Familius Picture Book Reviews

The Boy Who Loved the Moon by Rino Alaimo

The Boy Who Loved the Moon
by Rino Alaimo
4 out of 5 stars

A young boy falls in love with the Moon and tries to win her heart by offering her lavish gifts. He slays the dragon and travels down into the deepest ocean, but the Moon is unimpressed. Finally the boy finds one thing that will touch the Moon’s heart and win her love.

This book is so imaginative! The plot is like a dream and it doesn’t quite make sense. The magic is mysterious and strange. You never quite know what is going to happen, but if you can just let the enchantment wash over you and accept whatever wild things come along, you will enjoy it.

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Book Review: Bobbsey Twins Own Little Railroad

The Bobbsey Twins' Own Little Railroad by Laura Lee Hope

The Bobbsey Twins’ Own Little Railroad
by Laura Lee Hope
4 out of 5 stars

A friend of the Bobbsey’s is moving and gives the twins a little train engine just big enough to pull a car that seats five or six people. The twins have fun setting up the tracks, putting water in the boiler, starting up the fire, and getting the steam engine running. They go whizzing around the track, and Bert learns how to operate the engine all by himself. But their fun is short lived when part of the train tracks are stolen! Can the Bobbsey twins solve the mystery of the missing tracks and find the thief?

I loved this simple story and all the fun adventures that the Bobbsey twins have! The plot is interesting and really kept my attention. There is something so charming about these books that takes me back to my childhood.

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Book Review: Danny the Champion of the World

Danny the Champion of the World by Roald Dahl

Danny the Champion of the World
by Roald DahlQuentin Blake (Illustrator)
5 out of 5 stars

Danny and his father have a close relationship. They live in a caravan behind their gas station and car mechanic garage. Danny learns to be the youngest mechanic in history. One night he discovers that his father is keeping a delightful secret, and he needs Danny’s help.

This is my favorite Dahl book! The connection between father and son is so precious! I love the way that Danny describes his father and their simple life together living in their little caravan. Danny is such a clever and intelligent little boy with a good heart.

There is something so charming about Dahl’s writing style. Every time I read one of his books, I am swept away into a world of enchantment and hilarity. There are so many funny scenes in this book! I always laugh so hard each time I reread it.

Book Review: Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O'Brien

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH (Rats of NIMH, #1)
by Robert C. O’Brien
5 out of 5 stars
Mrs. Frisby’s son is sick in bed, and cannot be moved. But the farmer is coming to plow up the field where they live as soon as the frost has left the ground. Mrs. Frisby goes to the rats to ask for help, and discovers the secret past of the rats of NIMH.

I just love this book more and more every time I read it. It’s so interesting to find out about the rats and how they live and their past history. The whole world-building of the society of all the animals who live around the farm and in the woods is fascinating. I love stories about mice because they are so little. Who doesn’t love a good under-dog story?

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Mystery Review: Peril at End House

Peril at End House by Agatha Christie

Peril at End House (Hercule Poirot, #8)
by Agatha Christie
5 out of 5 stars

Hercule Poirot begins to investigate the murderous attempts on the life of Nick Buckley, a pretty young lady living at End House by the seaside. A heavy picture falls, the brakes in her car are cut, a bullet makes a hole in her hat, but she miraculously escapes death each time. All around her are family and friends with a possible motive to kill her, but only Hercule Poirot can unravel the clues to find the truth.

I loved this mystery! So many twists and turns in the plot. I had no idea until the very end who could possibly be the killer. I was completely fooled. Every clue comes together perfectly at the end. Each character is hiding a secret, and it was so interesting to gradually discover their backstories, and speculate about who is lying and who is telling the truth.

I adore Poirot and Hastings. They are such a great team, and I love their merry friendship. The dialogue between them is priceless! I really love the mysteries that are told from Hastings point of view. He’s such a great narrator and sidekick for Poirot.

Activity Book Reviews: Paint By Sticker: Outer Space, A Book About Mom, Summer Brain Quest: Pre-K & K

Paint by Sticker Kids by Workman Publishing

Paint by Sticker Kids: Outer Space: Create 10 Pictures One Sticker at a Time! Includes Glow-in-the-Dark Stickers
by Workman Publishing
5 out of 5 stars
This activity book has 10 beautiful designs, and hundreds of stickers in little mosaic shapes! It’s so easy to put the stickers into place, and the finished product looks wonderful. It’s very relaxing and helped me to get creative. You really feel a sense of accomplishment when you finish!

There are information boxes with facts about different planets, rockets, and comets. There is an astronaut, a moon, an observatory with a massive telescope, and even a Mars rover.

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Sci-Fi Review: War of the Realms: Conquests and Consequences

War of the Realms by Lee Watts, Th. D.

War of the Realms: Conquests & Consequences
by Lee Watts, Th. D.
3.5 out of 5 stars
SYNOPSIS:
Alexander is the heir to the throne of Theera-Enty. After a failed assassination attempt, he is stranded on a remote jungle planet while the kingdom is thrown into chaos. But it isn’t only human-kind who are working against him. The legendary Guardians must protect Alexander by battling against demonic beings who whisper evil into the minds of men. A pirate captain is caught in the middle of the war, a group of castaways look for rescue, an old priest preaches for repentance, and the governments of different planets vie for power.

This book has an epic scope as the people of Theera-Enty begin a fight against oppression, and Alexander struggles to understand a prophecy regarding the throne. A mysterious key might lead to a treasure beyond imagining but no one can unravel its secrets.

PLOT/ACTION:
This plot is full of so much action and twists and betrayals and big reveals! It really kept my interest through every chapter. There is a big space battle at the end of the book that amazed me from start to finish. Usually I am bored by fight scenes, but this was presented like a puzzle to be solved. How are they going to survive? What tricks and tactics can they use to overpower the enemy? It was fascinating, and full of emotional moments as characters had to face their worst fears and find the courage to keep going.

THEMES:
There are deep themes about faith, spiritual warfare, friendship, courage, the nature of truth, and the proper roles of government and education. These powerful messages are so smoothly woven into the story that it never feels too preachy. It makes the story really meaningful. I especially appreciated the spiritual themes and the clear messages about God’s love and forgiveness through Christ.

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