Sunday, August 31, 2014

Review: V Is for Vegan: The ABCs of Being Kind

V Is for Vegan: The ABCs of Being Kind
V Is for Vegan: The ABCs of Being Kind by Ruby Roth

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a fantastic children's book that you can introduce young (our child received this for her second birthday and was able to start asking questions about it right away). Raising a vegan kid is hard, but this book helps her understand why we don't drink milk that comes from cows (and eat meat, test on animals, eat honey, or wear animal skins), and why plants are so awesome for us. I love that it introduces different types of grains, vegetables, and healthy sources of fat, while also letting kids know that our choices matter - not only for ourselves, but for other people, the environment, and our animal friends.

View all my reviews

Review: A Birthday for Bear: An Early Reader

A Birthday for Bear: An Early Reader
A Birthday for Bear: An Early Reader by Bonny Becker

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

An utterly charming book that is requested often for bedtime from our two-year-old. This book has also introduced the phrase "quick as a whisker" into my toddler's vocabulary, which kills me of cuteness every time it is uttered, and a frequent request for chocolate cake with chocolate icing and chocolate sprinkles.

Seriously though, it's pretty adorbs.

View all my reviews

Review: It's Okay to Be Different

It's Okay to Be Different
It's Okay to Be Different by Todd Parr

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A children's book on inclusivity and loving yourself just the way you are? Yes, please!

View all my reviews

Review: What Makes a Baby

What Makes a Baby
What Makes a Baby by Cory Silverberg

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Recommended from (check it out!).
The illustrations are gorgeous.

This is a fantastic little read that had my two-year-old entranced. It gently discusses the basics behind how conception, pregnancy, and birth occur. While it identifies various concepts of conception and birth (sperm, egg, uterus, vagina), the act of sex isn't discussed in itself.

Basically, the book shares the following information: you need a sperm and an egg to make a baby; they meet, share their "stories"/DNA, and a baby grows in a uterus. People are excited to have the baby come out, there is a brief explanation of vaginal and cesarean births (nothing graphic/strange), and everyone is tired but so glad the baby has arrived.

The bodies in the book are ungendered/unsexed, and the anatomy isn't even assigned to a particular sex. The people in the books are of every shape, color, and expression.

Highly recommended for ages 2+, especially for those who want to encourage a mindset that is open to varying sexual and gender identities, family structures, etc. There is nothing that pushes (or is against) the heteronormative definition of "family" (two heterosexual parents, married, blahblahblah). The book also explains c-section as a method of birth.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Review: Songs of Willow Frost

Songs of Willow Frost
Songs of Willow Frost by Jamie Ford

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I didn't really like [b:Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet|3367956|Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet|Jamie Ford||3407295], so I'm not sure why I picked this up; maybe I thought that, because it had such great reviews, it might be better? Not so much.

I've concluded that I just don't care for Jamie Ford's writing. While I have immense respect for anyone that can write a book and then have the guts to go get it published, I don't think he is able to successfully narrate for a child, or represent how a child would think, act, or talk. Unfortunately, this perspective constitutes the majority of both "Songs of Willow Frost" and "Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet."

I also felt the writing was incredibly spotty, and in some sections it seemed like some of the story had been hastily added in, or a chunk removed so that it didn't flow well overall. Much like "Hotel," I wasn't able to engage with the plot until the last 50-75 pages.

Things I thought Ford did well in this novel: the way he relayed the vast inequalities of the social service systems in place in the 1920s and 30s, as well as the racial inequality that Chinese-Americans faced, that, while still problematic today, was so much worse then; the portrayal of the blossoming film industry (though some of this seemed forced as well?); and showing what Seattle might have looked like during the Great Depression.

If you like "Hotel," you'll probably like this too.

View all my reviews