Book Reviews: The Famous Five #1-2

Five on a Treasure Island by Enid Blyton

Five on a Treasure Island (Famous Five, #1)
by Enid Blyton, Eileen A. Soper (Illustrator)

3.5 stars
Three siblings go to visit their cousin and explore a small island just off the coast. One day a storm uncovers a wrecked ship that had been sunk generations ago. The storm throws the sunken ship up onto the rocks of the island. The children explore the wreck and discover a treasure map for gold ingots that are hidden in the ruins of the island.

It took me half the book to realize that the fifth person of the “Famous Five” is actually the dog. I kept waiting for another character to show up in the story, wondering where the mysterious fifth person was going to come in. Haha! I was a bit disappointed that it’s only the dog.

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Book Review: That Boy Johnny!

That Boy Johnny! by Evelyn Ray Sickels

That Boy Johnny!
by Evelyn Ray Sickels, Jean Martinez (Illustrator)

5 out of 5 stars

Johnny’s grandmother sews a new pair of pants for him, and hangs them up on the line to dry. But the wind is so strong that it blows the pants away, and Johnny is terribly disappointed. Johnny and his sisters get into mischief on the farm and have little adventures, until one day the peddler comes to the farm with a surprise.

I love this book so much! I read it over and over when I was a little girl. Johnny is so mischievous and full of energy. I love all the characters, from the delightful grandmother to the littlest sister. Their grandmother tells them stories about the days of the Civil War when her mother quilted a Liberty Quilt. Johnny’s father remembers the shenanigans he got into when he was a boy, and realizes how he and Johnny are so similar.

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Book Review: The Little Bookroom

The Little Bookroom by Eleanor Farjeon

The Little Bookroom
by Eleanor Farjeon, Edward Ardizzone (Illustrator)

5 out of 5 stars

This charming collection of short stories includes elements from fairy tales, from Victorian England, and even from WWII. The settings are just as varied, sometimes in England, sometimes in a fairy land, sometimes in Italy or Ireland. There are magical giants, kings, and dragons, and sometimes just a donkey, a parlormaid, or a plain peach tree. The fantastical and the ordinary are blended so beautifully in each story.

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Book Review: Knock Three Times!

Knock Three Times! by Marion St. John Webb

Knock Three Times!
by Marion St. John Webb
5 out of 5 stars
Molly and her brother Jack encounter a strange magical Grey Pumpkin, and they follow it into another realm. They embark on a quest to find the elusive Black Leaf and defeat the evil Grey Pumpkin. There are many dangers along the way. Molly and Jack are not sure who to trust, but the kindly Old Nancy gives them some enchanted matches to help guide them.

I always love rereading this favorite children’s classic. The story is so exciting, and full of twists and turns. The world building is full of magic and enchantment. I love all the crazy characters that Molly and Jack meet on their travels. Every person is so memorable and different.
The writing style is excellent, and there is such a great balance of funny and serious scenes. The adventure is full of suspense, but there are some really hilarious parts too.
I always enjoy rereading this book over and over again! It’s such a delight!

Classic Review: Wind in the Willows

The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

The Wind in the Willows
by Kenneth GrahameGrahame Baker-Smith (Illustrations)
5 out of 5 stars
I adore this book! It is one of my favorite classics to reread. There is something so enchanting about Mole and Rat, Toad and Badger, and all the animal folk. Every time I read it, I am swept away into the exciting world of the River.

When I received this beautiful Templar edition in the mail, I literally started crying because the book is so beautiful. The cloth-bound green cover perfectly captures the peaceful mood of a breezy day boating on the River. I love the gorgeous gold foiling on the cover. It’s so tactile! I want to run my fingers over it, feeling the embossed edges of the ripples in the water, but I don’t want to mess it up by handling it too much.

And the inside is just as gorgeous! The endpapers are a pretty green with patterns of willow branches. Every couple of pages throughout the story, there is another delightful illustration bringing the story to life.

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Book Review: Heidi’s Children

Heidi's Children by Charles Tritten

Heidi’s Children (Heidi sequel, #3)
by Charles TrittenPelagie Doane (Illustrator)
3 out of 5 stars

Heidi is pregnant with her first child. Heidi and Peter have the village schoolteacher boarding with them, and the teacher asks if her little sister can come and stay with them and attend the school. The child, Marta, is so unhappy at her own home, and she blossoms under the love and affection that Heidi gives her. But will Marta get along with Heidi’s grandfather? The old Alm-Uncle is still hiding secrets about his past that might change the family forever.

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Book Review: Bambi

Bambi by Felix Salten

by Felix Salten
4 out of 5 stars

Bambi is born in a peaceful thicket, and he explores the meadow with his mother. He makes friends with the woodland creatures, and meets two other fawns, Feline and Gobo.

As Bambi grows up, he learns that there is danger in the forest, and the human hunters are a constant terror. Bambi witnesses a young buck killed by a mysterious thunder, and hears the buck’s screams as the humans deliver the final death blow with a knife.

Bambi’s own family is threatened, and Bambi sees other creatures meet death when a duck is eaten by a fox, and later that same fox is killed by hunting dogs.

Bambi meets his own father, the Prince of the forest, and learns wisdom from him. Bambi learns how to elude the human hunters. Bambi grows up and falls in love and has children of his own. There is always the danger of the hunt like a shadow over Bambi’s life, but somehow life goes on.

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1900-1950 Readathon TBR and Recs

1900-1950 Readathon Katie at Books and Things:
Agatha Christie 2021 Challenge:
Emily of New Moon Trilogy Review:
C.S. Lewis Space Trilogy Readalong:

Books Mentioned:
1984 by George Orwell:
That Hideous Strength by CS Lewis:
The Mystery of the Blue Train by Agatha Christie:
Aunt Jane’s Nieces by L. Frank Baum: (FREE for Kindle)

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Classic Children’s Book Review: Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm

Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm by Kate Douglas Wiggin

Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm
by Kate Douglas Wiggin
4 out of 5 stars
Rebecca leaves her home at Sunnybrook Farm to move in with her two aunts, Miranda and Jane. With many little brothers and sisters at home with her mother, Rebecca hopes to get a good education and be able to support the family someday. But Aunt Miranda is terribly strict, and Rebecca must find consolation with her more compassionate Aunt Jane.

I have always loved this sweet story about a smart girl growing up in the middle of nowhere. Rebecca has imagination and cleverness far beyond anyone else in her little country town. But she learns to appreciate the kindness and neighborliness of the people around her.

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