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Nicola Manning-Mansfield RSS Feed (Ontario, Canada)

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The Wheel on the School
The Wheel on the School
by Meindert De Jong
Edition: Paperback
Price: $6.29
278 used & new from $0.01

3.0 out of 5 stars Makes a Good Read-Aloud, July 20, 2014
This is a re-read for me. The first time I read it aloud to my eldest about 15 years ago and we both loved it so much. I went on to read several more of the author's books after that, also enjoying them. I was looking forward to this re-read. I was a little disappointed as the story was much slower than I had remembered and at first I actually thought it was boring. So it did take me some time to get into it this time, though I hardly remembered the story except the basic plot. I did find my groove though, and settled down with this old-fashioned story, set in a different time in a different world, pre-WWII Netherlands. This is a sweet story about children and their love for animals, storks in this case. It's a time when children roamed the countryside all day long, unsupervised. The first good chunk of the book sets up the plot and not a lot of events happen, though Dejong is a beautiful writer and we soon feel the sense of this time, this place and these people. Once the hunt for the wheel begins, action enters the story and each individual child has an event happen along the way. Some of these adventures are what we would consider today, well anytime really!, quite dangerous and make for exciting reading. It dramatically contrasts what childhood was like in those bygone days compared to today. Everyone will shake their heads but, some will be with regret, others with thankfulness, that those times have passed. I do think this is a beautifully written story, with a lovely message; a sweet story in a way, but a real one as well, these children are hardly all sugar-and-spice. Unfortunately, I don't think it is a book many modern-day children will have the patience to read themselves and I recommend it be used as a read-aloud. There is so much to discuss! I'm a huge fan of Maurice Sendak but his illustrations in this book are only middle of the road, recognisable as his work certainly but nothing special.


Dragon Ball (3-in-1 Edition), Vol. 5: Includes vols. 13, 14 & 15
Dragon Ball (3-in-1 Edition), Vol. 5: Includes vols. 13, 14 & 15
by Akira Toriyama
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.20
54 used & new from $8.46

5.0 out of 5 stars Battle Battle Battle, July 20, 2014
Vol. 13: Piccolo Conquers the World - Whoa! Things are pretty serious now as we come to the final volumes of the original series. Not a lot of humour now as it's become quite dark and tense as the demon Piccolo takes control. More of our heroes die and all the tough guys try their hand against Piccolo. Both he and Goku have increased their strength and the volume ends with a major, major battle between the two. Good stuff! (5/5)

Vol. 14: Heaven and Earth - Beginning exactly where we left off the battle between Piccolo and Goku continues and takes up a large part of this volume. Goku is so strong he hardly takes any hits at all until finally Piccolo lets loose with everything he's got. After the battle, ends are tied up and this current arc comes to a close. Goku is sent to Heaven for more training and 3 years go by until everyone meets up again at the "Strongest Under the Heavens" contest again. This goes quickly and the volume ends with the final rounds about to start. Very fast-paced page-turning read. (5/5)

Vol. 15: The Titanic Tournament - The penultimate volume! Complete and utter battles as the finals of the contest get underway. Everyone has special attacks and some have secret identities. Fantastic pairing off for the duels and I love when our friends have to battle each other so it ends up with us really not knowing who is going to win the round. Quite a bit of excitement mounts as the last battle with the Demon Son is abruptly stopped mid-battle as the Volume ends. Looking forward to the last volume! (5/5)


Bane on the Rampage! (Batman Strikes!)
Bane on the Rampage! (Batman Strikes!)
by Bill Matheny
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $19.14
35 used & new from $12.47

3.0 out of 5 stars A Comic for Kids, July 20, 2014
The only thing that saves this from two stars is that Bane is a pretty cool bad guy we don't get to see all that often. Bane breaks out and goes straight for Batman. The rest of the issue they battle it out with each other until, well, the same guy always wins at the end of these comics. Every book is a happy ending for the Bat. Not much here for adults. Little ones looking for a fun Batman they can read have found their match with The Batman Strikes! This is a reinforced library edition of the 4th issue of 50 comics. The first 21 are available in digital format.


Joker's Wild! (Batman Strikes!)
Joker's Wild! (Batman Strikes!)
by Bill Matheny
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $19.14
33 used & new from $12.47

2.0 out of 5 stars A Comic for Kids, July 20, 2014
This one didn't do anything for me. Yes, it is aimed at the little kids but that doesn't mean it has to be dull. You have your basic Joker steals from Batman (oh no, his mother's necklace was taken), then the Bat tracks him down and they have a bit of a fight and you-know-who wins. Not feeling any Bat love for this one It is, however, perfectly suitable for the little ones, 10 and younger, as long as cartoon punching and fisticuffs doesn't bother you. This is a reinforced library edition of the 3rd issue of 50 comics. The first 21 are available in digital format.


In the Clutches of the Penguin! (Batman Strikes!)
In the Clutches of the Penguin! (Batman Strikes!)
by Bill Matheny
Edition: Library Binding
Price: $19.14
39 used & new from $9.55

3.0 out of 5 stars A Comic for Kids, July 20, 2014
Here's a Batman comic for young fans. This is based on the WB cartoon series and aimed at youngsters. From a grown-up point of view this is the least "Batman" like series I've read but in an age where comics are no longer for kids, this fits the bill nicely. Batman seems to be in his mid-twenties (it's been 20 years since his parents died) and he is a younger, hipper guy than the dark broody vigilante we are used to. Penguin is the villain here and he's drawn nothing like we are used to seeing him; I kind of liked it but over all the art is very stylized and cartoonish, not what one usually expects for Batman. The story was simple but fun and introduced a new character in this TV universe, GCPD Detective Ellen Yin. Good for the kiddies who want some Batman they can read. This is a reinforced library edition of the first issue of 50 comics. The first 21 are available in digital format.


Toto Trouble #1: Back to Crass
Toto Trouble #1: Back to Crass
by Thierry Coppee
Edition: Paperback
Price: $7.19
55 used & new from $2.50

2.0 out of 5 stars Black Humor, July 17, 2014
I didn't finish this, reading 40 of 66 pages, but it's just the same thing over and over so I've read enough to comment on it. This is a strange selection for Papercutz. This has no plot but is a collection of one page comic "jokes" but I'm not really sure the intended original French audience would have been children. It's about a little boy and his school life and at home but he's quite snarky and a lot of the jokes could be considered off colour. There are several "dead" jokes: a dead dad, some dead pets, a dead teacher, one I read was suggestive, others are just a tad on the black humour side and could be offensive to a wide variety of audiences. Personally, as an adult, I wasn't offended, though I don't find dead pet jokes in good taste, but I'm not sure I'd be comfortable with my little kid or a sensitive child reading these. I thought they were all mostly worth a snicker but they did get tedious one after another. If it was a daily newspaper comic, I'd probably read it. I like the art though; it's very Calvin and Hobbes-ish.


Shackleton: Antarctic Odyssey
Shackleton: Antarctic Odyssey
by Nick Bertozzi
Edition: Paperback
Price: $13.43
66 used & new from $8.41

2.0 out of 5 stars Dull, July 13, 2014
I really enjoyed Bertozzi's book on Lewis & Clark so was greatly looking forward to this one. I'm a great reader of polar exploration and very familiar with this tale. I enjoy graphic biographies a great deal, not because I expect them to necessarily bring anything new to the table (this didn't) but because I enjoy experiencing the story in various formats: biography, memoirs, film, and graphic novel just adds another dimension. but frankly, I simply found this effort dull and since everyone was all bundled up it was hard to tell the characters apart except Shackleton who wore a distinctive hat much (but not all) of the time.


Arkham Asylum: Living Hell
Arkham Asylum: Living Hell
by Dan Slott
Edition: Paperback
Price: $13.14
62 used & new from $7.49

4.0 out of 5 stars Villains Galore, July 13, 2014
There is always time for a Batman villain showcase and "Living Hell" was literally a riot. I had such a great time with this gallery of "bad guys" that I couldn't put it down. The story isn't exactly heavy duty and there are a few arcs running through at the same time but it's all in the name of a grand romp and pretty crazy creepy at the same time. Most of the famous villains make little cameo appearances but the focus is more on not-so-well known villains or ones created just for this volume. I really liked these lesser known dudes such as Jason Blood and the demon Etrigan (why are they not in Justice League Dark?), Humpty Dumpty (his whole back story is told) and the Great White Shark (this book's main arc is Warren White's tale of how he became the villain). Batman shows up a couple of times and Batgirl a little bit more often, with Harvey Bullock getting some good page time as well. There are more powerful, deep reads out there but this is just some plain villainary (so not a word!) fun. I really liked it. The art is good too, though it's old style and been a while since I've read anything with that newsprint-ish look but it brings back the good old days after awhile. Fun!


Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #1: Rita Repulsa's Attitude Adjustment
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #1: Rita Repulsa's Attitude Adjustment
by Stefan Petrucha
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $10.39
40 used & new from $6.93

4.0 out of 5 stars It's Morphin Time, July 13, 2014
I am so excited Papercutz is doing the original Power Rangers! This book was so much fun and I can't wait to read more! The art is great; everybody looks just like they should and the colour is really vibrant, especially when it gets to morphin' time. The story isn't exactly riveting but it's a fun story and leaves you waiting just the right amount of time for Rita to make her first appearance. This is just the basic cast here too, without Tommy, so plenty of room for the excitement of the whole story to be told and all the favourite villains to make appearances. What I especially loved is the photographic section of the real actors introducing each ranger and the back essay on the history of the Rangers. Good start!


[USB Powered] OxyLED C1 Petent Design, Touch Control, 3 Level Adjustable Brightness, Smart Multi-function Clamp LED Desk Lamp Kid Lamp with Flexible Gooseneck - Green
[USB Powered] OxyLED C1 Petent Design, Touch Control, 3 Level Adjustable Brightness, Smart Multi-function Clamp LED Desk Lamp Kid Lamp with Flexible Gooseneck - Green
Offered by Hisgadget Inc
Price: $29.99
3 used & new from $26.22

4.0 out of 5 stars A funky Desk Lamp, July 12, 2014
I love this funky desk lamp! Only one problem and that is with the clamp though looking through the reviews my problem seems to be a bit different, First, I love the design, very modern and love the colour lime green. A favourite colour of mine which surprisingly goes well in any decor. The adjustable snake arm is great for getting the light to point in just the right direction. I love the LED light, has three settings from a pleasant light glow to quite a bright reading light and it doesn't get hot. Can plug into an outlet with the attachment or directly into a USB port so very portable. I had to fiddle around the first time to find the switch but it's there just kind of invisible. Now the clamp. It just doesn't seem to have enough grip for my table edges, which all seem to be incredible short Everywhere I look when I'm out and about tables seem to have longer edges than any in my house! But with a bit of careful positioning and getting it just so, at the start it will stay in place no prob. I have had problems with making mine stay put when trying to make it stand up on the base, can't get the balance right. So I love everything about it except am finding the clamp more awkward than I'd have thought.


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