Book Review - Lorax, The Sweetest Fig and Stellaluna

Saturday, November 7, 2009

here are three more books that I finished during the Read-A-Thon. To make this process go smoother and faster because I have a lot of these older children's books to catch up on I am going to post the synopsis from amazon and then some quick thoughts from me for each title.





Synopsis:
The now remorseful Once-ler--our faceless, bodiless narrator--tells the story himself. Long ago this enterprising villain chances upon a place filled with wondrous Truffula Trees, Swomee-Swans, Brown Bar-ba- loots, and Humming-Fishes. Bewitched by the beauty of the Truffula Tree tufts, he greedily chops them down to produce and mass-market Thneeds. ("It's a shirt. It's a sock. It's a glove. It's a hat.") As the trees swiftly disappear and the denizens leave for greener pastures, the fuzzy yellow Lorax (who speaks for the trees "for the trees have no tongues") repeatedly warns the Once-ler, but his words of wisdom are for naught. Finally the Lorax extricates himself from the scorched earth (by the seat of his own furry pants), leaving only a rock engraved "UNLESS." Thus, with his own colorful version of a compelling morality play, Dr. Seuss teaches readers not to fool with Mother Nature. But as you might expect from Seuss, all hope is not lost--the Once-ler has saved a single Truffula Tree seed! Our fate now rests in the hands of a caring child, who becomes our last chance for a clean, green future.

Quick Thoughts:
I love Dr. Seuss, his stories have heart with a point and they are fun to read, The Lorax is no different.


Synopsis:
Van Allsburg swings back into his most mystifying mode with this enigmatic, visually sophisticated tale of Monsieur Bibot, a "very fussy" French dentist who is given a pair of magic figs as a form of payment by an impoverished patient. The fruit, he's told, has the power to make dreams come true. The pragmatic Bibot scoffs at this, of course, but learns otherwise after eating one. Accordingly, he makes plans to use the second fig to become the richest man on earth (and to ditch Marcel, his oppressed terrier, for a string of Great Danes). The images in the book are unsettling, even ominous: Bibot lurking in a doorway with a rolled-up newspaper, ready to punish Marcel; Bibot gleefully clutching a pair of pliers as he prepares to extract an old woman's tooth; a frowning Bibot standing, fists clenched in anger, as his patient offers him the figs instead of cash. The dentist is a thoroughly unsympathetic character; readers will rejoice when the long-suffering Marcel gobbles the second magic fig and, in a poetically just ending, reverses the master-slave relationship. The sepia-toned illustrations are classic Van Allsburg, offering a visual study that is downright psychological; the artwork's spare lines and clean surfaces reflect the obsessively orderly Bibot's nature. Adults will appreciate Van Allsburg's acuity, while many children will relish the darker aspects of his story.


Quick Thoughts:
The illustrations alone are worth picking up this book, they are beautiful. My son was entranced though he did not get the twist at the end of the story. At just under 3 years old it is a little deep for him but he enjoyed listening to the story and looking at the pictures even if he didn't quite understand every part.



Stellaluna by Janell Cannon

Synopsis:
Baby bat Stellaluna's life is flitting along right on schedule--until an owl attacks her mother one night, knocking the bewildered batlet out of her mother's loving grasp. The tiny bat is lucky enough to land in a nest of baby birds, but her whole world has just turned upside down. Literally. Stellaluna's adoptive bird mom accepts her into her nest, but only on the condition that Stellaluna will act like a bird, not a bat. Soon Stellaluna has learned to behave like a good bird should--she quits hanging by her feet and starts eating bugs. But when she finally has an opportunity to show her bird siblings what life as a bat is like, all of them are confounded. "How can we be so different and feel so much alike?" one asks. "And how can we feel so different and be so much alike?" asks another. "I agree," Stellaluna responds. "But we're friends. And that's a fact." Anyone who has ever been asked to be someone they're not will understand the conflicts--and possibilities--Stellaluna faces.

Quick Thoughts:

When I worked at Barnes and Noble customers would request this book time and again singing it's praises so I know there are going to be some people who can't believe this but...I didn't get it. I mean I understood the story but it didn't move me in the way it seems to have moved so many others.



Currently "Reading":
Magazine - newest issue of Budget Travel
Book - A Wife's Guide to In-laws: How to Gain Your Husband's Loyalty Without Killing His Parents by Jenna D. Barry
Audio - Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: The Classic Regency Romance - Now with Ultraviolent Zombie Mayhem! by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith

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