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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Warm Fuzzy Alert!
One of the things I look for in a children's book, besides a good storyline itself, is good illustrations. Before buying a book, I ask myself two questions:

1) "Could I read this book to my daughter over and over and over again without getting sick of it?" and

2) "Could I look at these illustrations over and over and over again without getting sick...
Published on September 23, 2008 by Jodi

versus
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars This book grows on you.
This book grows on you as you think about it. However, the author uses way too much slang and is hard to follow. My kids were not that interested in the story. However, I stuck with it and when I was done reading it, it touched my heart. Being that it is about a piece of our history. Franklin Roosevelt funded a project to get books out to people who did not have...
Published on October 11, 2008 by B. Cha


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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Warm Fuzzy Alert!, September 23, 2008
This review is from: That Book Woman (Hardcover)
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One of the things I look for in a children's book, besides a good storyline itself, is good illustrations. Before buying a book, I ask myself two questions:

1) "Could I read this book to my daughter over and over and over again without getting sick of it?" and

2) "Could I look at these illustrations over and over and over again without getting sick of them?"

Since my daughter can't read yet, only well illustrated books (combined with my attempts at multiple character voices) will hold her interest. This book has passed that test.

The storyline itself deals with the Pack Horse Librarians who used to deliver books to the people living in the Appalachian mountains and it is written from the first person point of view. Cal, our narrator, talks about "that woman" who comes every two weeks like clockwork to deliver books to them. In the beginning, Cal has no use for this woman or her books, ("...it would not bother me at all if she forgot the way back to our door.") but by the end of the story, he admits that he wishes he had a gift to give this stubborn woman whose resilience and devotion to her job turned him into a lifelong reader.

Cal speaks in an Appalachian dialect which, in the beginning, was a turn off for me. Trying to read things like, "Lark would keep her nose a-twixt the pages of a book...." was a bit irritating to me, until my daughter started laughing. Hearing Mommy speak these funny words in this funny voice was a real treat for her and anything that makes my daughter laugh is a keeper as far as I'm concerned.

I feel compelled to write a line or two about the illustrations. A lot of the illustrations are drawn in a sort of "3-D-ish" kind of way, meaning that the narrator, Cal, is drawn up close while his family members and surrounding areas are drawn much smaller in the background. To me, this made me feel like I was actually standing right next to Cal, peeking in on his family. One of the winter scenes made me want to crawl right inside their window and snuggle up in front of the fire with this family! You really do get a warm and cozy feeling when observing this family through the illustrations and the final lines of the story will definitely give you warm fuzzies.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars This book grows on you., October 11, 2008
By 
B. Cha "Cha Cha Bee" (Chicago, IL United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: That Book Woman (Hardcover)
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This book grows on you as you think about it. However, the author uses way too much slang and is hard to follow. My kids were not that interested in the story. However, I stuck with it and when I was done reading it, it touched my heart. Being that it is about a piece of our history. Franklin Roosevelt funded a project to get books out to people who did not have libraries near them and they did not have access to books. Dedicated "Book Ladies" rode on horseback through any weather to get books to people. They were dedicated women who wanted to educate people and open a whole new world through reading. That alone makes this book a keeper. The only problem is that it could be a little easier for younger listeners to follow. The only reason I gave it 3 stars.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it, October 15, 2008
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This review is from: That Book Woman (Hardcover)
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This book was very interesting for both my 8 yr old granddaughter as well as myself. I read it first & upon re-reading it to her, tried to read it as the characters were supposed to be speaking (in a mountain slang). Some parts I had to read twice but she was able to follow the story easily looking at the illustrations, which are excellent & tell the story.

This book is inspired by the true and courageous work of the Pack Horse Librarians, who were known as "Book Women". The women would travel on horseback to difficult to reach rural areas in the Appalachian Mountains during the Depression loaning books to families. The Pack Horse Library Project was set up by Franklin D. Roosevelt's Work Projects in the 1930's.

The Book Woman is a must read
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book for school age children, October 15, 2008
This review is from: That Book Woman (Hardcover)
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Cal wasn't very interested in reading. But he admired the courage and determination of the book woman, a traveling librarian who would ride through all kinds of weather, every two weeks to bring them books for free. One day, he asks his sister to teach him how to read, and before the winter was over, there were now two readers in the family.

This book is a tribute to those brave and dedicated "book women", who would ride through the rural hills to faraway villages bringing books so that children can read. I didn't know about their existence until I read this book. Thanks for sharing this fascinating story.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tender account of Pack Horse Librarians and children, September 26, 2008
By 
Patricia L. Marks (Morristown, N.J. United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: That Book Woman (Hardcover)
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I grew up surrounded by books.A passion for reading came from my Dad and children's books that soared with my imagination.This book is great for story time with pre-schoolers through 3rd grade. Great for teachers, Moms and Dads, older siblings and anyone who wants to pass on a love for reading.The pictures are engaging as is the Appalachian mode of speech. THAT BOOK WOMAN made substantial efforts to get books into the hands of children high up in the mountains.Enjoy.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful book to read to a reluctant child, September 23, 2008
This review is from: That Book Woman (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I ordered this book because I teach 2nd grade and I thought the students might like it. I was wrong. They loved it. As I read it to them they remained fascinated throughout the entire book. It is about the Pack Horse Librarians who used to travel the Appalachian Mountains and deliver books to children who lived to far away to attend school. The characters in this story are a little girl, Lark, who loves to read, and her brother, Cal, who thinks the "chicken scratch" is a waste of time. During one long, isolated winter the libraian continues to come to their house. She even shows up during a blizzard. Cal is so impressed by her bravery he becomes curious about what she is delivering. As he learns to read his relationship with his sister, the librarian, and the world changes. This is a very good story to read to children because it not only teaches them the importance of books, but also to be open to new ideas in general. The students loved the story and the illistrations. I was greeted with the one phrase teachers love to hear, "Read it to us again!"
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For book lovers, September 29, 2008
This review is from: That Book Woman (Hardcover)
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The subject of this book is one of which I know nothing about. In the 1930s a project was created to promote literacy in low-access areas. Thus were born the pack-horse librarians, aka "Book Women".

This is the story of Cal, a no-nonsense farm boy growing up in the Appalachians (shown in gorgeous, vivid color). His younger sister is a book worm. These two siblings show completely different opinions to the book woman that comes with books no matter what the danger and weather.

This is truly a story for anyone who has ever felt any emotion for books. This is about the discovery and joy of reading. The writing is a charming and poetic coloquial that strikes just the right heart chords. Small's illustrations reveal every possible nuance in facial expression.

I read this to my class, and they were hooked despite some words being over their heads--which makes this perfect for a read-aloud.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Treasure, September 27, 2008
This review is from: That Book Woman (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
That Book Woman by Heather Henson is a great treasure - in many ways. The story of Cal and his reluctant acceptance is sweet. His sis Lois that "would keep her nose a-twixt the pages of a book daybreak to dawn" shows her non-judgmental love for her brother when he finally decides to read.

This is a charming story set in the Appalachian Mtns...Henson does a good job of depicting the family. Her words come to life through the enchanting illustrations by David Small.

The history of the "Book Women" of the Pack Horse Library Project warmed my heart and inspired me.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I Learned Something, Too!!, September 26, 2008
By 
Kaydee (Tucson, AZ USA) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: That Book Woman (Hardcover)
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This wonderful children's book is about a little boy who discovers he likes reading through the kind Pack Horse Librarian who brings books to his family. The story takes place in the Appalachian Mountains of Kentucky. My children, ages 9 and 5, quietly and interestlingly listened and looked at the illustrations, as I read this story to them. We all enjoyed seeing the main character, Cal, go from a boy who viewed books as "chicken scratch" to a boy who was proud to read aloud from one of the books the kind pack horse librian delivered to him. This story is based on fact, my children and I learned, because the pack horse librians really did exist in order to bring literacy and books to families who lived in remote areas far away from schools. So, through reading this book not only are you and your children entertained, but you also learn something about American history.

When you begin reading this story the main character's accent feels a little awkward, but soon you quite easily get into the flow of the story and phrases like "...the readenest child you ever did see," become the story's natural rhythm. The reader will assume the main character's accent as he or she reads, which gives this story even more charm. It puts you in a specific place and time, which gives you wonderful topics to talk about with your children, like regions of the U.S. or how children lived before there were video games and TV.

My children enjoyed this story so much that the night after I originally read it to them they wanted Dad to read it to them again. This is the perfect story to read outloud to your family. It's interesting, you learn from it, the illustrations go wonderfully with the words and you see human kindness in action, and what a difference a little kindness can make in someone's life.

I recommend this charming book, feel it is suitable for ages 4 and up, and should most definitely be read aloud.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The love of reading and beginning of librarians..., September 23, 2008
This review is from: That Book Woman (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Two things this book teaches are the love of reading and the beginning of librarians. I particularly enjoyed the scowl illustration of the boy seeing his sister reading thinking it was a waste of time. Eventually curiosity takes hold of young Lark and he too must see what is in a book. Why would someone travel in such conditions to swap out books? Why is his sister so entranced?

Another important role is played by the sister when Lark asks her to see a book. She does not laugh or make fun, but instead shares her joy with him. Many children today would taunt and say, "Oh, so now you want to read one?!" But instead, she sits and shows him the wonders found in books.

I also liked the message that the gift of reading a story to another is a something to be treasured and appreciated (as Lark has nothing to give to show thanks except reading aloud). The text language is a bit difficult for young children but educational in itself as it aims to teach children a little about life up high in the Kentucky farms and mountains. Overall, this is an enjoyable book with many subtle lessons.
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That Book Woman
That Book Woman by Heather Henson (Hardcover - October 7, 2008)
$17.99 $13.91
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