Saturday, April 12, 2008

Only Child

Only Child: Writers on the Singular Joys and Solitary Sorrows of Growing Up Solo, edited by Deborah Siegel and Daphne Uviller is a collection of essays by writers who also happen to be only children. But this is a book that will appeal to anyone interested in stories of real life - sometimes hilarious, sometimes poignant, sometimes moving, this book is enjoyable no matter your sibling status.

There are 20 stories, which chronicle the adventures of being an Only from childhood into adulthood, depicting life as only those have lived it can do. Each story is unique, each captivating.

On, 25 of 26 readers have given this book a full 5 stars - and the 26th went with 4 stars. That's pretty high praise, if you ask me. The weather is warming up at last - I'd choose this one as a pool-side or vacation book for summer reading. Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Cute lil' Knut

As the subtitle says, Knut is the story of How one little polar bear captivated the World. And so it is. Amazon gives a good summary of the story:
When Knut was born, the first polar bear cub at the Berlin Zoo in more than thirty years, he was no bigger than a snowball and unable to care for himself. His mother, a rescued East German circus bear, didn't know how to take care of Knut and rejected him. Knut would have died if it weren't for Thomas Dorflein, a zookeeper who nurtured Knut, feeding him, sleeping with him, and giving him the love and attention Knut needed to thrive. But Thomas wasn't the only one who adopted Knut. The adorable little polar bear captured the world's attention, and now Knut is loved around the globe.
My first impression wasn't too positive. The edition I have looks a good 15 years old, though the book was written just this past year. But my son loves the book. He's too young to get into what really is a fascinating story of a young polar bear cub, but he can't get enough of the pictures. He can even say "Knut!"

So, this book is a hit. Cute lil' Knut...though he's probably big enough to scare me away by now. :)

Sunday, April 6, 2008

The Cake Thief

The Cake Thief, a new children's book by Sally Lee, is a fun and uncomplicated story of a boy named Clarence who has a bad habit of stealing cakes. In the story, his community surprises him by showing grace, and he learns not only to make friends, but to make his own cakes!

As simple as the story is, I found myself saying "that's a lesson I could stand to learn myself." Ok, I've never even been tempted to steal a cake, but it does often seem that we go to great lengths to find a short cut - when just learning to do things the right way may have taken much less effort.

This is the lesson of The Cake Thief. Its not complicated or destined to be a classic, but I liked it. And the illustrations? They're yummy enough to eat. Besides telling a good story, Sally Lee has created some enchanting illustrations. Check it out for yourself!