NIGHT IN THE COUNTRY: By Cynthia Rylant


Author: Cynthia Rylant is an American author, she has written more than 100 children’s books, many of Rylant’s books are about her childhood in Appalachia.

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Book: NIGHT IN THE COUNTRY

Genre: Children’s literature

Story by Cynthia Rylant

Pictures by Mary Szilagyi

Aladdin Paperbacks

An imprint of Simon & Schuster

First Aladdin Paperbacks edition 1991

 

Book Review: Night in the Country, is a story on describing the countryside at night with emphasis on the sound of some common night creatures, animals and things in the tranquil of night; the pictures give the impression of being colour pencil art – comprising of many darker tones of colours and are of blurry styles, it is like a visual narrative with few lines of the short story printed on the pages of the book.

 

Academic Use: This narrative is especially appropriate for teaching auditory readiness/discrimination in the age group of 4 to 6 years; the teacher can narrate the story along with the aid of an audio player for sound recordings of some of the creatures and things mentioned in the story.

As per my perspective, this story is best suited in audio visual format than in a book format for teaching auditory discrimination in preschool children.

This book is a good reading material for children of 6 to 8 years – with mentions of auditory words for vocabulary development, for encouraging nature sensitivity; and also a good resource book of art-works for children who are inclined towards creative-work of painting


Amazon link: Night in the Country by Cynthia Rylant


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The Grey Lady and the Strawberry Snatcher: By MOLLY BANG

Book Review

This book is a prime example to express how art can be used as a medium for education or for children’s healthy entertainment in an exceptional style.

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Book: The Grey Lady and the Strawberry Snatcher

Genre: Children’s Book

Author: MOLLY BANG

Aladdin Paperbacks

An imprint of Simon & Schuster

First Aladdin Paperbacks edition May 1996

Book Review: The Grey Lady and the Strawberry Snatcher is a picture story book of 24 pages with two central characters – one is the Strawberry Snatcher who is drawn as having a blue coloured, thin body with long limbs wrapped in a clothing of bright green with base of red and wearing an awkward purple hat, the entire figure of the strawberry snatcher is uncanny still amusing; and the other is the Grey Lady with a big body and with grey hair, wearing a fully covered grey coat, this figure resembles a clever, gratified grandma.

This book is a set of painting art-works with loud colours, the pictures are in rapid sequence; a few drawings combine  to  express two or more sequence of the story at one instance, a few others is fascinating mix of similar colours where the observer of the story has to search to spot one of the characters in the picture – and this is done with matching the background colour of the picture with the colour of the clothing of one of the central characters.

 

Yes, the story is about the peculiar looking strawberry snatcher who follows the grey lady to snatch her basket full of strawberries — this is a witty story and an intellectual  piece of art which makes it more appropriate for children of 7 years and above to appreciate – more so for visual learners or for children who have an aptitude  for creative skill like painting.

 

Academic Use: This book can be  valuable  as a conversation piece for children of 8 to 10 years; two children  can give voice-over to the two characters, the dialogues between the characters will vary according to the individuality of the children yet the conversation has to inflexibly be within the picture description of the story, this activity can also mark the growth of children’s intellectual and language ability.

 

Author: Molly Garrett Bang is an American illustrator. For her illustration of children’s books she has been a runner-up for the American Caldecott Medal three times and for the British Greenaway Medal once.


Amazon link: The Grey Lady and the Strawberry Snatcher by Molly Bang


Twitter: @mirandapresence

The Italian’s Vengeful Seduction: By Bella Frances

Book Review

The vigorous title of the novel impeccably matches with the content of the novel; the author has remarkably penned the romantic equation between the two central characters of the book, which the novel entirely involves of, as an intense romantic chemistry yet almost without the trace of vulgarity and with a shrewd sense of humour.

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Novel: The Italian’s Vengeful Seduction

Genre: Romance

Author: Bella Frances

Mills & Boon Modern Romance

First Published in Great Britain  2017

By Mills & Boon, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers

Book Review:  Stacey Jackson was Marco Borsatto adolescent fantasy, as a teenager every single thing about her caused some kind of chain reaction in him from brain to body, and he considered her special — in her explosive toxic anger she’d lied to say stupid things to him that had caused them both pain and had made her and his life spin.

 After ten years, Stacey by coincidence bangs with his limousine in a minor traffic accident, and then their passionate adult romantic equation begins …

It is one of those love stories which has a cliché plot; and on the other hand Bella Frances has powerfully proven how a writer’s optimistic attitude can greatly affect to turn a cliché plot into an awesome narrative. The author has not dwelled too much into trivial description of things, and has remained loyal to the main essence of the plot in her narrative i.e. the sensual chemistry between the protagonists; the conversation between the main characters of the story is likeable and so is the smooth narrative to easily fascinate the reader into the soft quality of the story, with no disturbing elements included to cause reader distress.

As a reader of this novel, I would like to say that the picture of the male model at the cover of the book does not match with the robust description of the male character Marco Borsatto  of the novel. All in all, this novel is an enjoyable read for readers of 16 years and above; and in the words of the author of the novel – the story can be termed as, “Original. A little more flavoursome.”


Amazon link: The Italian’s Vengeful Seduction (Claimed by a Billionaire): By Bella Frances


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No Talking – By Andrew Clements

Book Review

Author: Andrew Clements has written more than fifty books for children, including the award-winning, multimillion-copy bestseller Frindle.

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Book – No Talking

Genre – Children’s Literature

Author – Andrew Clements

Atheneum Books for Young Readers

An imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division

First paperback edition June 2009

Book Review: Dave Packer had to prepare a report on the history of India to give a presentation for five minutes or less for his social studies class, just some basic facts on anything related to India, he found the most interesting section on India was about how it became independent and thought the most interesting person in the story of India’s independence was Mahatma Gandhi – in one of the books, he read this about Gandhi:

For many years, one day each week Gandhi did not speak at all. Gandhi believed this was a way to bring order to his mind.

Dave wondered what that meant, “to bring order to his mind”, could something as simple as not talking change the way your mind worked? … this belief seemed to have been good for Gandhi; would not talking make him smarter?  So Dave decided to give this philosophy a try, to effort to keep his mouth shut all day on Monday, but giving this report in his social studies class on Monday would ruin his experiment … How would he cope with his experiment of “No Talking” for a day? How could this philosophy help Dave of fifth grade?

The story develops to discover the influence of Dave’s experiment – first as a personal goal of Dave which later transpires as a contest for two days between the students of the fifth grade as Boys vs. Girls, with a set of rules to follow; how the teachers deal with the peculiar situation on the first day of the contest, how the teachers involve themselves in this contest on the second day to appreciate the concept’s novel approach in the teaching and learning process.

 

As per my grasp of the story, the source of this story is founded on research discoveries of the concept – “No Talking”, executed in a school; the scheme of the narrative is purposely kept entertaining so as to captivate the curious mind of a child – which expresses about the author’s commendable story telling ability with a challenging storyline to narrate specifically to children. The concept and the clever narration  of the story is more appropriate  for children of 10 years and above to comprehend and appreciate, and at a leisurely pace a child probably  will take less than a week’s time to finish reading this book. The theme of the story is essentially based in a school background thus incudes a lot of names of students and teachers which could bring a trace of confusion in a young mind while reading.

 

 “No Talking” as an activity in school is a practical concept with many constructive benefits towards a child’s holistic development, as revealed in the book – this activity can be carried out in schools for 1 day, for at least 2 times in an academic year, for children above 10 years; for teachers this book caters as an useful resource book for planning this activity.


Amazon link: No Talking by Andrew Clements


Stolen by Lesley Pearse

Book Review

This novel gives the impression to be factual account of a real life incident or combination of several real life incidents, woven stylishly by an intoxicating story-telling from a chic writer—Lesley Pearse.

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Stolen:-

Author –  Lesley Pearse

Published in Penguin Books 2010

Book Review: A woman in her mid-twenties, with brutally cropped blonde hair and with purple marks on her wrists and ankles as if she’d been restrained, is found half drowned on the beach at Selsey. She is taken to a hospital in Chichester, she is weak, suffering from hypothermia and exhaustion, but her loss of memory is the most troubling aspect, her trauma the reason for the amnesia.

Dale Moore, a beautician in a spa at a Hotel near Brighton recognizes her to be her friend, Lotte Wainwright,  a hairdresser on the cruise ship they worked together fourteen months ago … the story leads to a sequence of ruthless realities.

The plot of the story is disturbing and may cause some readers distress; the horribleness of a parent is sourced as the primary factor of the protagonist’s misery, causing the young protagonist to get trapped into a tormenting situation. This story also breaks the myth of stereotypical friendship and also the myth of clichés relating to family bond.

The author’s effort in describing all the trivial things to present the reader with an enchanting experience, and with an in-depth analysis of the characters of the story along with the descriptive narration of the grief-stricken situation of the protagonist is in empathetic regard; however the reader may find the story draggy especially at the concluding chapters.

This novel, however lengthy a reader may find it to be, is worth a read from readers of 18 years and above; and shines forth with the supreme ability of the  writer in sequencing the events intelligently to rouse the reader with curiosity and also for narrating the gloomy plot of the story with sensible brighter shades of writing.


Amazon link: Stolen by Lesley Pearse


Readers of this blog are welcome to recommend any fiction novel (Genre: mystery, romance, science fiction/fantasy, suspense/thriller, realistic fiction, historical fiction, young adult, children’s literature) in English language for book review – I prefer to read novels in paperback format, share your thoughts through the comment section of this Blog: mirandavoice.com or tweet at twitter.com/mirandapresence

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See You in the Cosmos – By JACK CHENG

Book Review

As a reader of this book, it seems to me that this book is a humble tribute to an eminent astronomer Dr. Carl Edward Sagan by the author Jack Cheng.

Dr. Carl Edward Sagan (1934 – 1996) was an American astronomer:

“Who are we? We find that we live on an insignificant planet of a humdrum star lost in a galaxy tucked away in some forgotten corner of a universe in which there are far more galaxies than people.” – Carl Sagan

He tried to make science popular. He thought about what life from other planets would be like. He said that people should look for life on other planets. He is world famous for his popular science books and the television series Cosmos, which he co-wrote and presented.

Sagan was associated with the U.S. space program from its inception. From the 1950s onward, he worked as an advisor to NASA, where one of his duties included briefing the Apollo astronauts before their flights to the Moon. Sagan contributed to many of the robotic spacecraft missions that explored the Solar System, arranging experiments on many of the expeditions.

Sagan assembled the first physical message that was sent into space: a gold-anodized plaque, attached to the space probe Pioneer 10, launched in 1972. Pioneer 11, also carrying another copy of the plaque, was launched the following year.

He continued to refine his designs; the most elaborate message he helped to develop and assemble was the Voyager Golden Record that was sent out with the Voyager space probes in 1977.

Sagan often challenged the decisions to fund the Space Shuttle and the International Space Station at the expense of further robotic missions. (Source: Wikipedia)  Dr. Caral Sagan’s Scientific Achivements

 

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See You in the Cosmos:-

Author – JACK CHENG

An imprint of Penguin Random House LLC, 2017

Published in Great Britain by Puffin Books 2017

Book Review: Alex Petroski is a eleven-year old boy, though he thinks himself to be thirteen-years-old  in responsibility age because he can cook and take care of his dog, whom he has named  after his hero, Dr. Carl Sagan; he plans to launch his rocket—Voyager 3 at the Southwest High-Altitude Rocket Festival in the desert near Albuquerque, New Mexico, to carry his iPod into space – his Golden iPod with his sound recordings to connect with other life forms out in the universe, and thus this exceptional idea of his initiates his adventure …

So his golden iPod is like a personal diary – with him narrating to record the happenings of the day, his venture to the rocket festival which advances into meeting nice strangers, his trip to Las Vegas and so on … with many other exciting revelations.

 

The simplicity of the language makes the novel a fortunate book for the children between the age-group of 8 to 11 years; the content is very informative and contemporary, though the exceptional presentation of the story does require a little explanation by an adult and at a leisurely pace a child may take a month’s time to finish reading this book.

The pace of this novel is slow for adult readers; considering that this book is particularly meant for young readers and written from a view point of a young child, however the unique presentation of the concept – by which I mean the novel is written like a narration on an audio player is highly commendable, makes it an admirable read for teenagers and adults too.


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Amazon link – See You in the Cosmos by Jack Cheng