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Profile for Melissa Vivari > Reviews


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Customer Reviews: 5
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Helpful Votes: 56

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Reviews Written by
Melissa Vivari "@MVinWheaton" RSS Feed (Wheaton, MD)

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Extra Yarn
Extra Yarn
by Mac Barnett
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $11.31
90 used & new from $5.50

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Writing and Enjoyable for Even us Non-Knitters, April 25, 2012
This review is from: Extra Yarn (Hardcover)
When I was trained as a writing tutor in college, one of my first lessons was on making writers read their work aloud. If they stumbled over sentences as they read, you knew you had something to fix. I often think about this as I read books to my son. The flaws of some books become quite obvious when you read them aloud. This is not the case with Extra Yarn.

I love the physical experience of reading Extra Yarn aloud to my son. The sentences are strong, as is the rhythm. It is a delight to read. The illustrations are also lovely. While the yarn of every color plays a central role, the color is actually quite subtle.

The story does get a bit dark toward the end, which was a little surprising, but is still appropriate for young children.

I am not a knitter, but still thoroughly enjoy this book. My two-year-old son loves it and has asked to read it nearly every night since we got it.

Jerusalem: Chronicles from the Holy City
Jerusalem: Chronicles from the Holy City
by Guy Delisle
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $18.47
112 used & new from $7.00

30 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Accessible and Beautiful Illustration of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, April 25, 2012
Delisle provides an illustration of the conflict between Israel and Palestine that is very accessible to the average person. While I read various newspapers and consider myself to be aware of current events in Israel, I never fully understood the role of the settlers, Arabs, Israelis, ultra-orthodox Jews, etc. as well as I now do after reading Delisle's Jerusalem.

While this is certainly partially a travelogue, Delisle does a wonderful job with the rhythm of telling his story of his time there. This does not read as just a reporting of what happened, but has a beginning, middle and end. The art is simple and beautiful, conveying a sense of feeling of place.

Delisle's style in storytelling through words and images offers a light touch to very heavy subjects. As I read the work, I felt that he was as unbiased of a person that you're going to come across on these issues. He is delicate, but not afraid to present details about what he observes. I also appreciated his humor regarding the challenges of his time there, such as finding playgrounds for his young children and other ways of entertaining them.

344 Questions: The Creative Person's Do-It-Yourself Guide to Insight, Survival, and Artistic Fulfillment (Voices That Matter)
344 Questions: The Creative Person's Do-It-Yourself Guide to Insight, Survival, and Artistic Fulfillment (Voices That Matter)
by Stefan G. Bucher
Edition: Flexibound
Price: $15.29
87 used & new from $0.74

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice Resource When You Feel a Little Lost in Artistic Pursuits, April 16, 2012
This book is small enough that I keep it in a side pocket of my purse so that I can grab it when needed. Many of the sets of questions provide structured inspiration, leading to productive writing sessions. The questions help to push you and let yourself go as you write.

Some of the questions (especially ones from the guests artists) can be a bit pretentious. And many more than I expected are intended for a younger audience, or at least one that is still in school. However, the structure of the book allows you to easily skip over those that don't really apply to you.

I enjoy picking the book up when I'm feeling stymied by indecision or ennui while pursuing my artistic goals. Working through some of the questions makes me feel as though I'm at least making a little progress on my way and learning something more about myself.

Everything Goes: On Land
Everything Goes: On Land
by Brian Biggs
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $11.85
75 used & new from $1.08

4.0 out of 5 stars Very Engaging--Not Great for Wind Down Time, April 16, 2012
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My two-year-old son loves this book. The vivid illustrations are funny and engaging. We spend several minutes examining each page with him asking what the different vehicles are called. I also take turns asking him to name the cement mixer, travel trailer, etc.

While we enjoy reading this book together, it is not the best for bedtime. He becomes very active pointing out the various vehicles and laughing at the funny side stories. When we try to read this during wind down time, he gets very animated. This is a great book to read when you want your child really engaged with the story. Probably best to read during afternoon play time, rather than when you're trying to lull your little one to sleep.

Radioactive: Marie & Pierre Curie: A Tale of Love and Fallout
Radioactive: Marie & Pierre Curie: A Tale of Love and Fallout
by Lauren Redniss
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $19.91
154 used & new from $7.42

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Innovative Creation that Supports STEM Learning, December 16, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I rejected learning about science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) for far too many years. Reading this book made me WANT to learn more about physics and chemistry. Redniss's work is a beautiful piece that is accessible to an audience that may not have a background or previous interest in science. That accessibility is what makes it a very important book. We need more people interested in studying STEM!

My interests in graphic novels and design initially drew my attention to this book. Redniss's use of text and space amplifies the story being told through words. Reading this book is an enjoyable and educational experience.

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