Project Wonderful

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Shannon's Review - The Secret Life Of Squirrels: A Love Story by Nancy Rose



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Title: The Secret Life Of Squirrels: A Love Story
Series: The Secret Life Of Squirrels
Author: Nancy Rose
Genre: Childrens, Picture Book, Valentine’s Day
Publisher: Little Brown Books For Young Readers
Received: Borrowed
Release Date: December 2016
Pages: 32
Rating:
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Author Nancy Rose’s Official Websites:

Website

Blog
N/A

Facebook


Twitter



Shannon’s Thoughts:

This picture book is part of a series called The Secret Life Of Squirrels. This edition Mr. Peanuts has found love.  He takes his new love to bookstores, restaurants and, of course, the park.

I read this one around Valentine’s Day, which it is perfect for.  It is filled with very cute pictures of real squirrels in made up sets reenacting a couple dating.

Now the pictures are cute and so is the story. For me, I have to say it’s too cute. Like overwhelming sweet, which is why I took some stars away.  Don’t get me wrong I love squirrels they are adorable but the story gives me heartburn.

I am sure that children will love this book and not be overwhelmed by the sweetness. I am interested in checking out the previous books to see if I feel differently about them.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Shannon's Review - Rowan's Ruin by Mike Carey




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Title: Rowan’s Ruin
Series: N/A
Author: Mike Carey
Genre: Graphic Novel, Fantasy,
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Received: Borrowed
Release Date: December 2016
Pages: 112
Rating:

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Mike Carey’s Official Websites:

Website


Blog
N/A


Facebook


Twitter




Shannon’s Thoughts:

Our heroine Katie is looking for a place to relax and somewhere new to rejuvenate herself.  She finds a young woman in England is looking to house swap.  Katie soon finds the home she has found herself in has hidden skeletons. Spirits began to show themselves to Katie. Whether they are there to help or to hurt is something she must figure out and hopefully not too late.

There is a mixture of realism and mysticism which makes this graphic novel thrilling to read. The main character, Katie, finds out things about herself that she thought was bad but is just really a part of herself others don’t understand.  For example she is empathic and a medium of sorts as she sees ghosts.  When in previously in her life when mysterious things would happen her family made her take a trip to a psychiatrist who would then put in her on medication.

The story ends with sadness but also with hope as Katie learns that she is a strong woman with special abilities that can help herself and others once she learns to use those abilities.  I had hoped that there was going to be a series after this graphic novel.  I really liked Katie’s and the characters around her. The story moved quickly and was exciting.  I wanted more and I am sad to say that as of now Rowan’s Ruin is a stand alone.  

Author Mike Carey is known more for writing other comics like Lucifer, Neverwhere,
Unwritten and some X-men. Rowan’s Ruin is a hidden gem with art that may not be spectacular but fitting for the story.  

Friday, August 11, 2017

Five Fun Facts - Gregory Maguire




Five Fun Facts

About Author


Gregory Maguire
Best known for the book Wicked, which the musical by same name is based on.
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(photo borrowed from gregorymaguire.com)


  1. Fellow author Alice Hoffman gave him a Wicked Witch of the West puppet.
  2. His father and 3 brothers are also writers. His mother a poet.
  3. As a child and teen he was not allowed to listen to pop music or watch much tv.
  4. When he first wrote Wicked he thought it would be a stand alone book.
  5. He is the middle child of seven siblings.







Thursday, August 10, 2017

Shannon's Review - She Persisted by Chelsea Clinton



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Title: She Persisted
Series: N/A
Author: Chelsea Clinton
Genre: Children's, Picture book, Non-Fiction
Publisher: Philomel Books
Received: Borrowed
Release Date: May 2017
Pages: 32
Rating:
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Author’s Official Websites:

Chelsea Clinton’s Official Site
N/A

Blog
N/A

Facebook

Twitter

Shannon’s Thoughts:

Daughter of former U.S. president Bill Clinton, Chelsea Clinton brings a picture book about 13 women who are a part of U.S. history and are the reason women and men have many things to feel blessed for.

I knew many of the women in this book, some just by name and others I had never heard. Each woman is given two pages, with wonderful art and a short but sweet description of each womans’ contribution to the world.

The writings for each lady is as I said short and makes me itch for more about them.  I can only hope that children get the same feeling and want to read more about these wonderful people.

Written by a very smart woman and mother this book is a great add to bring knowledge of people we should always remember.

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Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Shannon's Review - Scarlet Witch Vol. 2 : World Of Witchcraft




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Title: Scarlet Witch Vol. 2: World Of Witchcraft
Series: Scarlet Witch
Author: James Robinson
Genre: Graphic Novel, Marvel
Publisher: Marvel
Received: Bought
Release Date: January 2017
Pages: 112
Rating:

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James Robinson’s Official Websites:

Website
N/A

Blog
N/A

Facebook
N/A

Twitter
https://twitter.com/jamesdrobinson



Shannon’s Thoughts:

The second installment into the current story of The Scarlet Witch aka Wanda Maximoff. Wanda is still searching for reasons for why magic is broken.  Her search takes her to France and it’s local superhero.

Although the art changes throughout each book in the graphic novel it does not really take away from the story. The most emotional story in this volume is the conversation between Wanda and her brother Pietro aka Quicksilver. I loved their interaction with each other.

What does break the flow of the story is how much time seems to have passed between each book.  In fact the last story in volume 2 kinda threw me because Wanda is not in it but we read about a character she met in the second to last story.

For someone like me who has not read any of the previous story arc of Marvel, like Civil War or House of M.  I feel I am missing some important story lines but it doesn’t stop me from enjoying this series. It only makes we want to go back and read the previous tales.



Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Shannon's Review - I Am Jim Henson by Brad Meltzer



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Title: I Am Jim Henson
Author: Brad Meltzer
Series: Ordinary People Change The World:
Publisher: Dial Books
Received: Borrowed
Release Date: January 2017
Pages: 40
Rating:

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Author Brad Meltzer’s Official Websites:


Website

Blog
N/A

Facebook


Twitter


Shannon’s Thoughts:


A small biography for kids about one of the most inventive people to have existed, Jim Henson. Henson was creator to puppets he called muppets and a show they frequented called Sesame Street.  

Kids are introduced to the kind and wondrous mind of Jim Henson.  We see how he came with the idea of muppets, including his first muppet Kermit The Frog.  He went to create movies that are family friendly and make shows that teach children to read, count, be imaginative and dream big.  Those movies and tv shows are still just as good as the day they were made.

The art is fun and cute.  Throughout the whole book Jim Henson is drawn with his trademark beard and long hair even when we see him as a child.  I think it’s a book Henson would found humorous and worthy of praise.

This book and the others in the series are a great introduction into biography of many influential minds of the world.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Mumbling Monday - Reading About People You Know IRL

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    (image of my actual high school’s sign: credit unknown)


Reading about people or places you actually have known is different than reading about those you do not know.  For one if you are reading a book about your high school drama teacher and the plays he directed you try not to analyze too harshly as you read. You never know who is going to read your review.  I try not to be harsh in my reviews anyway.  I try to give constructive criticism to any review I do.  
As I am reading Drama High by Michael Sokolove some negative feelings from high school do come up but most of that has nothing to do with what I am reading in the book. Just a reminder of the dork I was.

I took drama teacher Lou Volpe’s class twice.  Once in while I was in 8th grade in the summer and the second time in high school my senior year.  The last class probably a good reason I ended up with my husband as he was in that class.   The three years I was in high school I was involved with the musicals we did each year.   I helped paint the set for Once On This Island.  I was in the chorus of Jesus Christ Superstar.  I did make-up for Into The Woods.

So the thing is talking about a book that is about my high school brings up memories. Some of those memories not so great. I mean not many people do have great memories about school. I have had to put the book down many times because my mind keeps drifting to high school and it’s making it hard for me to fall into the book.  I am sure I have had this with other books.

Have you ever started reading a book that reminded you of past memories that you wish to forget?  Or the opposite, memories that make you feel good?