children

Review: Alice in Wonderland

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Alice in Wonderland
Alice in Wonderland written by Lewis Carroll and adapted by Jane Carruth

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Lewis Carroll‘s Alice in Wonderland is one we are all familiar with at some point in our lives. Many of us have read an abridged version, heard the basics of the tale from friends or family, or even watched cartoon versions. And when Johnny Depp’s version was filmed, everyone flocked to re-read the book. I actually read the story when I was about 13 or 14, as I had gotten a set of various classics for my Confirmation from a close family member.

Alice is a remarkable character. She can be a completely charming and funny girl, and she can be an example of life lessons. It’s the kind of book where you have a lot of interpretations, especially given what your particular reading style is. You may feel close to the Mad Hatter, the Queen or Alice herself. Perhaps it’s the caterpillar or Cheshire cat or the rabbit. Each character represents many things in our life, and each temptation is something Alice, or any young child, must consider. But it’s also just a beautifully drawn and illustrated tale of friendship and going on a journey in unexpected places.

It’s a must for for kids and again as adults. There’s a strong chance you will get something different between reads. I also suggest a first time reader NOT read it alone. It’s not anything bad, but it’s the kind of book worth talking about… that you want to share your thoughts on… it will build your analytical skills… and it’s a perfect way for parents and kids to connect about the right way to do things and the consequences of one’s actions. I’d say around 10 or 11 is the best age… but all depends on the maturity level of everyone involved.

Think about the imagination and creativity that went into designing the world that Alice finds in the hole… I wonder what gave all these ideas to Carroll. Lots of speculation, but in the end, I choose to forget what led to the creation and rather to simply enjoy the fantasy world created for me.

And who doesn’t love talking animals?

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by.


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Review: The Witches

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The Witches
The Witches by Roald Dahl

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Roald Dahl is in my top 3 of favorite children’s authors. I had read a few of his books as a child, but most of my exposure occurred as a young adult and while in college.

The Witches was actually a book I read after the movie with Anjelica Huston was produced. I am a huge fan of her work, and when she appeared in this movie, I was fascinated with the story. I’d definitely recommend reading the book first as the movie takes the story so much further.

For one thing, the book has an unnamed narrator and grandmother, whereas the movie is very detailed on the history of the characters, the various types of relationships, etc. But both were still very good.

It combines so many wonderful things for kids to love — and to be scared of. Witches who can turn little boys into… well, I won’t ruin the surprise. Suffice it to say, this can be a bit of a scary theme.

Dahl’s style is so embracing and captivating. His characters are intense. The creativity and imagination from the works he’s produced over the years is quite astonishing.

The Grand High Witch runs the show here, and she won’t let you forget it. But it’s the grandmother and the boy who may hold all the power. A classic battle of good and evil with some fun thrown in between.

A definite read for kids. And adults. When I was taking a course in college on “Reading in the Elementary School,” I had to read 150 children’s books and produce a portfolio showing a lesson plan for each book. Dahl featured in many of the lessons and books I had chosen, as I tried to incorporate some Newbery and Caldecott winners, but not all. What a joy to re-read these classics as a 21 year old thinking about becoming a teacher. Though I didn’t stay in the teaching field (and possibly regret it to some degree), I will always go back to these books and this time period as one of the favorite parts of life.

About Me

For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by.

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Review: Peter Pan

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Peter Pan
Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie   My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Before I get into the review… it took me forever to go through all the editions of Peter Pan listed on Goodreads. While I suppose it’s not too important to get the right version, I was shocked at how many there were, as well as that this was a longer series with multiple books. I guess I always knew that, but when I read it, it was just the Peter Pan book, which I believe was the third in the series. I could be wrong… nonetheless… wow… and it’s review time and let’s do some soaring…

There is so much I could say about this book. I could write a formal review. I could compare the story to the TV and film adaptions. I could cover the cartoons. BTW, the most interesting one for me was “Once Upon a Time’s” portrayal of Peter. So dark… LOVED IT. But that said, to me, it’s a children’s tale with a huge primary lesson: We never want to grow up, but we have to…

And that’s what I’ll focus on. This book must be read to children a few times over the years. I’d start first when they are about 4 or 5, and then show the cartoon versions. Let them absorb it and think about it. And then again when they are 7 or 8, helping them understand what it means to grow up. And then again when they are about 12 or 13… and make them do a book report on it, even outside of school. It’s a lesson that must be taught young.

Growing up is scary. But so is not growing up. There’s a fine balance between finding the time to be free and open, enjoying life and staying away from one’s fears. But you must also learn what is necessary to become a good, solid and functioning citizen of the society.

What I love about this story is the amount of interpretations you can absorb from the story, the characters, the setting and the action. Just when you think you’ve got them all down, another view point comes into play — and you have to re-think what the moral purpose of the book is about.

Or did Barrie intend it to just be a fun trip for kids… I’m not so sure we’ll ever know!

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by.


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Review: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

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Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The FreeForm cable network aired all the Harry Potter movies this weekend and it prompted me to pick up all the books on my shelves and read a few pages again. I opened to the scene where Harry starts speaking parseltongue and was instantly brought back into this amazing world. I loved this series when I read it nearly ten years ago and I’m considering starting all over again — one a month in between all the other books I read. The imagination. The depth of characters. The reality among fantasy. I can’t imagine a world without it!

What was special about this book is how it carried the intense weight of the first book and added even more. Harry’s energy drives the story. His relationships create the challenges. And we meet Dobby. I love Dobby! If you haven’t read the whole series, you have to indulge in the first few books just to understand the world the wizards live in…

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Review: Oh, The Places You’ll Go!

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Oh, The Places You'll Go!
Oh, The Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A gift on my high school graduation… something I will always treasure. It answers all of life’s questions for a young one trying to decide their future!

As a children’s book, the rhyming and cartoon-like at helps keep focused attention. But it’s the words that are so simple, yet so evocative in their minds. Certain stanzas stay with you. People quote it both in fun and in sincerity when thinking about what to do.

It’s books like this that help children figure out that reading is not just educational, it’s fun. I don’t have children, but I’ve read it to a few younger cousins and some kids I babysat from time to time. The expressions on their face make it worth it.

Give it a shot as an adult if you never did as a child.

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Review: Jumanji

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Jumanji
Jumanji by Chris Van Allsburg

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What an entertaining story! I first read this as a child, then I watched the movie with Robin Williams and fell in love all over again. But it was in my sophomore year at college when I was taking a course on “Reading in the Elementary School,” and had to pull together a portfolio of books, that I chose this Caldecott medal winner. It’s very creative and helps teach so many different lessons to children. A must treasure for all children with a great imagination or those who need one! Yes.

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Review: Aesop’s Fables

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Aesop's Fables
Aesop’s Fables by Aesop

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

How often in life these little fables come up and we forget their original (or semi-original) source. Thousands of years old… parables told over and over again, then written down. What do they really mean, you can ask yourself these questions over and over again and have a different answer each time.

Take the “Tortoise and the Hare” as an example: Is it always true that slow and steady wins the race. Is that really what the story says? Could it be a broad theory that is subject to individual opinion based on the depth of the incident being cited? Is steady better than quick? Which is truly smarter?

If nothing else, it serves as an educational baseline of sorts… a place to start… with morals and the question of “what if” with children’s thirsty minds.

But how many of us really know anything about Aesop? 🙂

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