Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Three Pigs (a non fairy tale book)

The Three Pigs, by David Wiesner, is very, very funny. It starts out as the fairy tale of the three little pigs, but it turns into a quest between fairy tales and books. The three pigs get blown out of their story into a place where there is nothing but pages of stories. First they make a paper airplane out of one of their own pages--showing the wolf knocking on the door. And there is a very funny page where you can only see the pigs' bums (bottoms). Then they visit Old Mother Goose's hey diddle diddle (where they turn hideously childlike) and the cat follows them out. Next they visit a dragon, guarding a rose of pure gold, and they help the dragon escape from a knight. At last they all, pigs, dragon and cat, go back to the pigs' story and write their own ending...

This book is for ages 3 and up.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Calvin and Hobbs

Calvin and Hobbes was a newspaper cartoon series in the 1980s by Bill Watterson. It was a big hit. It was made into books which are very very good and you can still get them today.

The adventures of Calvin, the boy, and Hobbes, his tiger, are very funny (many funny things happen, but there is no bathroom humor, which is a good thing). Once I played Calvinball with my friends at school--it's a game where you make up the rules as you go along. And I've played destruction games like Calvin's.

Some of the stories are for teenagers or adults, but kids can still read this.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Arrival

The Arrival, by Shaun Tan, is, like Polo (see below), has no words. But it doesn't need them. This book is very very very creative. The pictures are black and white, and there are lots of them because it is a graphic novel (c0mic book). It takes place starting in our world, but it's not quite our world. The fist thing that is strange are the dragon-like tails, sweeping across the city. There's a father, a mother, and a girl, and the father goes across an ocean to a weird and wonderful city. He finds his room, and gets an animal companion(see cover)--sort of like a head with a tail and legs. Eventually, the mother and the girl join him, while in the real world there are giant aliens sucking up the people. More strange things happen. At the end, the family stays in the strange city, and the girl finds a friend.

I recommend this book for ages 7 and up (my brother says he understands it even though he is five but my mother doesn't).

Saturday, October 18, 2008


Polo by RĂ©gis Faller (2006) has no words (except sound effects), but it doesn't need them (it was written by a Frenchman). The pictures tell you what's happening. It's a great way to show how you can say things without using words. Polo is a dog who travels to imaginary places. All the places Polo visits have things that don't happen in real life, like an elevator built inside a tree, a boat made of ice, or an underground country of giant blue mushrooms. I recommend this book for ages 3 and up.

Monday, October 13, 2008


Mammoth Academy, by Neil Layton, is a chapter book that I nominated for the Cybils in the Middle Grade Reader category because I liked it so much. It is about two mammoths, Oscar and Arabella, who go to a school called Mammoth Academy to learn all the sorts of things we people learn in our schools. There are creatures that aren't mammoths too, like a cave cat, an owl, and a fox. All of the creatures at the academy get along with mammoths. They have very cool adventures, especially Fox and Oscar, like going up a steep mountain and finding a human cave school (humans were very dumb at that time!).

I love the black and white illustrations, and there are lots of them!

This book is an easy reader, but it has too many pages to count in that category the Cybils! It has ten chapters and 149 pages (this is the UK version). This books is for ages 6 and up.

Here's another review, at Jen Robinson's Book Page.

Thursday, October 9, 2008


Beowulf, by Stefan Petrucha and Rod Chamberlain (2007), is a graphic novel (comic book) about a Saxon myth. The cover says it is about "the world's first-and greatest-hero," Beowulf, who went to the greatest of mead halls (a large banquet house) and fought this evil swamp monster called Grendel. Then Grendel's mother came and killed people, so he went to the swamp where she lived and fought her at the bottom of the lake, in her temple. He was the first man to see the bottom.

What will he battle next? Read the book and find out.

I like this book because it is very cool. This book is for ages 6 and up. My brother likes it and he is only five.

Monday, October 6, 2008


Owly (by Andy Runton) is a comic, but not a usual comic. The speech bubbles don't have words, but pictograms. There are both comic books and regular books about Owly, as well as an Owly plush toy for $9.95, advertised on the back of one of the comics.

There is a range of different characters, from an Owl (Owly) and a Worm (we call him Wormy), to a raccoon who owns a plant store, and many other unnamed animal characters like birds and a flying squirrel.

The first Owly book made me cry. It was the first time I ever cried because of a book. Read it and find out why!

Here's another review, at Comics Worth Reading.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Baron Munchausen

The Baron Rides Out (illustrated by Patrick Benson) 1985, The Baron on the Island of Cheese (illustrated by Patrick Benson) 1986, The Baron all at Sea (illustrated by Patrick Benson) Walker, 1987, all by Adrian Mitchell.

The Baron Munchhausen series books belong to my father (and other people in the world), but still I like them. The Baron Munchhausen travels around the world, doing all these crazy things. Once his friend Robin said, "You can't go down Mount Etna in less than one hour. " So the Baron went on to Mount Etna, and went down probably in an hour, but it took him a couple of months to get back to where he was staying, because he was swallowed up by a ginormous fish, bigger than the whales, and there were loads of other ships. And that's just one of his adventures. You can read them in these three books, but I'm sure there are a lot more stories about him. I'm writing one called "The Baron Chills Out."

I really really like these books, because of all the whacky things that don't really happen. If you do not believe the Baron, he'll challenge you to a duel to the death on the 31st of February at the west gates to the Garden of Eden. I recommend these books for ages 7 to 99. Young readers can read with a parent, better readers can read alone. More superb illustrations by Patrick Benson; see HOB.