Book Review: Jeeves 1947
Dragon Bite Books » Realistic Fiction
by Kathryn
1w ago
Have you ever read any P. G. Wodehouse? This 20th century author (his first book was published in 1902) seems to be more popular in his homeland, Britain, than in America. I was introduced to him in 2006 but couldn’t at the time find any of his works for sale. In fact since then the only book of his that I have purchased, I purchased in London. I found this copy of Jeeves in the Morning (alternately titled Joy in the Morning) in one of the local Little Free Libraries. This was my fifth Wodehouse novel and the second I have read in the Jeeves series. Originally published in 1947 in the latter ..read more
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Book Series Review: Pony Pals, Beginning to End
Dragon Bite Books » Realistic Fiction
by Kathryn
1w ago
Pony Pals was my series at a certain younger age. I read not all of them but a LOT of them before moving on to longer books with more complex characters and plots. There were at the time other available horse series; Pony Tails and The Saddle Club especially, both by Bonnie Bryant, were if memory serves more popular series. The Saddle Club was written for an older audience than Pony Pals or Pony Tails, and the problems were often drama caused by human characters and relationships rather than—as in Pony Pals—ponies in danger. The Pony Pals do fight, but it’s usually a disagreement ..read more
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Book Reviews: The Problems of Overconsumption
Dragon Bite Books » Realistic Fiction
by Kathryn
3M ago
Brockington, Drew. CatStronauts, Book 1: Mission to the Moon. Little, Brown Ink-Hachette, 2017. Visit the author’s page for links to order and swag. This book was a bit of a letdown, honestly, but I think because I was too excited to finally have a chance to read it: CatStronauts—cat astronauts—how could I not love that? The plot though was predictable, its twists foreshadowed, broadcasted in plain sight. I was not given enough time dwelling on the story’s problems to truly expect the CatStronauts or the plan to end the world’s energy crisis to fail. The cats themselves did not have well-d ..read more
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Book Review: 40 Years of Little Ponies
Dragon Bite Books » Realistic Fiction
by Kathryn
4M ago
The book My Little Pony 40th Anniversary Celebration collects three stories: “Friendship is Forever,” “Tales of Dream Valley,” and “Bonnie,” with “Friendship is Forever” by Sam Maggs, Keisha Okafor, and Rebecca Nalty being by far the longest.  In “Friendship is Forever” four best friends take on middle school in 1984, the year that the first animated special in the My Little Pony franchise aired.  The summer before is filled with hours of playing together with their favorite My Little Pony figures and with the real ponies that they have leased for the summer. When they learn that th ..read more
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Book Reviews: October, November, and December Holidays
Dragon Bite Books » Realistic Fiction
by Kathryn
6M ago
Kaushik, Shachi. Diwali in My New Home. Illus. Aishwarya Tandon. Beaming Books, 2022. Intended audience: Ages 5-8. Visit the publisher’s page for links to order, summary, and reviews. In Diwali in My New Home, Priya and her family have newly moved away from India. Diwali, the Hindu Festival of Lights that celebrates “the victory of light over darkness,” is Priya’s favorite holiday. It is celebrated with lights and fireworks, prayer and songs, and delicious foods. But in her new neighborhood, no one else is observing the holiday, and Priya misses the community celebrations that took place ..read more
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Book Reviews: Celebrating Black Families with Juwanda G. Ford
Dragon Bite Books » Realistic Fiction
by Kathryn
7M ago
I’ve now read two books by Juwanda G. Ford: Together for Kwanzaa and Kenya’s Family Reunion. Both are well written stories centering celebrations by Black families, and the stories further center the experiences and feelings of young, Black girls. Both are wonderfully heartwarming stories of familial love. Both are too long to stand out to me as good books for story times (historically story times that I have hosted have been attended by very young children, many of whom aren’t ready to read on their own yet). I was able to paperclip together several pages in Kenya’s Family Reunion to make ..read more
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Book Reviews: Kids Pick the Poems, Edited by Bruce Lansky
Dragon Bite Books » Realistic Fiction
by Kathryn
8M ago
I grew up on Bruce Lansky’s poetry anthology A Bad Case of the Giggles, so when Kids Pick the Funniest Poems found its way to me earlier this year, I hoped for an anthology with as many standouts. I don’t know if I attribute it more to A Bad Case of the Giggles being bolstered by nostalgia or myself being a much older woman now than when Lansky and I were introduced, but I did not love Kids Pick the Funniest Poems as I do A Bad Case of the Giggles.  The poems in Kids Pick the Funniest Poems were rated by more than 300 elementary students in Minnesota, to whom Lanksy supplied more than ..read more
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Book Reviews: Growing Up, Growing Apart, & Following Passions: Crunch & The Real Riley Mayes
Dragon Bite Books » Realistic Fiction
by Kathryn
8M ago
Spoilers for both as I discuss their endings. I was drawn to the cover of The Real Riley Mayes by its Stonewall Award medallion (it was an honor book for 2023) and stumbled upon it near the end of the Trans Rights Readathon. Riley is struggling to navigate middle school. She is in trouble for drawing during class, wearing hats, making jokes, and it feels like everyone has a clique except her. The boys don’t want her to play football with them. Riley doesn’t have anything to contribute to the girls’ discussions about boys and celebrity crushes. When she cuts her hair, she is profiled as a l ..read more
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Book Reviews: Quick, Self-Published, Nonfiction Picture Books Worth Reading
Dragon Bite Books » Realistic Fiction
by Kathryn
8M ago
Coleman, Kailee. And That’s Their Family. Illus. Jamie Malone. Seedlings, 2021. Visit the author’s page for links to order and more reviews. Disappointed by the representation that she saw in picture books, Coleman wrote and published her own called And That’s Their Family. Though simple, the text fits the “Addams Family Theme Song,” and is meant I think to be sung!  What a delightful thing for a story time! And that’s a tune that I would venture most adults above 30 know well enough to sing, and it’s simple enough and adapted by camps often enough that it doesn’t feel like a performa ..read more
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Book Review: Tearful End for A Handful of Stars
Dragon Bite Books » Realistic Fiction
by Kathryn
8M ago
There aren’t many books that make me cry. Cynthia Lord’s A Handful of Stars is the most recent book to join the exclusive club. I finished this book on Mother’s Day which I did not spend with my own mother, which probably gave me an interesting lens on this text. Lily doesn’t know her mother, who died when she was young; she lives with her mother’s parents. She does know that her mother was the first French Canadian Blueberry Queen from their Maine town, a title that she earned three times, a feat that no one since has managed.  Chasing the now blind dog that was her mother’s through the ..read more
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