As I’ve mentioned before, books have always been a love of mine. I still own an original copy of All Kinds of Cats by Arnold Shapiro. It’s a lovely pop-up book I received from my 1st grade teacher. The inscription says, “To Vicki – Congratulations for reading 50 books! I am proud of your reading efforts! Love, Mrs. Drake” and it’s dated 1/4/79. I distinctly remember being told by my 7th grade English teacher (Mr. Knowlton…I think?) that it wasn’t necessary to do a book report on every single book I read. Apparently I had passed the required quota for the year by leaps and bounds. Boredom and a slight case of depression will do that to a pre-teen girl.

While I have a lovely list of “someday” books to read as well as 6 or 7 books I’m currently trying to get through these days, it’s just not been easy for me to find the time to absorb a good read and be able to put my thoughts down about it.

But it’s not as though I haven’t been reading at all. In fact I get through many books in my time with the boys. They just happen to be mostly hardback books in really large font with lots of colorful pictures and easy words. You know, a “light read.”

So it is without further ado that I introduce the first 2 book reviews on this blog. Both came from our local library.

The Tooth Fairy Meets El Ratón PérezThe Tooth Fairy Meets El Ratón Pérez
by René Colato Laínez

I’ve been making a conscious effort recently to incorporate books that give not just a glimpse into another culture but that actually provide a learning experience to both D and myself. This book fits the bill for just that.

Not only is the book a delightful read because of the writing and the story itself, but it also goes beyond the usual one-word foreign language replacement (I’m sure there’s a better way to state that!) and instead it gives the reader (and listener) entire sentences in Spanish.

This book was always D’s first choice at the end of the night. And the more I read it out loud, the more “theatric” I got. I love it when that happens.

The final pages of the book give the history of El Ratón Pérez in Latin America, along with the Spanish words and phrases used alongside their English meanings.

I highly recommend this colorful tale.

clip_image002Sometimes It’s Turkey, Sometimes It’s Feathers
by Lorna Balian

I’m not exactly sure why both D and I were drawn to this book so much. The version I got from our library looked to be original, from 1975. It even had the old library card holder on the first page – I love those. The graphics weren’t nearly as bright. And the wording was even faded so I missed reading an entire paragraph the first time around.

But the more I read it, the more I became surprised that I still couldn’t figure out what the author’s intent was. Did the old woman in the story intend to eat the turkey the following year or did she really enjoy the turkey’s company at the Thanksgiving table so much that she hoped he’d stick around for next year’s feast?

Either way, the story was fun to read and I recommend it during the holiday season.