A Bookaholic, Pro-life, Pro-Family, Pro-Oxford Comma, Catholic (with Asperger's) who reads and writes as her obsession. I've been reading over 400 books a year lately. These are my ramblings on some of the books I read. To read about all the books I read and comment on, visit me at LibraryThing or Goodreads.

I've been blogging since 2007 and at this point (July 2015) am trying my hand at turning the theme of this blog towards mystery, thriller, and crime, fiction and nonfiction. I have some special interest topics and categories within this broad genre which include (but are not limited to) serial killers, scandi-crime, Victorian history and historicals, history of the criminally insane and asylums, psychopathology, death, funerary practices and burial, corpses, true crime and anything dealing with the real life macabre, or that portrayed in fiction.

I also read a short story a day from various collections, sometimes anthologies othertimes collections of a single author's work. These reviews are also posted here and while they are of mixed genre the mystery, thriller, horror, gothic and macabre often appear within their pages as well.

I also blog about
graphic novels and manga on a separate BLOG.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Three Classic I Can Read Books by Bulla, Selsam & Hopkins

371. Daniel's Duck by Clyde Robert Bulla. Pictures by Joan Sandin
I Can Read Book, Level 3

Rating: (5/5)

(US) - (Canada) - (UK)

1979, HarperCollins, 64 pgs

Age: (7+)

"Daniel is hurt when others laugh at his wood carving, until he learns that giving people pleasure takes a very special gift. ‘Good, warm feelings result from reading this gentle tale set in rural Tennessee during pioneer days.'"

Purchased a new copy from an online retailer.

Clyde Robert Bulla is one of my absolute favourite authors for beginning readers.  He manages to tell well-developed emotional stories while using a limited, simple vocabulary.  Daniel's Duck is one of his later books and he still was writing at the same level of excellence.  Set in the frontier days, a very simple quiet story of the long nights at home during the winter and the looking forward to the spring fair.  Art is a common theme in many of Bulla's books and here the focus is on the almost lost art of woodcarving.  The story concentrates on patience, believing in yourself against all odds and the value of a gift over a profit.  Joan Sandin is a prolific illustrator and her illustrations are beautiful, reminiscent of the style of the greats from the '50s and '60s she evokes the time period with ease using a very simple colour palette.  One of the best books in this series, especially when looking for historical titles.  This one is a keeper on my shelves.

374. Surprises: poems selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins. Illustrated by Megan Lloyd.
I Can Read Book, Level 3

Rating: (3/5)

(US) - (Canada) - (UK)

1984, HarperCollins, 64 pgs

Age: (7+)

"These thirty-eight poems offer beginning readers a chance to try some verse. With drawings that pack a lot of action, a friendly book that will connect with everyday lives and lend a little music along the way."

Purchased a new copy from an online retailer.

An unassuming collection of easy to read poetry for early readers.  Simple, short, rhyming poems sorted into sections such as pets, vehicles, weather, etc.  A variety of mostly known poets such as X.J. Kennedy, Aileen Fisher, Carl Sandburg and Dorothy Aldis are collected.  The book doesn't have a table of contents but makes up for that with an index of authors and titles.  I found the illustrations to be lacklustre but otherwise a decent book of poems that suffices as an easy reader.

376. Greg's Microscope by Millicent E. Selsam. Pictures by Arnold Lobel
I Can Read Book, Level 3

Rating: (4/5)

(US) - (Canada

1963, HarperCollins, 64 pgs

Age: (7+)

"Greg makes fascinating discoveries about things he finds at home when he looks at them through his new microscope."

Purchased a new copy from an online retailer.

This classic reader has been around since the sixties and pairs two frequent contributors to this series, Selsam who specialized in science books and the unequaled author/illustrator Arnold Lobel.  Originally this book and a slew of others were in a sub-series called "An I Can Read Science Book"; most of these being by Millicent as well.  As you can imagine most of those are outdated and no longer in print, however "Greg's Microscope" is a treasure in that it remains relevant fifties years after publication.  Selsam gives us a lovely story of a boy who asks his dad for a microscope because his best  friend has one.  Over the next week or so Greg, along with his mother, father and the occasional visit from Billy, discover the microscopic world.  The science is kept to a basic level about cells and the illustrations show the views from the microscope.  A charming, fun story that educates.  A keeper for my collection.

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