Library (and other) Books Enjoyed, 6/5/13

Catching up on past weeks, here’s a large crop of fun books. Most are from the library, but The Princess and the Pig I encountered at my aunt’s house.

Olivia and the Fairy Princesses (Olivia)Olivia and the Fairy Princesses by Ian Falconer

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Olivia and I have a touchy relationship. On the one hand, I love the first Olivia book, and find all of them entertaining. On the other, I think Olivia as a character gets more annoying as the books continue, particularly from the point of view of an adult who can imagine being responsible for this small child (I know, I am NOT the intended audience). However, I really did like Olivia and the Fairy Princesses.

I thought it was both cute and typical that Olivia was done with fairy princesses, and her alternative princess suggestions were fun. Most of all, though, the ending made me feel like Olivia was not too sophisticated to be a real kid. My kids enjoyed this one, too, although I’m not sure if my two-year old felt the way Olivia does about princesses, or just liked the fact that there were lots of pigs dressed like princesses in the pictures.

OwenOwen by Kevin Henkes

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I don’t know how I missed this beautiful Henkes book, but I think this week’s visit to the library was the first time I had checked it out. So sweet! I laughed out loud at Owen’s solution for avoiding the blanket fairy, and I love the perfect idea his mom has to solve the blanket problem at the end. (These days, I find perfect parenting solutions to be more magical than fairy godmothers.) My kids also loved it and requested it several times.

Whales PassingWhales Passing by Eve Bunting

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Not my favorite of Eve Bunting’s, but still a nice story about a boy and his father watching a pod of orca whales pass. It was very lyrical, almost too much for my taste, but the pictures were beautiful and I like that there is more information about orcas on the last page.

Some extra text to try to make the reviews line up.

The Princess and the PigThe Princess and the Pig by Jonathan Emmett

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Very cute story about a baby princess and a piglet who get switched and how their lives turn out. The other characters rely on their fairy tale knowledge to explain what’s going on, but as the end of the story demonstrates, not every story is a fairy tale!

Yet more extra text.

I Completely Know About Guinea Pigs (Charlie and Lola)I Completely Know About Guinea Pigs by Lauren Child

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Another fun Charlie and Lola adventure. I think this is not an original-by-Lauren-Child book, but it’s a pretty good one. Lola learns about guinea pigs when she takes the class guinea pig home, and her opinion that he looks like a girl turns out to be true!

Which Would You Rather Be?Which Would You Rather Be? by William Steig

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Interesting book that features a rabbit magician, who poses questions for his audience about which of two choices they would rather be. His magic provides illustrations, and my kids had fun thinking about the questions. It doesn’t quite click as a favorite for me, but it was a fun read.

A Present for Tinker Bell (Disney Fairies Graphic Novel #6)A Present for Tinker Bell by Augusto Machetto

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

My son chose this both because it was about Tinkerbell (all things Disney are “in” at our house right now) and because it was a comic book, and I was prepared to strongly dislike it. I was pleasantly surprised.

The book has 4 different stories, which is nice, because graphic novels as read-alouds are a little unwieldy, so I like that we can read just one story at a time. I did not realize how fleshed out the “Disney Fairies” world is, but the characters are decently interesting and the stories imaginative. It will never be a favorite of mine, but it’s pleasant to read with my kids, and that’s good enough for me.

My son is fast becoming a comic book/graphic novel fan. Luckily, my mom is already one, so they can bond over that, and I can go to her (she’s also a librarian) for recommendations.
Peek-a-BooPeek-a-Boo by Janet Ahlberg

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I picked this up at the library last week because I like the Ahlbergs (I loved The Jolly Postman as a kid, and discovered Each Peach Pear Plum just before having my own kids) and thought my youngest would enjoy it. She did (as did the other two), but what made the book most interesting for me was the 1950’s era illustrations, reminding me of the show Call the Midwife, which I’ve recently become hooked on. I checked the copyright (1981), so this was definitely done in a purposefully historical style, and I’d be interested in finding out more of the story behind the story.

View all my reviews


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