Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Book Review: 'Hero of the Empire' by Candice Millard

✰✰✰✰½ Leader. Power. Strength. And Optimism. These are all words associated with one of the world’s greatest leaders of all time, Winston Churchill. However, there was a time when words to describe him might have included: Arrogant. Conceited. Entitled. And spoiled rich kid.

When Churchill was just 24, he was completely convinced that he was destined to become the Prime Minister of England. But, no one else thought so. Although Churchill lost his first election by a landslide, he was not one to give up. He knew that in order to achieve his lofty goal, he must excel on the battlefield.

As a war correspondent, Churchill arrived in South Africa in 1899 to cover the Boer War. Only 2 weeks later, he was captured and held as a prisoner of warWhile others simply accepted their fate, Churchill dreamed of freedom, and he pulled off a daring escape. All ALONE with just 4 slabs of chocolate, his wits, and lots of luck, Churchill crossed hundreds of miles of enemy territory to freedom.

Along the way Winston Churchill evolved from privileged, conceited youth to respected world leader. How was this possible? In the words of Winston Churchill, “Attitude is a little thing that makes a BIG difference.”

The Bottom Line: From the author of The River of Doubt and Destiny of the Republic comes the true story of Winston Churchill’s road to fame and heroism. Once again, Candice Millard has woven together an epic adventure filled with danger, courage, lucky breaks, and never-ending optimism. Highly recommended for history buffs and readers who enjoy biographies.

Details: Hero of the Empire: The Boer War, a Daring Escape, and the Making of Winston Churchill by Candice Millard. Hardcover published by Doubday in 2016. 416 p. ISBN: 978-0-385-53573-1

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Book Review: 'Betty Bunny Loves Easter' by Michael B. Kaplan

✰✰✰✰ Betty Bunny is a handful. She loves Easter so much; she wants to be the Easter Bunny when she grows up. So when Easter rolls around, she's ready to collect lots of Easter eggs. When she realizes that her family is helping her, she puts her foot down. This year she is determined to find the eggs all by herself.  It's not easy, but Betty Bunny discovers how great it feels to accomplish something on your very own.

The Bottom Line: This adorable installment of the Betty Bunny series focuses on independence. Little ones in preschool and kindergarten will relate to this Easter tale about learning to do things on your own. The festive, colorful illustrations are engaging and hilarious. Highly recommended for story time and bedtime reading.

Details: Betty Bunny Loves Easter written by Michael B. Kaplan & illustrated by Stéphane Jorisch. Hardcover picture book published by Dial Books for Young Readers in 2015. 32 p. ISBN: 978-0-8037-4061-7

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Book Review: 'The Passover Lamb' by Linda Elovitz Marshall

✰✰✰½ Little Miriam is excited for the Passover seder to begin at her grandparents' house. It's her first year to to sing the Four Questions at the seder. Before her family can leave the farm, all the chores must be done, and Miriam discovers that something is wrong with one of the sheep. Though it's late in the season, new lambs are soon born. Unfortunately, one of the newborns is left lying all alone in the hay. It looks like Miriam's family will have to stay at home, until Miriam hatches a clever plan.

The Bottom Line: Illustrated with soft watercolors, this sweet tale was inspired by a true event. Check out this gentle story to read with your little ones.

Details: The Passover Lamb written by Linda Elovitz Marshall & illustrated by Tatjana Mai-Wyss. Hardcover picture book published by Random House in 2013. 32 p. ISBN: 978-0-307-93177-1

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Book Review: 'April Fools!' by Else Holmelund Minarik

✰✰✰½ It's April Fools' Day, and Little Bear wants to create some mischief. As he climbs out of bed, he tries to think up a trick to fool Mother Bear, but he waits to long. All morning long Little Bear and his friends try to think up April Fools' jokes. Soon they grow hungry, and when they arrive at Little Bear's house for lunch, the joke's on them!

The Bottom Line: Little Bear is popular with little ones ages 3 – 6. Hahner's watercolor and colored pencil illustrations are pleasing to the eye and draw attention to Little Bear. Recommended for Preschool story time.

Details: April Fools! (Maurice Sendak's Little Bear) written by Else Holmelund Minarik & illustrated by Chris Hahner. Hardcover picture book published by HarperFestival in 2003. 24 p. ISBN: 0-694-01694-2