Saturday, August 4, 2018

Mini Reviews [12]

Watermelon Madness by Taghreed Najjar,
Maya Fidawi (Illustrator), Michelle Hartman &
 Tameem Hartman (Translators) 
Synopsis (via Goodreads): Noura only wants to eat watermelon, until the night she sneaks a watermelon into her room and dreams of having all the watermelon she could ever want. 

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I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own. Any quotes I use are from an unpublished copy and may not reflect the finished product.

I thought this book had a very James and the Giant Peach vibe, but that feeling didn't last very long. Noura was rude and extremely ill-tempered. She yelled at her mother with no consequence, and I thought her behavior should have at least been addressed.

At the end the mother tells her daughter that they will discuss the "magical watermelon" the next day, but then the story ends. Why tell the readers your going to talk about Noura's dream, if you're not going to?

The story was an okay read for me, and my son enjoyed it because of the watermelon theme (he's obsessed with them). I just feel like the story could have been more that what it was (a few more explanations, Noura being told that her behavior was unkind, etc.).


Fish-Boy by Vanita Oelschlager, 
Mike Blanc (Illustrator)
Synopsis (via Goodreads): The Arctic region of North America is a land of long days, icy cold, hardy people and peculiar creatures. The Inuit people there have made traditional use of remarkable folk tales to find truth and explain the mysteries of an astonishing world.

In Fish-Boy, An Inuit Folk Tale, Vanita Oelschlager retells a tale passed down by a wise old Inuit. It's an origin story involving a little magic and a very odd boy with a large heart for friendship. On a journey with his new father, he must confront misfortune and the malice of cold hearted villagers. But he has a way.. and a lesson for all in the virtues of kindness and hospitality.

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I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own. Any quotes I use are from an unpublished copy and may not reflect the finished product.

I really enjoyed this one! It was a little more in-depth than some of the others we've been reading, but my son didn't mind. I had to explain a few things that went over his head (like why this boy wanted a stranger to be his father), and he was happy to go along with it. 

The illustrations were beautiful and the story was fascinating. Fish-Boy is a story within a story, and I liked how they used an elaborate tale to explain why so many birds flocked to an island. They turned a simple question into a life lesson.

12 comments:

  1. Thanks for the mini reviews. I hadn't heard of these.

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    1. We really enjoyed Fish-Boy! Watermelon madness was appealing, but failed to address important issues within the story.

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  2. Fish Boy looks really adorable, I love the illustrations, so sweet and that there's plenty of discussion points you can have with your little ones. Watermelon Madness sounds more like a guide for demanding and naughty children. There needs to be a learning curve for behaviour and it's disappointing that isn't the case. It's made me really hungry now though. Wonderful reviews Linds ♡♡♡

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    1. I wish Watermelon Madness had felt like a guide... instead I was left feeling like all those issues were left unaddressed. There were opportunities for discussions about behavior and actions, but they were neglected. The author instead focuses on the food aspect of the story instead of the deeper issues. It also bugged me that they never talked about what the child experienced. I'm always hungry for Watermelon! <3

      Fish-Boy was beautiful and enchanting. I agree that there were plenty of discussion points, and the story alone was wonderful.

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  3. Just the name Watermelon Madness makes me think of my little brother, Lol.

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    1. Does he like watermelon? My son wants watermelon everything!

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    1. It's strange because he doesn't have any arms, and his feet come out of his tail... ;)

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  5. How said that her behavior wasn't addressed or at least a clear lesson given. Fish Boy sounds like a good one. Great reviews, I am always on the lookout for new books for the Royals.

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    1. I would recommend giving Fish-Boy a try! The illustrations are gorgeous, and the story within the story was entertaining and educational.

      Watermelon Madness had the potential to be more, but the child's behavior wasn't addressed and the ending was weird. I thought we would learn more about her dream/reality, but it just ends with her eating a normal breakfast.

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  6. Fish Boy looks like an interesting read.

    I read Watermelon Madness also, and had similar feelings of disappointment. It's unfortunate, because I feel the story had potential, it just didn't live up to it.

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    1. I felt the same way! I think if the child's temper and selfish behavior had been addressed and improved on, the story would have felt more solid and satisfying. Unfortunately, no one ever tells her that her behavior is wrong/unkind and she continues to do whatever she wants. There wasn't a lesson learned or an idea achieved... it was just a girl that ate watermelon and had a bad dream (which was also never addressed). I wanted a lot more than I was given.

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