Goodbye Mog, for bringing my little boy some comfort.


Monday, January 2, 2017

Book 551


Mog, the Forgetful Cat, by Judith Kerr, Harper Books, 1970.

I seriously loved this book.  Although I'm wondering why I never heard of it until now.  I lived in England from the late 70s to the early 80s, and, although I was a little old for picture books by then, I did read to my younger sister.  She would have loved the heck out of this book. 

Well, at least I discovered the book in time to give it to my son.  He read it last night to his Mog Cat, and I was allowed to listen.  Occasionally, he even showed me some of the delightful illustrations.  Now I quite agree with him:  We need more Mog Books!

Book 550


Dawn of the Century, 1900 - 1900, Time/Life Books, 2000.

I have NO idea why my in-laws gave this book to my son for his eighth birthday -- except that he likes photography, and history, and geography.  OK, maybe I do know. 

The black and white photographs in the book are phenomenal.  And my little boy loved seeing how people lived a hundred years before he was born.



Thursday, December 29, 2016

Book 549


Mog in the Dark, by Judith Kerr, Collins Picture Lions, 1986.

Despite having lived in England for a few years during my youth, and then, much later, growing up to be a children's librarian, I wasn't familiar with Mog books.  At least I wasn't until last year, and that infamous, glorious Sainsbury advert.  I was so in love with Mog from the advert, I had to buy my own Mog the cat.  Then my son wanted one.  And one thing led to another and to this book.

Even though this book isn't the strongest outing for Mog the cat, my son still loved it.  I suspect, however, he will love the ones he is getting for Christmas even more.


Book 548


Clara and the Bookwagon, by Nancy Smiler Levinson, illustrations by Carolyn Croll, HarperTrophy, 1988.

This book is delightful, from the sweet story to the absolutely charming illustrations.  There is even a hefty dose of humor in it, for those who know where to look for it.  My second grade son used this book as a study in comparing and contrasting -- it worked quite well.

Book 547

Stepping Stones -- Peter Pan, based on story by J. M. Barrie, adapted by Cathy East Dubowski, Random House, 1991.

I love J. M. Barrie's Peter Pan -- both the play and the story from the play -- but this version is not at all like J. M. Barrie's Peter Pan.  Yes, it does tell the story of Peter Pan and Neverland, but in such a plain and dull way that all of the magic and intrigue is sucked out of the book.   Also, the illustrations verge on creepy.

I will say, however, that this version of the Peter Pan story may be slightly easier or beginning readers to read -- slightly.  If you do use this book, make sure to follow it up with the more exciting original version.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Book 546


The Original Adventures of Hank the Cowdog, by John Erickson, Puffin Books, 1999.

Full disclosure:  I didn't buy this book.  A friend of mine bought this book and three others for my son.  But she bought them because she remembered how we used to read them out loud and laugh at them at work.  (Oh, we were both children's librarians, so it wasn't as weird as it sounds.)

This book was pretty darn funny.  I'm not sure that my son caught all of the humor, but a few times he laughed out loud, and he understood the plot.  Good enough for me.