Friday, January 3, 2014

Just One Year Audio Book --A quick and dirty review

So, for those of you not in the know, Just One Year by Gayle Forman overlaps with the events of her previous title, Just One Day (which I always struggled with the name of, because while must of the focus is on one day, a lot of the story was about the following year as well).

So, this book was kind of a do-over, title-wise.  And instead of following Lulu, this novel shows Willem's perspective on the events of Just One Day, beginning with the moment that he disappeared from Lulu's life after their momentous day together and then following his year-long search for Lulu and resolutions of his familial conflicts.

*Vague Spoiler*  The plot lacked tension for much of the story because, if the reader had picked up the companion book, then he or she knew that most of Willem's initial search wouldn't turn up Lulu.  The story did pick up speed, but I still found the ending to be dissatisfying because Lulu makes a choice to bring the story to a resolution.  Willem's a bit passive in the final exchange.  And since one of the main tensions of the book is whether or nor he will be more assertive over his choices, this ending left a lot to be desired.  *End vague spoiler*

Daniel May, the reader for the audio book, did an excellent job!  The various accents he had to take on throughout the story were done very well!

So, pick it up if you feel like a light romance that will take you around the world.  But be sure to have read Just One Day first!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

REVIEW: Bink & Gollie: Two for One (A light tale of friendship)

Yay, first post of 2014!  Happy new year, few but dear readers!  May your year be filled with many enjoyable books, but no paper cuts!

One of my resolutions for the year is to try and focus more on my writing.  I may try to post about my progress on my blog to help keep myself accountable.  Another goal will be to post more about what I have been reading.  And with that goal in mind, here's my first review of the year...

DiCamillo, K., & McGhee, A.  (2012).  Bink & Gollie:  Two for One.  Somerville, MA:  Candlewick Press.

80 pages.

Appetizer:  Bink and Gollie decide to tackle the state fair.  But there's a chance the fair may not be ready for the two friends.  In three short episodic chapters, Bink attempts to win the world's largest donut, Gollie appears in a talent show, and they both visit a fortune teller.  At the heart of all three stories is a sense of friendship and love and support.

I loved the first Bink and Gollie book and I actually think I enjoyed Two for One even more.  Set on an ordinary day and in relatable experiences, the illustrations and word choices and humor and delight to the story.  I giggled in surprise when Bink's first ball toss didn't hit its intended mark:

The illustrations are in black and white with a accents of color.  (I know that as a wee child, I would have wanted photocopied pages to color in the rest of the scenes.)  They include a lot of signs and cues that an adult can point out to kids to help them read both the written text and the images.  A teacher could emphasize some of the vocabulary and idioms (like fearing "this can only end in tragedy" or "in a manner of speaking."

I also love the different characterizations of Bink and Gollie (and this would be a good book to start a discussion of characterization or foils with young kids).  From their size differences, clothes and language choices, and attitudes they're easy to contrast.

Dinner Conversation:

Tasty Rating:  !!!!


Related Posts with Thumbnails