Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Book Review - Brave Irene

Brave Irene

I love the read-aloud videos on storyline online website, when I heard/saw Al Gore read Brave Irene by William Steig ( I had to buy this book, and I'm glad I got two copies (one for Z and one for the Reading Room).

I love books with strong characters (female characters). These books are loved by Z as well, and we discuss about these books which talk about nice strong girls after reading them. Z created her own story, 'Brave Zoe' after reading this gem.

The story and illustrations by the award winning William Steig (he received the Caldecott Medal for Sylvester and the Magic Pebble), are beautiful. This is another gem by Steig.

The story is about a young little girl Irene, who loves her mom, she will do anything and everything to help her mother.
The relationship Irene and her mother share, the language, Irene, the illustrations and the narrative, I love everything about this one. It is a very simple tale but will definitely touch a cord somewhere in your heart and your little one will love it. I always get a big bear hug from Z when we read this one, can I ask for anything else?

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Book Review - Mirette on the high wire by Emily Arnold McCully

"Mirette on the High Wire" won the 1994 Caldecott Award and I can easily see why. It is such an amazing read, after reading it, Z's reaction was "Mumsy, I want to walk in the air." I picked up this one for The Reading Room and Z borrowed it from there. The book amazes me at many levels, and I get a similar response from my 4.5 year old. 

Being a mum of a little dreamer, I have a huge responsibility of not only letting her dream; but also telling her that when you fall you can get up and become stronger. I love books with intelligent, strong, smart female characters, and Mirette is that and much more. Mirette has so much about herself, but she is also someone with whom little girls will connect with easily.

The story takes place in Paris more than a 100 years ago, Z is obsessed with Eiffel Tower & Paris... I knew she'd love it. Mirette is a little girl who's mum runs a small boardinghouse, and Mirette helps her mum with chores. The boardinghouse is filled with different performing artists, jugglers, actors, mimes, acrobats etc. One day, a famous tightrope walker named Bellini comes to the boardinghouse. All he wants is privacy, Mirette watches him practice in the backyard and she instantly wants to learn Bellini's art. Bellini takes Mirette as his pupil after a lot of convincing from Mirette. Once a great tightrope walker, Bellini is scared now. Will he overcome his fears and walk again??? Well, you'll have to read the book to find out. 

The book teaches us to believe in our-self and it is not preachy at all (that is another thing I love about it).

The illustrations are pleasing to the eye, and they do justice to the amazing story of Mirette & Bellini.

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