Thornton W. Burgess’ The Adventures of Poor Mrs. Quack

Overview: Mrs. Quack is a newcomer to the Smiling Pool. While there, she regales Peter Rabbit and Jerry Muskrat with her harrowing tale, filled with hunters. Afterwards they find that she has a few problems. Where can Mrs. Quack live safely? What happened to Mr. Quack. Will they ever be reunited? Let’s find out.

Story Telling: This is a children’s chapter book.

Dislikes: My only problem is the characterization of the hunters. Most hunters eat their kills. Trophy hunting is a rather recent phenomenon. When you have a limited amount of time for hunting wild game, you get what you can, then preserve it for latter enjoyment.

Likes: There are good messages about marriage and friendships in this book. Peter and Jerry were willing to help Mrs. Quack, even at the risk to themselves.

Favorite Character: It’s Mr. Quack.

Conclusion: This was a rather fun story. Enjoy it with your little forest friends.


William Carlos Williams’ Sour Grapes

Overview: Do you have an hour to spare for a little poetry. Mr. Williams is one of the poets from the early 1900’s. Let’s see what these have going for us.

Story Telling: This is a poetry book.

Likes: These were rather whimsical and fun.

Conclusion: This was a rather light-hearted read. Enjoy the trip with your young ones.

Joseph Conrad and Ford M. Hueffer’s The Nature of a Crime

Overview: Our unnamed protagonist sees that his life is over. What does he do to set his affairs in order? Does he double check the financial records that he is responsible for? Nah, let’s confess to a married woman. What could possibly go wrong.

Story Telling: This is what is called an epistolary novel. It’s a story told through letters.

Dislikes: Oh boy, this guy is a sociopath. What other kind of person crows about cheating, tricking,, or otherwise misusing people?

Likes: For the most part, the story was interesting.

Conclusion: This was an interesting story. Personally, I’d just mail those letters to the police. Enjoy the read.

Auguste Vimar’s Clown The Circus Dog

Overview: Clown is a dog owned by a young girl in Paris, France. A young poodle, he has amassed quite the array of tricks. So what happens when he disappears from home?

Story Telling: This is a child’s novel, or chapter book. Whichever way you prefer to call it.

Dislikes: The dog-thief was horrible.

Likes: The book has a simple list of characters. Of course Clown is the star. His adventures were interesting.

Conclusion: This was a fun story. Introduce your little reader to the rascally poodle.

The Fantasy Fan Magazine Presents: Writings of Clark Ashton Smith

Overview: We’ve heard of many gothic mysteries, horror, and fantasies of the late nineteenth century. How in the world did we miss the works of Mr. Smith? Perhaps this collection can help introduce his style.

Story Telling: This is quite the collection. We have high fantasy tales, horror stories, nonfiction, and even an essay.

Dislikes: Some of the horror tales were gruesome.

Likes: I appreciate Mr. Smith’s essay on Mr. M.R. James. Also the high fantasy tales were quite fun.

Conclusion: What a shame that Mr. Smith is overshadowed by Mr. Poe. This was a fun book. Enjoy the collection if you are looking for something different.

Clinton Scollard’s Lyrics and Legends of Christmas-Tide

Overview: Sure, we’ve just passed the Christmas Season. However, is there ever a bad time to get into the Spirit? And when you have a collection of poems, can it be any easier to enjoy the Season?

Story Telling: This is a collection of poems. All of them were written around the turn of the twentieth century.

Likes: The poems are festive. Many of them are fun, and more than a few are quite religious.

Favorite Poem: Neil Macdonald.

Conclusion: This was a fun book. With forty-four poems, you have more than enough to spread the joy out across the season. Enjoy the poetry with your family.

Carole P. Roman’s Henrietta Hedgehog’s Prickly Problem

I received this book courtesy of Mrs. Roman for the purpose of a fair an honest review.

Overview: Henrietta loves school. It’s just too uncomfortable to be a hedgehog. Her class-mates don’t see those quills as a positive attribute. How will she handle this situation?

Story Telling: This is a picture book, designed for the late kindergarten aged children.

Likes: The illustrations are whimsical. And the prose is simplistic for most fans of the picture book.

Conclusion: This is a cute story. Enjoy it with your little forest friend.

Henry Beston’s The Firelight Fairy Book

Overview: What do you do when you’ve read all the lighter fairy tales, along with watching all of Disney’s movies? Well, Mr. Beston has one solution that doesn’t go to the darker fairy tales. This anthology of fairy tales seems designed for those fans who’ve run out of stories.

Story Telling: This is a collection of fairy tales. Granted they are of the tamer, more modern variety.

Likes: This book has several fun stories. My personal favorite would be “The Marvelous Dog and the Wonderful Cat.”

Conclusion: This was a fun little book. Enjoy the special foreword. And enchant your little royal family members.

Eoghan Egan’s Hiding In Plain Sight: The Ganestown Trilogy

I received this book courtesy of City Stone Publishing for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Overview: A small town in Ireland is suffering under the pangs of a deep recession. The last thing the town needs is a monster lurking in its midst. But what other explanation is there for the women, young mothers, that keep disappearing? Add to that, the face that Charlie’s friend is missing a valuable painting. What will Ganestown do with this situation.

Story Telling: This is a mystery, however it doesn’t fall into the modern mystery. Simply because many modern mysteries seem to be police procedurals. The cozy mystery genre doesn’t fit either, as this is a bit more intense. So let’s just call it a township mystery.

Dislikes: We spent a disturbing amount of time in the killer’s mind. This, of course, is a matter of personal taste. I’m sure many others won’t have a problem with this part.

And then we have Eilish. Let’s just say that my patience for such selfishness is…limited.

Likes: While we did spend a lot of time with the killer, we were left in the dark about the killer’s identity.

Hugh was an honorable man. He made the book for me. We could use more men like him in the world.

And thankfully we get the Irish-English dictionary before the story starts. That makes things easier.

Favorite Scene: That would be the rescue run. It was fun.

Conclusion: This was fun. Pick it up if the cozy genre has gotten too stale for your tastes.

Tova Janine Opatrny’s Professor Pincushion’s Beginner’s Guide to Sewing: Garment-Making for Nervous Newbies

I received this book courtesy of Professor Pincushion, for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Overview: With sites like Youtube, Facebook, Instagram, and others, costuming and other forms of garment-making have flooded the vaults of inspiration. For the intrepid beginner, that leaves a question. Where does one begin? Well, Professor Pincushion has the answer.

Story Telling: This is an educational project book.

Dislikes: My only problem is the book is so short.

Likes: There are several tips decorated for easy identification. The patterns are explained in such a way that many should be able to follow them.

Mrs. Opatrny seems to use humor to illustrate some of her points as well.

Conclusion: This is a perfect book for the new sewing participant as well as a good reminder for the novice. Pick it up for your educational library.