From the Family Bookshelf

 

It’s time again–actually, this is past due–for From the Family Bookshelf–the weekly (so far, so good) column talking about the books we’re reading, have read or want to read. There’s Mom (me), Dad (slowest reader in the world), the Lil Diva (reluctant reader extraordinaire), and the Lil Princess (bookworm in training).

I’ll let Dad go first this time, but that’s because I’m going to pick on him. Yes, he is still reading the thriller, Prayers for the Assassin , by Robert Ferrigno. Can you imagine how big my TBR pile would be if I read as slow as he does?

As for me, I’ve lucked out and hit a really good patch in the reading cycle.  Not many books that I haven’t thoroughly enjoyed. Since last time, I’ve read:

The Way I See It: A Look Back at My Life on Little House a memoir by Melissa Anderson. Anderson played the character of Mary Ingalls on the classic 70’s family show, Little House on the Prairie

Jack’s Dreams Come to Life by Sara Jackson (children’s picture book)

The Raindrop by Brian McClure (children’s picture book)

Mr. Vinegar and the Frozen Sea by Chris Wardle (middle grade/tween chap book)

The Soggy Town of Hilltop by Kevin McNamee (children’s picture book)

My Dog Tim and Other Stories by Garasamo Maccagnone (literary story collection)

The Elf of Luxembourg: An Alex and Jackie Adventure by Tom Weston (YA fantasy)

Faith & Finances: A Journey to Financial Dependence by various authors

Some of these reviews have been posted here: Jack’s Dreams Come to Life, The Raindrop, Mr. Vinegar and the Frozen Sea, and The Soggy Town of Hilltop.  Tom Weston’s book will be reviewed here on Friday. My review of Melissa Anderson’s book appears at Laura’s Little Houses, my Laura Ingalls Wilder  blog. The other books will be reviewed at The Book Connection.

I just started reading the novel Conflicts with Interest by Michael Ruddy. I’m also reading The Three Dimensions of Character by Larry Brooks.

Wow! I take a up a lot of space. Now onto the girls.

The Lil Diva is still in Justin Bieber heaven, but she is managing to get some other reading done. She just finished Junie B. Jones Loves Handsome Warren (RH Books for Young Readers) by Barbara Park. There are few books I can get her to read without an argument. Junie B. Jones books fall in that category.

The Lil Princess has read a few books this week. Now that she’s beginning to recognize more words she wants to read to me at night instead of the other way around. Two books I remember from this week are The Silly Scarecrow by Danielle Denega. This is a Clifford Puppy Days book from Scholastic geared toward kids in K – 2.

Her other popular book of the week is What Do Smurfs Do All Day? by Peyo. This book is part of the Dr. Seuss Beginning Readers Collection.  I’m sure it belonged to my son, who watched Smurfs, as did my sister and I when we were younger. My sister had the Smurf village toys that were popular when the cartoon first came out.  The Cartoon Network was airing reruns of Smurfs for a while and my girls really liked the show.  A great show, like a great book, never goes out of style.

Until next time, keep reading!



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The Soggy Town of Hilltop by Kevin McNamee

The High Council of Hilltop passed rules on everything. One day, they decide the people in their little hamlet should drink from the top of their heads. The people are confused, but of course, they obey. Then one day, a boy from the South asked them, “Hey, why don’t you drink with your mouth?”  Not knowing the answer, the people go to the High Council to find out, which leads to the entire town learning something new.

The Soggy Town of Hilltop is a funny, rhyming story by Kevin McNamee. Having read McNamee’s The Sister Exchange and If I Could Be Anything, I was eager to read his latest book. The author has a great knack for turning something seemingly ridiculous into an engaging story for youngsters. In The Sister Exchange it was a young girl who wanted to trade her sister in at The Sister Exchange. In this latest book, the rulers of Hilltop are bored and decide to make up a silly new rule for the people to follow.

What I really like about The Soggy Town of Hilltop is that McNamee spells out the lesson in the end for readers. There isn’t any second guessing as to what the point is. Like one of Aesop’s fables, the moral of the story is in plain sight.

The illustrations in this one are equally funny and beautiful. Eugene Ruble does such an excellent job of bringing a story to life with his artwork. From the freckles on the boy from the South’s cheeks to the pointy nose and evil eyes of one of the High Council members, and from the mountain peaks to the dirt road running through town, the details Ruble adds make the pictures jump off the pages.

I will definitely be on the lookout for more books by Kevin McNamee!

Rating:  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Publisher: Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc
  • ISBN-10: 1616330414
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616330415
  • SRP:  $10.95


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