ARRAY(0xa0b3b138)
 
Profile for Matthew G. Sherwin > Reviews

Browse

Matthew G. Sherwin's Profile

Customer Reviews: 4805
Top Reviewer Ranking: 98
Helpful Votes: 31341




Community Features
Review Discussion Boards
Top Reviewers

Guidelines: Learn more about the ins and outs of Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Matthew G. Sherwin RSS Feed (last seen screaming at Amazon customer service)
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20
pixel
Big Fish
Big Fish
Price: $0.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a timeless children's story about trying to fit in to make friends -- and even why it rains, April 17, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Big Fish (Kindle Edition)
Big Fish is an excellent children’s story, a type of folktale written by Ahmad Amani—and he did the drawings for the book as well! Ahmad is a most talented man; I myself (even as an adult) was captivated by the short story and I liked his drawings which at first seem rather simplistic but take on a certain charm that I really came to appreciate. Grownups will happily bond with toddlers and young kids as they read this book together and the vocabularies of young children will be enhanced as they read this book and discover new words. True, there may be one or two rather minor typographical errors in the book but they in no way interfere with the enjoyment of the story.

At the start of the tale, we meet Big Fish who was very much alone without friends “because it was so big.” To make friends, Big Fish first tries to become a bad fish but soon discovers that it has become so bad that the smaller bad fishes had nothing bad to do and they reject Big Fish! Big Fish then tries to be the best fish ever in the ocean but this only makes the other good fish jealous and so yet again poor Big Fish has no friends.

However, Big Fish makes friends with the moon and it even jumps into the moon so they can be best friends, which pleases the moon since the moon had no friends, either! Trouble starts, though, when Big Fish notices the moon becoming smaller—and when Big Fish feels sad and begins to cry its tears fall upon the Earth making the very first rain!

Of course there’s a little bit more to the story but I’ll stop to avoid spoiling it all for you! Suffice it to say that small kids and toddlers alike will be fascinated by this timeless story that essentially teaches that when you try to make yourself fit in to be accepted it doesn’t always work very well.

Great work, Ahmad! Please, keep these fine children’s books coming! I only wish I had such lovely children’s books when I was a kid!


Alaska Coloring Book (Maya & Filippo Coloring Books)
Alaska Coloring Book (Maya & Filippo Coloring Books)
by Alinka Rutkowska
Edition: Paperback
Price: $7.57

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a wonderful coloring book based on "Maya & Filippo Visit a Glacier" -- kids are sure to love this !!!, April 17, 2014
Alinka Rutkowska has created this fine coloring book to accompany her children’s book entitled “Maya & Filippo Visit a Glacier.” This coloring book may not have the words of the story but actually that allows kids to create at least a slightly different story, a story all their own, so they can use their imaginations not just to color but to also tell their version of the tale about Maya and Filippo visiting a glacier and seeing nature and wildlife in Alaska! Of course, kids can still happily choose to color the images the same way Konrad Checinski added the colors to the drawings in the children’s book or toddlers and small kids can give the characters in the book different colored shirts and shoes, etc. I really love that because it lets kids grow as they use their imaginations to express themselves!

I highly recommend this coloring book for toddlers and young kids—they are sure to have hours and hours of fun coloring in this book! We are fortunate to have authors—indeed, artists like Alinka Rutkowska who has given us so many superlative books (including coloring books) for small kids to enjoy! Thank you and great job, Alinka!


Maya & Filippo Visit a Glacier
Maya & Filippo Visit a Glacier
by Alinka Rutkowska
Edition: Paperback
Price: $11.35
3 used & new from $11.30

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Maya & Filippo Visit a Glacier -- a charming book that teaches kids so much about nature and wildlife in Juneau and Alaska !!!, April 17, 2014
Just when I thought that the children's books in Alinka Rutkowska's "Maya & Filippo" series simply couldn't get any better, here comes a new great and very entertaining book by Alinka that is packed with lots of information for kids about the great state of Alaska with a special focus on Juneau and wildlife! The illustrations by Konrad Checinski are wonderfully done and add a beautiful touch to the book which will captivate and charm toddlers and small kids alike! Moreover, grownups can happily bond with small kids as they read this book together and vocabularies of young kids will be enhanced as they read this book and discover new words. I love it! There is even a coloring book to accompany this book--try to get that one also for your kids if you possibly can! Kids will have hours of fun with that coloring book just as they will enjoy reading this book over and over again!

At the beginning of the story, we meet brother and sister Maya and Filippo who live onboard their family ship called The Fun Princess. Their parents and pet cat Otello are also always onboard along with the captain and others, too! The ship docks at Juneau, an Alaskan port visited by many ships. Their tour guide tells Maya and Filippo that they will see Mendenhall glacier (that flows into a lake) and the reader learns that a glacier is a frozen river--this really excites the young kids! The kids are sad that because of a warming climate the glacier will not be there for their grandchildren to see but the guide cheers them up by telling them also that when the glacier melts there will be new opportunities for bears and salmon to live there--and plants will live there, too! Already the guide can show them a bear with her cubs alongside a river and this fascinates the children--they are really enjoying seeing Alaskan nature and wildlife! The tour guide also tells the kids (and the readers) about the fireweed plant which changes with the seasons and he says "(that) is why Alaskans say: `Once the fireweed turns to cotton, summer soon will be forgotten.'"

Of course I've already left some of the story out and I won't write too much more so I don't spoil it all for you! Suffice it to say that Maya and Filippo enjoy lunch in a crab restaurant and there's a neat little quiz at the end of the book for kids to take so they can measure just how much they have learned from this excellent and warmly written children's story. There are even a few more facts about Juneau and Alaska that kids will love to learn.

Great job as always, Alinka and Konrad--please, keep these phenomenal children's books coming! I only wish I had very special children's books like this one when I was a kid!


10 Busy Brownies
10 Busy Brownies
Price: $4.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 Busy Brownies -- an adorable book for young kids learning to count !!!, April 17, 2014
This review is from: 10 Busy Brownies (Kindle Edition)
Ten Busy Brownies by Talia Haven is a lovely book for young kids learning to count and it has the charming flavor of an old folktale indeed! I should add that the illustrations by Sytiva Sheehan are very well done, creative and most imaginative, too! Grownups can happily bond with toddlers and young kids as they read this book together and the vocabularies of small children will be enhanced as they read this book, discover new words and learn how to count from one to ten. This book focuses on counting from one to ten with characters called brownies—similar to hobgoblins and well-meaning creatures that live in homes and primarily help out with chores at night when children have neglected those everyday jobs. I also like that the author, Talia Haven, uses rhyme to write her story for children—rhyme is one of my very favorite ways to write for small kids!

The book begins with “one busy brownie watches children sleep/Guarding dreams of fence leaping sheep.” The reader then discovers two busy brownies “(picking) up clothes and toys/Flung about by messy girls and boys.” Then Talia goes on with each little vignette of helpful brownies increasing by one until there are ten busy brownies “(stacking) up pans to scrub/One brownie falls in the tub.”

There’s a little bit more to the story than just this but I’ll stop here to avoid spoiling it all for you! Suffice it to say that young children learning to count will be captivated by this fine children’s book that clearly shows just how much love and affection the author and illustrator have for young kids!

Please, Talia and Sytiva, keep these wonderful and very special children’s books coming—I only wish I had such delightful books when I was a young kid learning to count!


Whale Watching Coloring Book: Maya & Filippo Coloring Books
Whale Watching Coloring Book: Maya & Filippo Coloring Books
by Alinka Rutkowska
Edition: Paperback
Price: $7.17

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a wonderful coloring book for toddlers and young kids -- small kids will love this !!!, April 13, 2014
This “whale watching” coloring book by Alinka Rutkowska gives toddlers and small kids alike the chance to freely express themselves as they choose which colors they want each picture in the book to have. It’s great to encourage creativity in small kids so that their minds will be stimulated and their egos will be enhanced. They deserve to feel good about themselves; and coloring books like this one which allow for creativity are just the ticket! Of course, young kids will also learn a few new words for different colors as they enjoy themselves coloring in the pictures and that’s grand.

I should also note that this coloring book has the equivalent of just the outlines, the blank drawings by Konrad Checinski who illustrated Alinka Rutkowska’s recent children’s book release entitled Maya & Filippo Look for Whales.

I highly recommend this coloring book for just about any child who likes to color using crayons, coloring pencils and the like. Toddlers and small kids will be delighted by this book!


Maya & Filippo Look for Whales
Maya & Filippo Look for Whales
by Alinka Rutkowska
Edition: Paperback
Price: $9.16

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars “When you can feel the feeling of having what you want, the thing that you want is not far away.” -- a fine children's book !!!, April 13, 2014
Maya & Filippo Look for Whales is just the latest entry in Alinka Rukowska’s series of children’s books about Maya and Filippo, a brother and sister who are also best friends. (I should add that the illustrations by Konrad Checinski are beautiful and very well done—very imaginative, cute and sweet!) Maya and Filippo travel the world on their family ship called The Fun Princess; their parents, their pet cat Otello and the captain are with them, too! Something I really like a lot about this book is that it teaches—in a way that will appeal to small kids—that feelings and imagination (especially when combined with being able to persevere) all pay off when striving to reach a goal—what an important lesson for toddlers and young children!

At the start of the book Maya and Filippo are on The Fun Princess which is docking for the day at Ketchikan in Alaska; and the reader learns that Ketchikan “is called Alaska’s First City because it’s the first Alaskan port that passengers see when they arrive from the south.” Maya and Filippo especially want to see whales and their mother encourages them to take a tour that day and have a fun adventure! However, instead of seeing whales Maya and Filippo are taken by their tour guide to a native village where they learn about totem poles—and they learn a lot about the stories each one tells! One totem pole in particular tells the story of how a fisherman imagined he caught a great many fish and could eat until he had “a full stomach.” The tour guide tells them that the very same totem pole story includes a reference to a magical Salmon Chief, a very special fish that tells the fisherman to throw it back into the water so the fisherman would ultimately catch a lot of salmon which he does! Filippo then gets the idea to tell Maya that maybe she could use her imagination and tap into her feelings to “feel the feeling” of what she really wanted to do which was see a whale just like Filippo wants to see a whale, too.

Maya imagines “being at sea and spotting a huge whale jumping out of the water;” and it isn’t long before she feels very happy with the thought of seeing a whale and achieving that goal! And when the tour guide gets a last minute call for a whale watching excursion at the Snow Passage, Maya and Filippo eagerly join the whale watching excursion and they soon see “ a huge humpback whale (jumping) out of the water” much to their delight! Maya now understands the important lesson of using your imagination—along with being patient and a little perseverance—to keep looking for whales or whatever it is she wants in life and then being able to get it and achieve her goal! This is very important for toddlers and young kids to learn.

Grownups will happily bond with young kids as they read this book together and that’s grand. Moreover, the vocabularies of toddlers and small children will be enhanced as they read this book and discover new words—I love it! Great job, Alinka and Konrad—this is yet another exceptional book that is sure to appeal to toddlers and small children alike. Please, Alinka and Konrad—keep these magnificent books for kids coming—I only wish I had such wonderful children’s books when I was a kid!


Children's books : " The Persistent Owl ",( Illustrated Picture Book for ages 3-8. Teaches your kid the value of persistence) (Beginner readers) (Bedtime story) (Social skills for kids collection)
Children's books : " The Persistent Owl ",( Illustrated Picture Book for ages 3-8. Teaches your kid the value of persistence) (Beginner readers) (Bedtime story) (Social skills for kids collection)
Price: $0.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "You see, persistence paid off" -- a very special children's book about persistence !!!, April 12, 2014
Efrat Haddi has released yet another very special, beautiful children’s book that teaches such an important lesson about persistence—and the illustrations by Abira Das really impress me as well! Grownups can happily bond with young kids as they read this book together and the vocabularies of small children will be enhanced as they read this book and discover new words. I should also add that that Efrat writes in a style that is bound to captivate young kids; I can tell she really cares about them as I read this book by her as well as the other books for young kids she has written!

Buddy is “a young owl from a family of wizard owls;” and we discover that wizards like to choose owls to help them after the young owls go to “a special owl school” in which they learn how to help wizards. Buddy and the other young owls gather at the school “at the end of the forest” where they learn all sorts of important things if they are to be good helpers for wizards—for example, the owls learn how to “how to create blue smoke from brown mushrooms, how to boil water using a special spell and so much more.” They even learn how to change twigs into noodles!

One day the teacher, an owl named Alice, tells the class that they will learn how to make “an invisibility potion.” All the young owls follow the directions and accomplish this task except for poor Buddy who for some reason can’t make the invisibility potion! Buddy feels bad but the teacher tells Buddy there is one other thing he can use to make the potion—persistence! Well, Buddy goes home that night and studies hard—and when Buddy studies how to make the invisibility potion he discovers he added a bit too much “thorny bush!” The next day at school Buddy adds the right amount of this ingredient and voilà—he succeeds at making the invisibility potion!

There’s a little bit more to the story than just this but I’ll stop here to avoid spoiling it all for you. Suffice it to say that the reader learns what happens to Buddy after he persists and succeeds at making the invisibility potion.

Efrat and Abira, great job as always! You have produced yet another fine, delightful children’s book that teaches such an important life lesson in a way that is sure to captivate young kids. Please, keep these books coming—I only wish I had such excellent books when I was a kid!


Reckless [Remastered]
Reckless [Remastered]
DVD ~ Jean Harlow
Offered by StormyDayFlix
Price: $14.99
33 used & new from $11.24

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "And I can take it on the chin if I lose, because I'm reckless!", April 11, 2014
This review is from: Reckless [Remastered] (DVD)
MGM tried their best to showcase the great Jean Harlow in a musical film, but it didn't work one hundred percent of the way. Trouble was, while Jean was an excellent actress, she couldn't really sing (she does indeed "talk sing" a few of her lines in a song while the rest of the song is dubbed almost certainly by Eadie Adams) and Jean couldn't dance very well, either. Just as another reviewer notes, Jean is often photographed during her dance scenes from the waist up; and it's pretty obvious that a double us being used in certain camera shots from a distance so the audience can't tell Harlow's not really dancing in that number. Nevertheless, I did admire and appreciate just how well Jean Harlow acts in this film; her acting performance is quite convincing and I give her a gold star for "hanging in there" during what must have been a rough patch when someone in the film (I won't say who) kills themselves; this is not unlike Jean's late husband Paul Bern killing himself in real life and MGM wasn't kind at all to put Jean in a film with that type of scenario. Perhaps as some others have said MGM was trying to "cash in" on Harlow's personal life with Paul Bern not to mention the real life Libby Holman scandal in Hollywood which was still relatively fresh in people's minds.

On the brighter side, however, the choreography and cinematography overall reflect good forethought and the use of lighting does a great job of capturing the emotions on the actors faces and even setting the tone for each scene. The casting was very well done; the other actors give very fine performances and the sets were also quite good.

When the film starts, we quickly meet Broadway "showgirl" Mona Leslie (Jean Harlow) who is gets bailed out of jail (for reckless driving) so she can get to the theater where she is due to perform for a benefit of some sort--Mona's friend, sports promoter Ned Riley (William Powell), bails her out at least so Mona can do the show before possibly doing even more jail time! Interestingly enough, the "benefit" turns out to be for the exclusive delight of wealthy playboy Bob Harrison (Franchot Tone) who has bought every seat in the theater so he can have the performance--with Mona in it--all to himself! Bob woos Mona even though Ned loves Mona too and eventually Bob and Mona elope and wed much to the chagrin of Bob's stuffy, old-fashioned father Colonel Harrison (Henry Stephenson). Bob's fiancée Josephine "Jo" Mercer (a young Rosalind Russell in a great performance) accepts Bob's marrying Mona graciously and Jo even gets along with Bob's new wife Mona.

Unfortunately, things in the Harrison household just aren't going well now that Bob and Mona are married. There's more to the plot than just this--and I've already left out some detail to avoid spoiling it all for you--but suffice it to say that the rest of the film shows how everything plays out for all the characters.

Look also for solid performances by the wonderful May Robson as "Granny;" Ted Healy as "Smiley;" Nat Pendleton as "Blossom;" a young Mickey Rooney as Eddie; Allan Jones as Allan; Allen "Farina" Hoskins as horse jockey "Gold Dust" and if you look closely you'll see Charles Middleton in an uncredited role as a district attorney.

True, Reckless doesn't exactly show off Jean Harlow as a musical star who could dance--but then again her acting skills were so great I enjoyed the movie anyway! I recommend this film for fans of all the actors in it. People who like dramas with some musical numbers from the golden age of Hollywood may also want this in their collections despite the fact that someone "fills in" for Jean Harlow for the better part of those song and dance numbers.


Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde
Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde
DVD ~ John Barrymore
Offered by Blue Moon Discounts
Price: $9.87
35 used & new from $4.79

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it.", April 10, 2014
This review is from: Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde (DVD)
There have been several cinematic releases of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, but this edition with John Barrymore in the leading role is my favorite. True, the use of lighting, the detailed sets, the convincing actors by the others, the cinematography (with those wide shots making the close ups so powerful) and choreography shine all at once, but Barrymore really is superb in his ability to transform himself from good-natured scientist and philanthropic physician Jekyll to the monstrous Mr. Edward Hyde. Although Barrymore had the aid of prosthetic fingers his facial contortions and body language, for example, show just how hard he worked to turn himself into Hyde. Moreover, Barrymore’s crazy stare and the way he “smiled” as Hyde delighted in doing “evil” impressed me greatly! I should also add that there are two main editions of this film—one from Kino that is slightly shorter (by about five minutes) and one from Image. The Kino edition has the orchestral score (as opposed to the organ score by Image) as well as the bonus features Amazon mentions above. Nevertheless, big fans of this movie may actually want both editions since the Image edition has the organ musical score instead of Kino’s orchestral score and Image does, after all, give you the five or so missing minutes of footage.

When the story begins we quickly meet Dr. Jekyll, a progressive scientist who is relatively young and very generous—he operates a medical clinic at his own expense so that the poor have a place to go when they are suffering and ill despite the fact that they cannot pay for medical care. (Remember, this takes place way before social welfare programs came along.) Jekyll has his eyes on the beautiful and youthful Millicent Carewe (Martha Mansfield) who plays her role to perfection as a lady indeed!

One night Jekyll cannot make it to dinner at Millicent’s father’s home although he does arrive in time to greet Millicent as a gentleman, bowing slightly when he sees her and kissing her hand—but it isn’t long before the men talk alone amongst themselves while the women are outside in the living room. Millicent’s father, Sir George Carewe (Brandon Hurst), begins to argue with Jekyll that he is missing out on life’s pleasures by being a little bit too pure! (You’d think a potential father-in-law to be wouldn’t mind potential a son-in-law to be like Jekyll but that’s another story.) At any rate, George and his friends including conservative scientist Dr. Lanyon (Charles Lane) and Edward Enfield (Cecil Clovelly) convince Jekyll to accompany them to a “club” that isn’t exactly all that “respectable” for its time (although what goes on there would be considered tame by today’s standards) and Jekyll can hardly contain himself when the beautiful and seductive Italian dancer Miss Gina (Nita Naldi) essentially throws herself at him.

All of this leads Jekyll to work tirelessly day and night until he discovers a drug—a liquid potion—that can essentially enable him to do “evil” deeds while keeping “the soul” intact—or so he thinks at first. The transformation scenes when Jekyll becomes Hyde and vice versa are excellent; as I stated above John Barrymore does this brilliantly.

Of course, the rest of the film shows how everything plays out for Jekyll/Hyde, Millicent and her father and the others, too. I won’t write much more for fear of spoiling it for you (just in case you haven’t watched this film yet) but suffice it to say that Hyde certainly becomes quite a monster! Look also for solid performances by Louis Wolheim as the music hall proprietor and George Stevens as Poole, Jekyll’s butler. Edgard Varèse plays a policeman and J. Malcolm Dunn has an uncredited role as John Utterson.

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde starring John Barrymore is a fine example of the early American horror silent film genre; film buffs and fans of the actors in this movie will want this for this collections. Of course, whether you choose the Kino version, the Image version or even both is up to you. I would, however, stay away from copies of this film made by other companies that may be not quite up to par.


BEARS: Fun Facts and Amazing Photos of Animals in Nature (Amazing Animal Kingdom Series)
BEARS: Fun Facts and Amazing Photos of Animals in Nature (Amazing Animal Kingdom Series)
Price: $3.07

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "the incredible world of bears" -- an excellent book about bears that children will love !!!, April 9, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Emma Child has released a wonderful, educational children’s book for children that teaches kids so much about those beautiful, powerful animals we call bears. Emma obviously writes with love and admiration for bears; her writing style will engage young children and kids can happily bond with adults as they read this book together! Vocabularies of children will also be enhanced as they read this book and that’s grand. I should also note that the numerous color photographs make the book quite special and one that any child will enjoy from beginning to end—what a fun way for kids to learn about these special creatures!

There’s so much information about bears in this book; I’m amazed at how Emma Child is able to say so much in a relatively short book as she uses an engaging writing style that will captivate her readers! Even this big kid loved the book! Emma starts out with ‘The Bear Basics;” we learn that there are different types of bears and that they are diurnal “which means that they stay awake during the day and sleep at night, although they have been known to hunt after dark, as well.” The reader will also discover that most bears live in the Northern Hemisphere and the polar bear “lives in the Arctic.” Among many other basic facts about bears, Emma Child lets readers know that bears have excellent hearing, smell and eyesight all of which can help them hunt for food which includes meat but can also include “fruit, nuts and insects” among other things.

We also learn about bears’ territory and how they attack—if they choose to attack and of course Emma mentions how many bears often hibernate through winter! There is a discussion of how bears reproduce (in general) and then Emma continues by writing about different types of bears including the American Black Bear which is the “most common kind of bear;” the Asian black bear (aka the “Moon Bear”); the panda bear; grizzly bears including the Kodiak bear; the “honey bear;” polar bears; sloth bears—and still more types of bears! (I would add so much more but I would hate to spoil it all for you.)

As if all that weren’t enough, Emma Child ends her book with a list of facts about bears that amazed me and are likely to impress children as well. What an excellent book about bears! Great job, Emma—please, keep these magnificent books coming—I only wish I had such wonderful books about animals when I was a kid!


Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20