Showing posts with label fiction book. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fiction book. Show all posts

Friday, April 28, 2017

Stellaluna (Fruit Bat) Children's Book Reviewed

Stellaluna Children's Book Reviewed
If you ask my daughter what her favorite childhood book was, she would quickly answer, Stellaluna.  She loved that bat!  Actually, she still feels an affection toward the book and her Stellaluna plush bat. 

Based on a child's opinion, this is one of the best books in her library.  If I had to guess, I would say she felt genuine heartbreak for the little bat who was separated from her mother after an owl attack, and extreme joy when they were reunited. 

As an adult and parent, I rate the book as the best because of the writing style and real animal facts woven throughout the story.   Children are being entranced by the fiction story as well as educated about fruit bats.  Personally, I like all bats, but I think the choice of a fruit bat is perfect for a child's story.  After all, fruit bats eat fruit! 

The illustrations in this book are fabulous!  They are accurate depictions of a bats body features and give the bat a gentle, endearing face.  If you have ever looked at a fruit bats face, you would find they have rather cute furry faces in reality.  Bats are the only mammals that can fly.  Except for the wings, they look like other mammals.  As a matter of fact, they are called flying foxes because they facially resemble a fox.
 


Stellaluna - Recommended Children's Book

Stellaluna Children's Book Reviewed
Scanned photo of one of the Illustrations in the Book
Stellaluna is a baby bat who hasn't even learned to fly yet.  Her mother carries her with her when she is flying.  One night, Stellaluna and her mother are attacked by an owl.  Stellaluna is knocked from her mothers grasp.  As Stellaluna is falling to the ground, she snatches hold of a tree branch and cries out to her mother, but her mother doesn't answer.  When she can no longer hold on, she slips and falls further and lands in a bird's nest full of baby birds.  

Because Stellaluna is starving, she finally opts to open her mouth, close her eyes and accept the disgusting live lunch the mother bird is feeding her babies.  Stellaluna has to learn to live like a bird in order to survive, but she still sleeps hanging upside down.  Her adopted siblings are intrigued and want to hang upside down too.  The mother bird returns and reprimands the babies, saying they will fall and break their necks.  As the babies return to the safety of the nest, the momma bird refuses Stellaluna admittance unless she promises to behave and stop being a bad influence on her baby birds.

The birds and baby bat grow up together, eat together, and learn to fly together.  Landing gracefully like the birds proves to be impossible for poor Stellaluna.  Their differences are once again obvious and embarrassing for Stellaluna.

There is more to this fabulous story, including how Stellaluna is reunited with her mother, but I will let you discover the rest of the story for yourself.


My Opinion of Stellaluna

 StellalunaThere are several reasons why I would recommend this book for children.  I have already mentioned the educational value and the exceptionally entertaining writing style of the author.  But, I would also like to point out the real life lessons about how we can all learn to live and love others in spite of our differences.  How we can learn to survive even when we are out of our element.  Children won't recognize those lessons as they read the book, but they may well recall the lessons taught when they encounter challenges at school or later in life.

Not only are the differences between bird and bats evident when reading the fiction story, there are "Bat Notes" at the back of the book that share real facts about bats.  A wonderful addition to help children learn fact from fiction.

This book is loved by both girls and boys.  Our son also lists Stellaluna as one of his favorite childhood books.  How do I know?  He walked by while I was writing this review and said, "that is a great book!"


 Stellaluna Plush Bat

Stellaluna Plush Toy Animal

In 1994, the Stellaluna plush was available to purchase with the book.  Our daughter has the plush Stellaluna.  They are no longer produced and can only be purchased from secondary markets like Amazon.com or Ebay where they are pretty expensive.

However, a child will not recognize the difference in the original Stellaluna plush and a fruit bat plush.  I recommend choosing one that resembles Stellaluna and allow you child to enjoy having a little fruit bat of their own.  

 



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Stellaluna Children's Book Review Written by:
House of Sylvestermouse





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Friday, June 3, 2016

Book Review of The Hawk and The Eagle - A Gripping Plot

http://www.reviewthisreviews.com/2016/06/the-hawk-and-eagle-macpherson-brides.html
I recently read and reviewed the first book of the series, MacPherson Brides.  I loved The Rose and the Thorn and could hardly wait to read the next books in the series.  The second book, The Scar and The Star, was a good book, but I am going to skip reviewing it and move right on to the third book of the series.

The Hawk and The Eagle had a very unique plot which is always the best reason to review and recommend a book.  You would know by this selected genre to expect a budding romance.   We all expect trials of some sort to develop in the plot and we anticipate the couple ending up together in the end.  What we don't know when we first pick up a book is whether or not the plot will seem believable or if we will like the characters. 

In a series of books, we have often been previously introduced to the characters.  That was the case with Nia and Adam.  Adam Lone Eagle is Thorn's best friend and the tracker who helped Thorn when needed.  Nia is Thorn's sister and it was alluded to in the first book that Nia was in love with Adam so it came as no surprise that their relationship was the foundation for one of the books in the series.  What was a huge surprise was that Nia married someone else.


Synopsis of "The Hawk and The Eagle"


 The Hawk and The Eagle (MacPherson Brides Book 3)Adam was an accepted part of the MacPherson clan.  He was considered a member of the family instead of just Thorn's friend.  As a matter of fact, Thorn MacPherson was more like a brother to him.   Adam had known for several years that he would marry Thorn's sister Nia once she turned 21.  He had already built a house for them that required only the finishing touches.   His business partner, Clay, and Clay's wife, Caitlin, lived in a house on the same property.  They could easily see each other's homes across the yard that separated them.  Caitlin was also Nia's cousin, which is one of the reasons Adam chose Clay as a business partner.  Clay kept the books, while Adam handled the horses.  When Adam was called away on business, he fully expected to return and marry Nia.  Their lives only had to follow the plan, but we all know plans can be interrupted by life.

Caitlin and Clay already had one son, Sam, and Caitlin is close to the delivery date of their second child when she falls and goes into labor.  When Caitlin realizes she is dying, she pleas for a promise from Nia that she will care for her children.  With Clay lying in the next room very close to death himself, Nia doesn't hesitate to make the promise.   She loves Caitlin, Sam and her newly born niece, Lily.

Shortly after Caitlin's death, Nia is called into Clay's room where he begs her to marry him and adopt the children immediately so they are assured a protected life.  That is a difficult decision for Nia.  She loves Adam, but she and the family are certain that Clay is dying.  Acting quickly is a necessity.  She agrees and marries Clay.  This is were life interrupts Nia's plans because Clay does not die.

When Adam returns home, he is devastated to find Nia married to Clay, plus he has to watch from a close distance as his fiance struggles to make her marriage work for the sake of the children. 


My Conclusion & Recommendation  

The Hawk and the Eagle is another excellent book written by Mischelle Creager that takes a close look at a Christian life that is far from perfect.  Just as I said in my review for the first book in this series, the author does not paint a fantastical life around her characters.  She digs much deeper and allows her characters to be human and to make mistakes.  In this particular book, I also appreciate the illustration of how other lives can be drastically impacted by those mistakes, even if the mistakes were made based on good intentions.  This is something we all need to be reminded of on occasion. 


The Hawk and The Eagle (MacPherson Brides) Book Review & Recommendation Written by:
House of Sylvestermouse




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Friday, May 20, 2016

The Rose and The Thorn (MacPherson Brides) Book Review

The Rose and The Thorn Book Review
I was initially drawn to this book because of the title, The Rose and The Thorn.  I was not familiar with the author, but decided to give the book a chance.   After all, I needed a new book to read and the title piqued my interest.  Since it was in the romantic Christian fiction category, I felt pretty safe. 

As it turns out, I am really glad I took a chance and read this book!  I finished reading it last night and immediately downloaded the next two books from the series.  I never want to be without a book and finding a series I enjoy is always exciting! 

It turns out that the book title was a play on the main characters names, Sarah Rose Greer and Thornton MacPherson.  Unlike many of the Christian fiction books I read, this book delved into some really painful experiences including rape and spousal abuse.   As a rule, I prefer books to be more lighthearted.   I have oft said there is enough sin and pain in the real world, I don't want it in my entertainment.  But, this book was more insightful about the impact of those actions on the victims.  In my opinion, the author struck just the right balance.  Nothing got too graphic to handle and the victims weren't wimpy, whinny little creatures.   They were strong women with real issues that they confronted.


Synopsis of "The Rose and The Thorn"


The book takes place in the 1800's when women were not considered equal to men.  It was also a time of arranged marriages, or at least marriages that were established based on social and economic background.  Marriages that were beneficial to families and not founded on love were much more commonplace.  Such was the marriage that was forced upon Sarah.  

 The Rose and The Thorn (MacPherson Brides Book 1)At 16, Sarah's parents died.  She and her little brother moved in with her wealthy grandfather who immediately made marital arrangements for Sarah with an older man who was deemed a good business partner for her grandfather.  Against her wishes, she married a stranger who turned out to be a real monster behind closed doors.  The inescapable marriage lasted 13 years.  After her husband was murdered by the mother of one of his rape victims, Sarah, her brother and the child she adopted, moved away from her grandfather and Boston.   As the named heir to her husbands wealth, Sarah was able to purchase a home for her little family and start a new life in the small, but growing, mining town of Central City.

Unfortunately, her brother still worked for their grandfather.  Not because he wanted to, but because it was his "duty" to expand their business into Central City.  Even though he was out of his grandfathers home, he was still controlled by him through his grandfather's manager, Stanley.  

Stanley had plans himself for the new wealthy widow.  He knew that if he married Sarah, he would not only control her money, but he would have equal standing with her grandfather, not just his employee.  His scheming backfired on him though and Sarah ended up being forced to marry Thornton, but this time it was a decision she made to protect her reputation and her adopted daughters future.  However, Thornton was just as much a stranger to her as her first husband had been when they "walked the aisle".

The analogy of the rose and the thorn became obvious almost immediately after Mr. and Mrs. MacPherson were united.  Both Sarah and Thornton had survived their previous spouses, but they still struggled with issues from their past.  Those experiences tainted and affected their relationship.   



Conclusion 


As I have previously stated, Christian fiction is my preferred genre, but I am often annoyed by how an author will present life as being easy for Christians.  They want readers to accept that God is going to make everything wonderful in their lives and that everyone will live happily ever after.  Since Christianity is not a fairy tale, neither is the life of a Christian.

I appreciated the fact that this author, Mischelle Creager, did not paint a fantastical life around her characters.  As a reader, I may not want to be bludgeoned with horror and gore, but I also don't wish to be assaulted with stupidity and completely unbelievable characters.  For the most part, this book was realistic without being too real.



The Rose and The Thorn (MacPherson Brides) Book Review & Recommendation Written by:
House of Sylvestermouse




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