Thursday, August 30, 2012

Codley and the Big Storm: Together We Can!, by Lisl Fair and Michaela Grace (illustrations by Ismedy Prasetya)

Lisl Fair is back with another Codley adventure (my daughter is still hoping for a followup to her Lexi Fairheart story). This time Codley the octopus and his friends must rebuild Codley's home in a shipwreck when a storm on the ocean surface causes havoc on the ocean floor (not sure how realistic that is--does that actually happen?). Each of the various sea creatures helps with the cleanup in their own way. The manta rays, for instance, are very good at sweeping up debris. The book is cute and has a clear message about cooperation. Plus it shows a number of sea creatures exercising their unique talents which young children are sure to enjoy.

It's far too wordy to be a toddler book, however, and some of the dialogue is awkward to read aloud (particularly that of Pokie, the stammering blowfish). It's more likely a book for early readers aged 6-8. It's very cute and I liked it better than the previous Codley book, Codley and the Sea Cave Adventure.

Hit the jump for Magda's take!

Monday, August 27, 2012

The Bookish Elf is sick...and by that I mean *I'm* sick...ugh

As you may have noticed, The Bookish Elf has been pretty quiet lately. Well, it's been a very busy summer, but I also seem to be ending it with a bang...and by that I mean a flu. Ugh. I've been feeling too icky to even read (that's pretty sick) let alone blog. But rest assured The Bookish Elf will be back soon, with a whole new crop of children's book recommendations, including some great back-to-school reads. In the meantime, why not head over to Cozy Little Book Journal and scroll through some of the past posts, and maybe even enter the Gold giveaway?

BONUS: Can you name the book that the above picture comes from? (Hint: It's been reviewed on Cozy Little Book Journal)

Monday, August 20, 2012

Sword Mountain, by Nancy Yi Fan

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Buy Now on

What an absolutely charming and delightful book! I originally entered a giveaway to win this book (thanks Goodreads!) because the cover art looked fantastic and I figured I could give it to my daughter when she's older. I still will, but now I think I'll tell her she's "borrowing Mommy's copy." Nancy Yi Fan has created a world of sentient birds living--and warring--atop a mountain kingdom. The golden eagles from the mountaintop look down upon (literally and figuratively) the valley eagles. The eagle owls threaten to disrupt the eagles' rule (they can attack at night!). And a golden eagle prince brings shame to his family when he reveals he'd rather be a songbird. 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Museum at Purgatory, by Nick Bantock

One of the most intriguing books I have encountered in recent memory, this combination of artwork and narrative is almost revolutionary. It's a picture book, almost a multimedia book of artifacts (like most of Nick Bantock's work) and it's really not a children's book, but I included it here on The Bookish Elf because it's so interesting and would appeal to older children or teen readers as well as adults.

The Funny Thing Is..., by Ellen Degeneres

The followup to My Point...and I do Have One, this book contains a lot of material from her HBO special The Beginning and, I hate to say, it's not as funny. I'm glad I read it and it is funny but I can't imagine re-reading it a dozen times like the first book, or re-watching it like the HBO special. But I am an Ellen fan so I enjoyed it. I do like the fact that it's copyrighted to "Crazy Monkey Inc." Tee hee. (I've included it here on The Bookish Elf because Ellen's books are so funny and accessible that they're appropriate for all ages.)

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Magician's Nephew, by C.S. Lewis

This is chronologically the first in the Narnia series, although it was not published first.

I loved it. I had just seen the film The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe twice when I read this, but I definitely enjoyed the book on its own and can't wait to read the rest of the books.

Plus it was so interesting to see the creation of Narnia and the special connection that humans have to it.

I'm a little confused why there aren't more humans in the Narnia of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe since originally the king and queen were human...I guess I'll just have to keep reading.