Julie Bettendorf’s Anthony Ant Goes to Egypt-Anthony Ant 2

I received this book courtesy of Ms. Bettendorf for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Overview: Anthony Ant has squirreled himself away in a suitcase. Next stop: sunny, dry Egypt. What will he learn on this trip?

Story Telling: This is a cute way to show early readers some of what Egypt is known for.

Likes: It was clever of Ms. Bettendorf to use Babu to act like a tour guide for Anthony.

Favorite Character: There really isn’t a choice here. You have Anthony and Babu, and Anthony is the only one you learn much about.

Favorite Quote: Would this be considered too snarky? “All Babu and I could say is “Wow!””

Conclusion: This is a good addition for your child’s library. It’s cute, and just might teach you something new. Take the trip with your child.

Ben Zachheim’s The Camelot Kids-Book 1

I received this book for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Overview: Simon Sharp is in a bit of a bind. His parents are known to have died in a plane crash. Unknown to most is the fact that Mr. and Mrs. Sharp were looking for the legendary Camelot. So like any normal adolescent, Simon figures that King Arthur killed his parents. Fast forward a couple of years, and we find Simon being shipped to his Uncle Victor’s in Scotland. Now he just has to be kidnapped by a troll (who knew) and he’ll see the…um…Camelot, that his parents were searching for. Turns out that he is the heir of Lancelot. What other surprises could there be?

Story Telling: Epic fantasies like this one are hard to deal with. It can be too easy to overload the story in such a case. This one also held a lot of Arthurian legend.

Likes: The idea that the legends of Camelot still live on into the modern world is interesting. Simon was pretty well portrayed. His confusion was emphasized in such a way as to show his potential for both good and bad decisions.

Dislikes: Here’s the deal. Seeing the children of the Knights of the Round Table sounded like a great idea, but did we have to get into reincarnation? Simon didn’t seem to have any support whatsoever. Between the bullies, his uncle, and the idiot in charge of the orphanage (okay, Children’s Home), Simon doesn’t really have a chance to be true to himself or anyone else for that matter. Then he finds out about his ties to Lancelot, and he is thrown into another mold. Let’s not even get to his dad’s fate. Also, I do believe that we will be getting a love triangle in this series.

Favorite Character: I guess it would be Maille Rose.

Favorite Quote: To illustrate my point about Maille: “Can we figure out what to do next?”

Favorite Scene: I did like it when Gwen started to use her healing skills.

Conclusion: This is an interesting idea for a story. I just didn’t care for it. Mainly I had too many problems with the way that the premise was worked out.

Kathy Johnson’s Christmas Lily-Starlette Universe 4

I received this book courtesy of Ms. Johnson for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Overview: Let’s meet Lily. She’s going to take your children through the 25 days of Christmas.

Story Telling: This book is loaded with illustrations, puns, and plays on words, designed to help your children with the meaning of Christmas.

Likes: I do like the fact that Jesus held a high place in this book.

Dislikes: It may just be me, but I didn’t get the point of the puns. Wordplay games can be fun, these just didn’t seem the same as I have ever played before. A few of them were little more that charity advertisements.

Conclusion: This didn’t seem to be a very fun book. The puns and words used for the wordplay just didn’t make sense to me.

Letters in the Mail?

I’ve been getting many comments along the lines of selling a letter to those willing to pay. Here’s the thing. I don’t sell anything off of this site. I don’t sell anything on the internet period. If you have paid for letters, or even heard of them being sent, it isn’t by me.

This blog is for my: reviews, commentaries, writing observations–and if I ever get one to look right–patterns.

Please watch out, if it sounds too good to be true, chances are that it is. Oh, and I do not go by the name Mr. Elliot. I’m not qualified to be a Mr. anything. Nor is my name Anne.

Ray Bradbury’s Stories-The Rocket

Now it’s time for another story from the Bradbury anthology. This one is called “The Rocket.”

Overview: Fiorello Bodoni has a dream. He wants either himself or his children to ride in a rocket. His neighbor thinks that Bodoni should just forget about it and leave the rockets and the dreams to the rich. One fateful buy gives Bodoni a marvelous idea.

Likes: This science-fiction tale had a terrific idea. Are dreams really just for those with money? I personally agree with Bodoni’s sentiment as well as that of Mr. Bradbury.

Conclusion: This was a beautiful tale. Never let your dreams die. Perhaps it can make your day better.

Melinda Leigh’s Hour of Need-Scarlet Falls 1

I received this book for a fair and honest review.

Overview: Major Grant Barrett is heading home from Afghanistan due to trouble on the home front. His brother and his brother’s wife have been killed in an attempted robbery. At least that’s what it looks like to the police. Grant isn’t too certain about that. Especially after the babysitting neighbor and his niece and nephew are targeted. The killer has to be taken down. Maybe Ellie, the babysitter’s mother, will give him a hand.

Story Telling: This is branded as a mystery/romance. Or would that be a romantic mystery? It doesn’t really matter. Suffice to say that there’s a crime to be solved and sex to be had.

Likes: Even though it was a painful situation, at least the remaining Barrett siblings came together to comfort the children and handle the situation.

Dislikes: Well, this should be a list. As bad as Autumn and Regan were, Mrs. Hamilton’s ‘never say quit’ attitude hurt Lindsey more that the bullying did. Victor was a dangerous person. But what bothered me were the injuries. Grant gets a scrape that bleeds into his eye, and the medic fixes the temple? Lee lives after his brains are severed from his body long enough to see Kate die? Don’t all involuntary movements, like breathing, quit then? These just don’t make any sense. Then, we had the sex thinking…from everyone. It was just too much. Plus, one can only hope that the CPS official here was an exaggeration, but with the news today, who knows.

Favorite Character: This is a tough one, but I think I would go with Nan for the most part. She was willing to help Ellie, regardless of how she felt about an unwed mother.

Favorite Quote: This part will definitely tie into the next section. In the words of Julie: “I like him, even if he did get me and Taylor in trouble.”

Favorite Scene: And how did Grant get Taylor and Julie in trouble? He busted them sneaking out. Scared the tar out of them too.

Conclusion: If you like romances with a little mystery, then this book is for you. In my opinion, the romance (sex) could have been easily dropped. I hope you enjoy it. (It was the sex and the magical head-wounds that did it in for me.)

Ray Bradbury’s Stories-The Whole Town is Sleeping

How’s this for a Christmas gift? 100 short stories from the master of the short story himself, Mr. Ray Bradbury.

Now I am not crazy. There is no way that I am going to write a 10-20 page review for this book. That would be rushing and where’s the fun in that?

So We are going one at a time. Let’s get started with “The Whole Town is Sleeping.”

Overview: Do you remember my review for “At Midnight, in the Month of June”? Well, this is that same story but from Lavina’s point of view. Lavinia and her friends find another victim of a serial Killer. They should be alright, shouldn’t they?

Likes: This is much better than “At Midnight, in the Month of June.” Lavinia is an interesting girl, though a little too headstrong for me.

Conclusion: Let this be a warning to all of those who believe that they are invincible. This was fun, until you remember what happens to Lavinia.

Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child’s Blue Labyrinth-Pendergast 14

Overview: Special Agent Pendergast is recovering from the events of “White Fire.” While waiting for their dinner, Constance and Pendergast hear a knock on the door. Surprise! It’s Alban. Just not in the sense that Pendergast ever expected. What purpose would Alban’s death serve? Where has he been for the past eighteen months? How did a piece of turquoise show up in Alban’s stomach? And how does the Pendergast Legacy tie in to all of this?

Story Telling: There was a smooth transition between Alban’s murder, and D’Agosta’s case. We also get to see what has happened to Margo since her run-in with Diogenes.

Likes: Mr. Preston and Mr. Child handled Pendergast’s slide toward debilitating madness well. We get to learn more of what Constance’s life with Dr. Enoch Leng was like. Alban’s life was something that will surprise most long-time readers of Pendergast.

Dislikes: John Barbeaux was a piece of work. Perhaps someone should have given him a dictionary with the words ‘revenge’ and ‘justice’ highlighted. And Slade had a problem with his ego as well.

Favorite Character: Now I can’t pick one of the usual characters. Or else you would see Pendergast here. But, I guess you can see that anyway. Alban Pendergast’s repentance and redemption gained him this position.

Favorite Quote: Tristram an explain why Alban reached the favorite character status. “Yes. He said that he was going to…right a wrong. Undo some terrible thing he himself had put into motion.”

Favorite Scene: The best part of this book was when Pendergast was coming alive again and said goodbye to Alban.

Conclusion: This is a pretty good addition to the Pendergast series. Now, it’s time to let Pendergast become his ghostly self again. He’s more intriguing that way.

When I Grow Up I Want To Be…a Veterinarian!

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

Overview: Sophia wants a pet so bad. Her mother just keeps saying no. However, one day a stray cat comes by. Now Mom isn’t making any promises, but this cat needs a vet.

Story Telling: Like with “…in the U.S. Army,” this book adds specialized information blocks throughout the book.

Likes: Sophia is a rather determined girl. Probably one that is more like her mother than she realizes. Even Mom and the rest of the family was portrayed in a good light.

Dislikes: Now here’s the deal. I know that pets are rapidly heading toward the position of religion and politics. It has become rather polarizing as of late. The advice in this book is severely slanted in one direction. We are to aim for the middle road. For example: There is a section in the educational boxes on pet care, in particular the idea of spaying your pet. Now, I agree that you don’t let your unfixed dog or cat run free, especially when they are in season. But this does not mean that you are an irresponsible owner if you want a litter or two from your pets. And please, don’t tell children that they need to have an emergency pet fund. This just seems to be a way of making pet ownership more of a social status issue. Also why did we have to have so much Spanish being spoken? And without a translation in sight, I had to guess on what those phrases meant.

Favorite Character: Once again, Dad wins the prize.

Favorite Quote: Here’s a good one. “You keep feeding that cat, and she’s never going to leave.” Mom.

Favorite Scene: It was nice finding out what was wrong with the cat.

Conclusion: Even though over half of the book was dedicated to the visit to the vet, more emphasis was placed on pet care. Knowing how to take care of your pets is good and all, but how does this convince a child to be a veterinarian?

Tro Rex and Eyona Bella’s Littlest Lovecraft presents: The Dunwich Horror

I received this book for a fair and honest review.

Overview: The town of Dunwich has a problem in the Whateleys. The young child, Wilbur, seems to have a strange aging rate. Not only that, but the animals, especially dogs, have a distaste for him. What is going on here.

Story Telling: What a cute way to introduce others to the works of H.P. Lovecraft. Ms. Rex and Ms. Bella have made “The Dunwich Horror” easy for children around nine-years-old to understand, and they don’t–as far as I know–destroy the original story.

Likes: The illustrations were amazing. While the story was simple, I could easily feel for the townsfolk.

Dislikes: I didn’t care much for the language used for the spells of the ‘Necronomicon.’ They were impossible for me to read out loud.

Favorite Character: My opinion is that Armitage was a brave man. He was willing to do the best that he could to help the villagers out.

Favorite Quote: This is what made me like Armitage. “As summertime came to an end he despaired, For terrors now lurked in the Miskatonic vale.”

Favorite Scene: The best part was when Armitage, Morgan, and Rice went on their stakeout.

Conclusion: I enjoyed this story. It was fun, and may be a little bit spooky. Take your child into consideration first. This one made my library.