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scrounge: /skrounj/ informal verb: to actively seek [books] from any available source

I enjoyed (and reviewed) a previous Miyuki book entitled Time for Bed Miyuki. In that story, Miyuki thinks up a bunch of tasks she must accomplish before she'll be able to go to bed, as we experience the whimsical nature of her world.

Here in Patience, Miyuki, she has the opposite approach -- she wants things to happen more quickly than they are. Miyuki waits for a flower to bloom and spring to come, but it's not coming quickly enough, and she decides she must find the purest water to sprinkle the flower with to help it open up. I can relate -- living in New England it seems like it takes forever for the snow to melt after winter.

Once again the Japanese-inspired illustrations complement the fantastical storyline that involves talking rivers, giant plants and animals (or perhaps the humans are simply miniature?), and other "unexplained" elements that help the story feel both fresh and mythical (and a bit like Alice in Wonderland). 

Though the "lesson" of the story is not belabored, we do see in the end that sometimes it is better to simply watch and wait for life to unfold rather than trying to force it.

(Thanks to NetGalley for the review copy.)

Scrounged From: NetGalley

Format: Kindle
Author: Roxane Marie Galliez
Illustrator: Seng Soun Ratanavanh
Pages: 32
Content Advisory: None

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It turns out there are some characteristics that are quite necessary to be a butterfly, as the cute and conversational How to Be a Butterfly details -- but within those key characteristics, butterflies can be all kinds of things -- big, small, plain, flashy, with wings that have smooth or wiggly edges, etc.

This book celebrates the diversity of butterflies, accompanied by many lovely illustrations of their colors and their actions, from flying and drinking nectar, to their unique life cycle. 

(Thanks to NetGalley for the review copy.)

Scrounged From: NetGalley

Format: Kindle
Author: Laura Knowles
Illustrator: Catell Ronca
Pages: 32
Content Advisory: None

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The Brilliant Deep is partially about Ken Nedimyer, the founder of the Coral Restoration Foundation. It tells about his passion for the sea, and the process he used to transplant healthy coral to dying and shrinking reefs in order to help them thrive again.

(When I read this it instantly reminded me of an episode of Reading Rainbow, in which I clearly remember watching scuba divers gluing coral to rocks. I looked it up and that episode featured a different "coral doctor" than this book, but it appears that the idea is the same.)

But this book is also about how one person can make a difference, and how growth and multiplication of a good thing can help turn the tide (no pun intended) of something bad. The stunning artwork blends so many colors together in a way that conjures up what it must feel like to be surrounded by the dazzling and diverse shapes and colors of living coral. Just as the colors meld together to form something amazing, this story can remind us how interconnected all of life is. 

Scrounged From: Our local library

Format: Hardcover
Author: Kate Messner
Illustrator: Matthew Forsythe
Pages: 48
Content Advisory: None

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I love the beautiful, cool-toned artwork in this book -- the mixed-media pictures, the blues and greens and collections of complementary colors decorating plumage -- Birds is lovely.

The beginning part of the book contrasts different kinds of birds -- some migrate, others stay home; some are large, others are small, etc. The second half is a simple celebration of the joy of listening to bird songs and watching them fly. 

This book isn't very wordy and doesn't try to be all "educational" about it -- no actual names of birds are mentioned. There's a place for books like that, but I also appreciate the linking of birds with the imagination, and the affirmation that birds bring something important and intangible to our lives.

(In compliance with FTC guidelines, I disclose that I received this book for free through LibraryThing Early Reviewers. I was not required to write a positive review.)

Scrounged From: LibraryThing giveaway

Format: Hardcover
Author/Illustrator: Carme Lemniscates
Pages: 40
Content Advisory: None

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The Cave is a short but amusing book about a little creature whose eyes are visible from outside of its cave. A hungry wolf waits outside, continually asking the creature when it will come out. The book follows a simple formula, but contains enough mystery that children will probably enjoy it, and even adults will likely find it amusing. And it's short enough to keep repetitive readings from becoming tedious.

I enjoyed the illustrations and appreciated that the book didn't try too hard to be deep or funny -- it sticks to its sparse wording and allows a simple tale to develop about the interplay between these two odd characters and one bigger-than-it-seems cave.

(Thanks to NetGalley for the review copy.)

 

Scrounged From: NetGalley

Format: Kindle
Author/Illustrator: Rob Hodgson
Pages: 32
Content Advisory: A bit of peril

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