Friday, June 15, 2018

Mini Reviews [7]

Magic Words: From the Ancient Oral Tradition
of the Inuit by Edward Field (Translator) and 
Mike Blanc (Illustrator)
Synopsis (via Goodreads): Magic Words: From the Ancient Oral Tradition of the Inuit is a modern translation (1965) of a very old Inuit creation story by nationally known poet Edward Field. As a poem it captures beautifully the intimate relationship this Arctic people have with their natural world.

Magic Words describes a world where humans and animals share bodies and languages, where the world of the imagination mixes easily with the physical. It began as a story that told how the Inuit people came to be and became a legend passed from generation to generation. In translation it grew from myth to poem. The text comes from expedition notes recorded by Danish explorer Knud Rasmussen in 1921. Edward Field got a copy from the Harvard Library and translated it into English.


𑁋

I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

This is a beautiful children's book! My four-year-old was fascinated by the idea of people turning into animals and vice versa. He started talking about the different animals he would want to morph into, and I loved the conversations that followed. Some of the illustrations, which were breathtaking and utterly captivating, showed what appeared to be animal-human hybrids. A human face with deer legs and a fish tail, for example. 

Magic Words also emphasizes how important words are, and that saying them can have unforeseen consequences. Words have the potential to be powerful, and people should be careful how they use them. 


Tiny Fox and Great Boar: There
by Berenika Kolomycka
Synopsis (via Goodreads): Tiny Fox lives alone beneath his apple tree in the distant hills. He is a happy little animal, busy looking after himself and his foxy things. Then one day, a Great Boar appears and moves in under the apple tree, bringing with him a time of change and adventure. Is Tiny Fox ready? 
𑁋

I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

I thought the illustrations for this one were really interesting! Some of the original sketch marks are still included, so you can see how a few of the pictures evolved and were created over time. It also gives the appearance of movement, which is awesome all on its own.

As for the story, it was good. I think the author shows the importance of friendship, and that being alone can be hard. A single friend has the power to change all of that, but you have to be willing to compromise and make adjustments.

I wish there had been more of a story, but Fox and Boar have very limited conversations over the course of a few seasons. As an adult, I could see what their problems were and how they likely needed to deal with them, but I'm not sure it's something a child would easily grasp. My son was more focused on the things they were doing, and not the things being left unsaid. He may have been a smidge too young for this comic-like book, but he did enjoy it overall.

The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires
Synopsis (via Goodreads): Award-winning author and illustrator Ashley Spires has created a charming picture book about an unnamed girl and her very best friend, who happens to be a dog. The girl has a wonderful idea. She is going to make the most MAGNIFICENT thing! She knows just how it will look. She knows just how it will work. All she has to do is make it, and she makes things all the time. Easy-peasy!? But making her magnificent thing is anything but easy, and the girl tries and fails, repeatedly. Eventually, the girl gets really, really mad. She is so mad, in fact, that she quits. But after her dog convinces her to take a walk, she comes back to her project with renewed enthusiasm and manages to get it just right.

𑁋

I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

This is definitely a book we will be adding to our shelves! I loved the main character's tenacity and creativity. She's dedicated and incredibly focused on perfecting her idea. As the reader, we have no idea what she's trying to make, only that she tries again and again to make her project match what's in her head. As she gets increasingly frustrated, she starts to lose patience with her creations and pays less attention to what she's doing.  

In the end, her dog saves the day. He sees her frustration and offers a simple solution to help her refocus on what she was trying to accomplish. They made the perfect team, and I really enjoyed watching their story play out. I had no idea what she was trying to make at first, but the end result was absolutely perfect

This book would be great for teaching children to remain calm when they get frustrated, and how getting angry and upset only makes things worse. The Most Magnificent Thing shows readers how taking a step back can offer a different perspective and allow things to be viewed as a whole.

17 comments:

  1. These all look so cute. I especially like the look and sound The Most Magnificent Thing. Good message and I love the artwork! Makes me wish My nephews and niece were still young enough to enjoy these. :)
    Tanya @ Girl Plus Books

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I didn't realize how much I missed children's books until I had kids. I love reading to them and watching as they follow along with the story. They enjoy listening to the stories and looking at the pictures--so fun for me to share with them! I know I'm going to miss it when they no longer want to read children's books, but then we get to move on to MG, right? I know it won't be the same, and not I'm sad thinking about my kids getting older, haha.

      Delete
    2. My favorite gift to give at baby showers is a stack of children's books. It's never too early to start reading to your kids. I read all of the Harry Potter books out loud when I was pregnant with my first, and then some of my other favorites while I was pregnant with the twins.

      We're the relatives that give books as gifts during the holidays. We try to find something we think everyone will like, but not everyone enjoys reading like we do.

      Delete
    3. I love giving books as gifts. I have a tradition of giving my mom and sisters books every Christmas. I pick one of my favorites of the year (that I think they'll enjoy). Sometimes it's the same one for all, sometime different. But I've always thought books were such a wonderful gift.

      Delete
    4. I love it! I bought a ton of copies of Jenn Bennett's Starry Eyes to give away as gifts throughout the year. I loved it THAT much, haha.

      Delete
  2. ash read tiny fox and great boar and loved it too. The other two look so cute. I will need to put them on Finns reading list.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope Finn enjoys them! We live really close to a library, so we go a few times every week. They let you check out 50 physical books at a time, so we come home with quite a few! Did you read Tiny Fox and the Great Boar with Finn? I didn't like it as much as my son did, because I thought the story could have had more oomph. It touches on some awesome topics like loneliness, friendship, compromise and trying new things, and I think those could have been expanded on a little more. I wish they'd had more conversation between the two.

      Delete
  3. Those all look good. I've been getting more books for my grandson so you gave me some more choices.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yay! I'm happy I could help! We love finding new books to read and add to our shelves at home.

      Delete
  4. Awww they look so cute :D i can't wait to read more like this

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 2/3 isn't too bad! I've already ordered The Most Magnificent thing. <3

      Delete
  5. Replies
    1. It was adorable and had a great message! And there's a dog, so YES.

      Delete
  6. I love the sound of the Inuit one, but they all look cute and like good reads!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The illustrations are gorgeous! I loved this version of creation and how people and animals were connected from the very beginning. It was an interesting concept conveyed in a lovely way.

      Delete
  7. I had The Most Magnificent Thing from Netgalley, too, and I adored it. I will be looking for the other two at my library. They look wonderful. The cover art on all three draws me in. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. πŸ“š

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was such a great book! I loved that her dog was there to help her focus and view things differently. A walk was all she needed! <3

      Delete

Comments are like buttons on a shirt, you don't want to miss one! Please check the "notify me" box at the bottom so you don't miss my response.