Tag Archives: Candlewick Press

Book review: Two Speckled Eggs – by Jennifer K. Mann

 

 

 

 

Book: Two Speckled Eggs
Author/Illustrator: Jennifer K. Mann
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Date: April 22, 2014
Genre: children's picture book; 5-8 yr; K-3
Pages: 32
Price: $14.99
My Rating: a wonderful story about enjoying being oneself

Two Speckled Eggs, written and illustrated by Jennifer K. Mann, is a story to encourage uniqueness, showing it’s okay to not follow the crowd.

Ginger was having a birthday party to which she wanted to invite all the girls in her class at school – all except Lyla. Lyla smelled like old leaves all the time and she didn’t talk much. Ginger thought Lyla was weird. But, Ginger’s mother wisely said to invite Lyla too or she could invite none of them. Ginger invited Lyla, too.

Lyla was the first guest to arrive at the party. — Here’s where you begin really appreciating Jennifer’s illustrations, because you see what Lyla’s interests are and how she sets herself apart. — When all the other girls came they started playing the party games. Ginger soon began feeling disappointed. The other girls didn’t play any of the games right, but kind of took over and did things their own way. When it came time for cake, all the girls, except for Lyla, were fussy and thought they didn’t like it so wouldn’t eat any. They left Ginger and Lyla sitting at the table while they ran off to play. The two girls start to connect when a funny thing happens while they are enjoying cake together.

When Ginger opens her presents later, her favourite one was from Lyla who’d obviously put thought into what she wanted to give her. Ginger discovered that, even though Lyla didn’t care about being like everybody else, she was more fun and a better friend than all the other girls Ginger had thought she wanted to be around.

Two Speckled Eggs by Jennifer K. Mann is a story to which many children can relate. (And adults, too.) The illustrations are adorable and wonderfully expressive in their simplicity. In fact, the reader can appreciate the story just through the illustrations and not miss anything. It’s beautifully done.

Two Speckled Eggsand don’t you love the title? – takes the reader from the hopeful anticipation of a little girl, through her disappointment, and into the realization of a new and unexpected friendship. That friendship shows her it’s not a bad thing to be different.

You can find Two Speckled Eggs by Jennifer K. Mann on my BUY THE BOOK page. I also post my reviews on Goodreads, and when available on Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, and Chapters.Indigo.

Your comments are greatly appreciated by authors, illustrators, and this blogger. ♥

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

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Book Review: I Will Never Get a Star on Mrs. Benson’s Blackboard – by Jennifer K. Mann

 

 

 

 

 

Book: I Will Never Get a Star on Mrs. Benson's Blackboard
Author/illustrator: Jennifer K. Mann
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Date: June 9, 2015
Genre: children's picture book; age 5-8; gr. K-3
Pages: 40
Price: $16.99
My rating: Such a delightful story!

I Will Never Get a Star on Mrs. Benson’s Blackboard, written and illustrated by Jennifer K. Mann, is a sweet story.

Schoolteacher Mrs. Benson gives stars on the blackboard for spelling and math and right answers and neatness. Rose just KNOWS she’ll NEVER get a star because she can’t seem to give the right answers on anything. She likes to doodle, and her desk is always messy, too. Mrs. Benson doesn’t give stars for that.

One day, Mr. Sullivan comes to visit the class and he talks about being an artist. After his visit Rose thinks a lot about what he said, so much that she’s distracted and spills the class snack on Mrs. Benson! How can she ever get a star that way!

When Mrs. Benson announces she’s going to do a desk check for neatness, Rose’s heart sinks, but the next morning she cleans it the best she can. When her teacher gets each student to make a thank-you card for Mr. Sullivan, Rose’s artistic flair is released. What a mess, even worse than before! In fact, Mrs. Benson laughs because not only is Rose’s desk a mess, so is Rose! She is very impressed with the little girl’s artwork, though, and says that Rose is a true artist like Mr. Sullivan.

At the end of the day, Mrs. Benson calls Rose up to the blackboard. The little girl is worried, but then something wonderful happens.

Jennifer K. Mann‘s illustrations are fabulous in I Will Never Get a Star on Mrs. Benson’s Blackboard. I wish I could share a couple of my favourites here for you, but since I can’t you’ll have to read this delightful book for yourself to see them. Jennifer pulls the reader right in with her combination of words and visuals. Her illustrations are uncomplicated and expressive – very enjoyable.

You can find I Will Never Get a Star on Mrs. Benson’s Blackboard by Jennifer K. Mann on my BUY THE BOOK page. I also post my reviews on Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Goodreads, and on Chapters.Indigo if available there.

Your comments for authors and illustrators are greatly appreciated.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

Book Review: Great Falls – by Steve Watkins

Great FallsTitle: Great Falls
Author: Steve Watkins
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Date: April 12, 2016
Genre: young adult (ages 14 & up)
Pages: 256
Price: $17.99 US; $24 CD
My rating: a gripping, realistic story

I received this book from Library Thing in exchange for my honest review.

This seemed a story quite different from what I usually read, and the topic was of interest to me.  It says on the cover “One brother home from war. The other desperate to save him. A river that will change them forever. ” – and it had my attention immediately.  This book  was not a disappointment.

Shane is his older brother’s biggest fan, but Jeremy has done three tours in Iraq and Afghanistan and is not the same as he used to be. He’s troubled, very troubled, and can’t even function around his wife and two very young children. He’s drinking too much and seems to be paranoid and nervous all the time. Jeremy has PTSD and needs help.

Jeremy manages to show up at Shane’s high school football game, but when Shane suffers a concussion resulting in his making a very bad play, Jeremy offers to take him away for a night to escape the humiliation. Shane agrees, hoping it will also be a turning point for Jeremy, that he can convince him to get the help he desperately needs. That’s where the adventure really begins, and things go from bad to worse, with Shane never giving up on his brother. 

Great Falls is a novel that is gripping, raw at times, and that takes the reader on a worthwhile journey. Even though there is some violence and strong language in it, one must remember this realistic story is about a war veteran who suffered horrific things that just won’t leave his mind. Once you start reading you may not want to set it aside until you finish the book. I didn’t, honestly!

You can find Great Falls on my BUY THE BOOK page. 

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂