Review: The Little Prince

The narrator is a pilot who finds himself lost in the desert with a broken plane. The little prince approaches looking for a friend as he travels across planets. Oddly at first, the little prince asks the pilot to draw him a sheep. Throughout their time together, the little prince explains how he leaves his planet behind because of a vain rose that he did not understand but most likely has grown to love. In his travels, the little prince visits a vain man who only hears compliments about himself, a king who takes pride on giving falsely reasonable orders, a businessman who claims that he owns the stars, an ashamed alcoholic, a tired lamplighter, and a geographer who never leaves his desk to explore. The little prince learns what it is like to create friendships with others, including a fox, and begins to mourn the loss of his little…

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Review: Fortunately, The Milk by Neil Gaiman

Geared toward 8-12 year olds, Fortunately, the Milk takes readers on a wild ride as one dad tries to explain to his children what happened to him on the way home from picking up some milk. There are police space dinosaurs, time-traveling hot air balloons, aliens, pirates, and fortunately, some milk. Not only is this dad focused on getting his children their breakfast milk, but he also must save the world from being remodeled. There is a week-old prophecy and quite honestly, pretty much anything else nonsensical and random that one can write about for children. This book is like Roald Dahl meets a 2-year-old child who just ate a bag of candy. OK, maybe 2 bags of candy. I do not want to speak blasphemy since this is Neil Gaiman, but I just did not care for this story. I may have missed out since I chose the audiobook…

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Book Review: Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren

Pippi is a nine-year-old girl who lives by herself in Villa Villekula with her pet monkey and horse. Along with her friends, Annika and Tommy, she bakes cookies on the floor, defeats bullies, tells tall tales, and collects treasures. Pippi constantly finds herself in trouble while attempting to attend school and tea parties but also possesses unusual strength and the ability to charm robbers. Pippi Longstocking is the day-to-day chronicles of an eccentric girl. I read this title in school in second grade, but Pippi Longstocking is designated more for third to sixth graders. Pippi plays with pistols and tramps roam the streets at night. Glanzman draws Pippi as an impish looking girl, and her red hair and freckles set her apart from her Swedish friends. This otherness is furthered in the way that Lindgren describes other cultures. Like Dahl, she crosses the line into racism—although brushing “differences” off with the…

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Review: The Isle of the Lost- A Descendants Novel

Be prepared to slam head first into a Disney character set where all of the villains, heroes, and their new children run around on either the Isle of the Lost (for banished villains) or the Kingdom of Auradon (for those goody goodies). The plot focuses on 16-year-old Mal who is seeking revenge on Evie—daughter of the Evil Queen—for not inviting her to a childhood birthday party. Four unlikely characters come together in search of an evil, magical scepter, each representing their personal family histories. A parallel story follows Prince Ben who is trying to address very adult grievances in preparation for taking over his father’s kingdom. There are some cheesy adult-geared lines and jokes about how villains get their kicks in writing the wrong names on Starbuck cups and where in the much happier United States of Auradon (USA), the Department of Formerly Magical Vehicles (DFMV) has 5-minute wait times.…

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Review: The BFG by Roald Dahl

Sophie, an orphan, finds herself awake during the witching hour and is snatched by a big-eared, dream-catching giant. This monstrous being happens to be one of the only giants in all of Giant Country who does not eat “human beans,” which is why he is known as the Big Friendly Giant or BFG, for short. The BFG is the master of creating dream stories, and his tales of mean giants inspire Sophie to take action. She devises a plan involving a realistic nightmare and the Queen in order to save the world from this gaggle of man-eating giants. For third to sixth graders, The BFG is magical and imaginative.  Growing up, this was one of my favorite books. As an adult, I have a few more concerns: The references to families in Baghdad having ten children or how the Sultan recently had to chop off heads is racist rather than…

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Review: The Nest by Kenneth Oppel

Steve’s family has a newborn baby, Theo, who is in and out of the hospitals and doctors’ offices. Theo has a variety of life-threatening developmental disabilities, including heart trouble, and may not survive. Steve’s family has their hands full as he suffers from anxiety, depression, and what is suggested to be OCD. With the added stress of this sick baby, Steve’s issues are put on the side burner. At the same time, outside of the house, wasps are building a nest. Steve suffers from terrifying dreams that the wasps are building a new baby for his family within this nest. After saying yes to a deal with the queen wasp to swap babies, Steve realizes that he loves his baby just the way he is. Unfortunately, Steve made a deal with the devil and must now try to save himself and Theo. The Nest is an incredibly disturbing and terrifying juvenile Stephen…

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