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Melissa's Octopus and Other Unsuitable Pets
Melissa's Octopus and Other Unsuitable Pets
by Charlotte Voake
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $13.03
57 used & new from $5.35

5.0 out of 5 stars Which Pet Is the Most Unsuitable?, May 29, 2015
In MELISSA'S OCTOPUS AND OTHER UNSUITABLE PETS, none of the children in the book have a pet as typical as a dog, cat, hamster, or bird. Instead, Melissa has an octopus, Thomas has a mole, Arthur has a warthog, Peter has an elephant, etc. But of all the pets the children own, which is the most unsuitable and why? Overall, the book is really fun and presents some interesting juxtapositions for children. The ending might be a little frightening for the timid, but personally it reminded me of something out of a Shel Silverstein and I found it humorous.


The Tortoise and the Hare
The Tortoise and the Hare
by Alison Ritchie
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $11.99
49 used & new from $2.80

4.0 out of 5 stars Fast As You Can Be, May 29, 2015
It's the classic tale of THE TORTOISE AND THE HARE, but with peek-through windows and flaps. The hare believes he is the fastest animal around and challenges the other animals to race him. Only the tortoise agrees. As tradition, slow and steady wins the race. With that said, I was disappointed by portrayal of the rabbit. His comeuppance isn't exactly the same as it is in the traditional fable (or the famous Warner Brother cartoon for that matter). I was a little disappointed by that: there's a little too much of a happy ending for me. Not everyone in a fairy tale or fable gets a happy ending. Still, the book pretty much sticks to the original fable and has some really fun illustrations.


The Big Princess
The Big Princess
by Taro Miura
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $11.00
54 used & new from $5.80

5.0 out of 5 stars Sweet Story With Big Heart, May 29, 2015
This review is from: The Big Princess (Hardcover)
In THE BIG PRINCESS, a beloved King and Queen have no children of their own. Then the king receives a message from a white bird telling him he will find a child the next day. However, the child is cursed and before the child will truly be his, he has to find a way to break the curse before it destroys his kingdom. Sure enough, the next day the King finds a teeny-tiny baby girl. She is adorable and at first she is small enough to sleep on a feather. However, each day she grows more and more and more and becomes a big problem. What can the king do? Filled with some really interesting cut-out style illustrations, THE BIG PRINCESS is a sweet little story with a big heart.


Nuts in Space
Nuts in Space
by Elys Dolan
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $13.49
51 used & new from $6.36

4.0 out of 5 stars The Peanuts Aren't the Only Nuts In This Book, May 29, 2015
This review is from: Nuts in Space (Hardcover)
Captain Moose and his motley crew aboard the Super Stealthy Space Cruiser have succeeded in the mission of capturing some of the Lost Nuts of Legends and now just need to get back home. The problem is they are lost and don't know how. So, they stop at one destination after another asking for directions: from a space diner to a planet of green blobs to a planet filled with hungry teddy bears to the Death Banana. Will Moose and his crew ever get these nuts in space home? Or are they just doomed to travel around from one place to another trying to avoid nuts in space?

NUTS IN SPACE is a really fun book that pokes fun at all kinds of different sci-fi classics, including the two biggies: Star Wars and Star Trek. Kids will love this book and especially the action storyline. Parents who have at least a basic familiarity of classic sci-fi will enjoy the book for the allusions and parodies it makes.


Sock Monkey Rides Again
Sock Monkey Rides Again
by Cece Bell
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $10.50
44 used & new from $5.50

4.0 out of 5 stars Sock Monkey Becomes a Singing Cowboy, May 29, 2015
In SOCK MONKEY RIDES AGAIN, Sock Monkey gets the acting chance of a lifetime: the opportunity to be the star of a big-budget Western. He'll get to yodel, lasso a cow, and ride a horse. Although Sock Monkey doesn't know how to do any of those things, he's excited to learn. But there's one thing he has to do in the movie that he doesn't want to do: kiss a girl? What will Sock Monkey do?
Although I haven't read the previous books in the series, I found SOCK MONKEY RIDES AGAIN entertaining enough. Not everyone will find the kissing concept to be an appropriate or even relatable. However, beyond that, the book is a fairly entertaining story.


The Fly
The Fly
by Petr Horáček
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $11.24
48 used & new from $4.14

4.0 out of 5 stars Why Oh Why Oh Why, Said the Fly, May 29, 2015
This review is from: The Fly (Hardcover)
The housefly that narrates THE FLY, just doesn't understand why people won't leave him alone. He gives a description of what he does during the day from flying around a lamp to visiting cows. THE FLY is a playful children's book that offers some unique reading interactions, such as a page that is written upside down, some words that follow the directions of the fly's flight, and a few interesting picture flaps. Real-life flies are pesky creatures, but THE FLY is almost adorable.


Boxcar Children, The
Boxcar Children, The
DVD
Price: $9.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Good Family Film, But Low-Budget Animation, May 29, 2015
I was first introduced to The Boxcar Children when I was in the 4th grade and our teacher read the story aloud to us. Since that time, the children and the series have become a part of our family: for instance my mother has collected all of The Boxcar Children books and not just the original 19 that Gertrude Chandler Warner wrote. THE BOXCAR CHILDREN is an animated adaptation of the book of the same name.

Henry, Jessie, Violet, and Benny Alden are orphans who stick together. The only family member they know of besides each other is their mysterious grandfather who has never had a presence in their lives. Vowing to not live with the man who seemed to want nothing to do with them while their parents were alive, the children find themselves traveling at night and looking for a place to stay and a home to call their own. They eventually stumble upon a mysterious boxcar in the middle of a forest. It provides them the shelter and home they need. As money grows low, Henry finds work in a nearby town. Unbeknownst to the children, someone is looking for them and it will change their lives forever.

I wasn't for sure what to expect with THE BOXCAR CHILDREN movie. The first thing I noticed was the animation. Although not horrible, the overall animation of the movie is not the greatest. Buildings, scenery, and even water are well done, while people and animals, not so much. The film reminded me more of an early CGI animated films from the mid-to-late 1990s or some early 2000 video games. For many people, this might not be an issue, but I was really hoping for better quality animation from the first film based upon the beloved novel.

With that said, the overall stories and characters remain fairly true to the book. There are some minor differences, but the overall spirit of everything is just like the book. There isn't much action in the story, which some might find disappointing. However, THE BOXCAR CHILDREN is a movie about family, sticking together, and forgiveness. Those are values and messages that are never out-dated and they shouldn't always have to take backseat to action, adventure, and excitement. There is no violence, innuendo, or foul language.

Overall, THE BOXCAR CHILDREN is a decent adaptation of Getrude Chandler Warner's original book. The movie espouses the same values of the book and keeps to a fairly close adaptation. The film's biggest drawback is the animation which seems fairly low-budget and is more reminiscent of an early 2000's video game than a 2014 animated movie. It's a movie that any fan of The Boxcar Children will want to see and is a good movie that families of all ages can watch together.


The Boxcar Children
The Boxcar Children
DVD ~ Martin Sheen
Price: $13.99
23 used & new from $9.47

4.0 out of 5 stars Good Movie, But Wish the Animation Was Better, May 29, 2015
This review is from: The Boxcar Children (DVD)
I was first introduced to The Boxcar Children when I was in the 4th grade and our teacher read the story aloud to us. Since that time, the children and the series have become a part of our family: for instance my mother has collected all of The Boxcar Children books and not just the original 19 that Gertrude Chandler Warner wrote. THE BOXCAR CHILDREN is an animated adaptation of the book of the same name.

Henry, Jessie, Violet, and Benny Alden are orphans who stick together. The only family member they know of besides each other is their mysterious grandfather who has never had a presence in their lives. Vowing to not live with the man who seemed to want nothing to do with them while their parents were alive, the children find themselves traveling at night and looking for a place to stay and a home to call their own. They eventually stumble upon a mysterious boxcar in the middle of a forest. It provides them the shelter and home they need. As money grows low, Henry finds work in a nearby town. Unbeknownst to the children, someone is looking for them and it will change their lives forever.

I wasn't for sure what to expect with THE BOXCAR CHILDREN movie. The first thing I noticed was the animation. Although not horrible, the overall animation of the movie is not the greatest. Buildings, scenery, and even water are well done, while people and animals, not so much. The film reminded me more of an early CGI animated films from the mid-to-late 1990s or some early 2000 video games. For many people, this might not be an issue, but I was really hoping for better quality animation from the first film based upon the beloved novel.

With that said, the overall stories and characters remain fairly true to the book. There are some minor differences, but the overall spirit of everything is just like the book. There isn't much action in the story, which some might find disappointing. However, THE BOXCAR CHILDREN is a movie about family, sticking together, and forgiveness. Those are values and messages that are never out-dated and they shouldn't always have to take backseat to action, adventure, and excitement. There is no violence, innuendo, or foul language.

Overall, THE BOXCAR CHILDREN is a decent adaptation of Getrude Chandler Warner's original book. The movie espouses the same values of the book and keeps to a fairly close adaptation. The film's biggest drawback is the animation which seems fairly low-budget and is more reminiscent of an early 2000's video game than a 2014 animated movie. It's a movie that any fan of The Boxcar Children will want to see and is a good movie that families of all ages can watch together.


The Black Hood #1: The Bullet's Kiss - Part One
The Black Hood #1: The Bullet's Kiss - Part One
Price: $3.99

4.0 out of 5 stars The Story Begins, May 29, 2015
BLACK HOOD #1 is the origin story of a particular version of a crime fighter called The Black Hood. The story focuses around Greg Hettinger. Greg is just a normal cop in Philadelphia trying to do his job. He becomes a hero, loses half his face, and accidently kills a vigilante called The Black Hood while on a routine stop near a public school. After months of therapy, he finds himself back on the force, but he is not at all himself. A series of unwise choices lead Greg into becoming what he thought he had killed. BLACK HOOD #1 is fairly straight-forward as action stories go. However, it is a bit more realistic in some aspects than other super-hero/crime-fighter stories, for instance illustrating how a pain medication addiction can affect one's behavior and cause a person to make strange choices. The story did keep my interest and I look forward to reading other parts of the tale.


The Fox #1: The Fox Hunt Chapter One: The Situation
The Fox #1: The Fox Hunt Chapter One: The Situation
Price: $3.99

4.0 out of 5 stars The Hunt Begins, May 29, 2015
Paul Patton is The Fox, a crime-fighting superhero of sorts. His wife and son know about his secret identity and all the good he has accomplished. Paul really wants to put his life of The Fox behind him, but he constantly finds himself involved in mysterious situations that only The Fox can seem to solve. For instance, while on a routine photography/social media assignment to his old hometown that's about to be bulldozed to make room for a water basin, Paul catches sight of a mysterious woman in green. Something strange is going on and it's up to The Fox to find out what. I enjoyed reading THE FOX-FOX HUNT #1. It has a strange mix of mystical and realism that really plays around with the superhero format: it reminded me of an ANIMAL MAN story or DEADPOOL. I look forward to reading the rest of the series and finding out how the "Fox Hunt" will end.


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