Saturday, July 05, 2014

All Fall Down by Mary Brigid Barrett (illustrated by LeUyen Pham)

All Fall Down by Mary Brigid Barrett (illustrated by LeUyen Pham) is very similar to Pat-a-Cake, which I reviewed yesterday (here), as they feature the style because they have the same author and illustrator. In this adventure, all kinds of things fall down.

All Fall Down is a bright, rhyming board book filled again with all kinds of different looking characters, which I really appreciated because I think it is super important for children to experience from a young age. There is a lot more text in this book than I expected based on Pat-a-Cake and I think it is a bit much for the small pages. I'm also unconvinced about the scenario that features a young child dumping all their food on the floor and it being celebrated-- I'm not sure that's something a parent, or whoever is reading the book to the toddler, wants to encourage, even in fictional form. Although the dog getting the scraps sure looks happy.

Overall, All Fall Down is a cute fun book that would definitely keep a child's attention but if you are only going to get one I would go with Pat-a-Cake instead. 
Release Date: January 7th 2014 Pages: 16  Format: Board Book
Source: Publisher  Publisher: Candlewick Press  Buy It: Book Depository

Friday, July 04, 2014

Pat-a-Cake by Mary Brigid Barrett (illustrated by LeUyen Pham)

A quick review for a quick little book. Pat-a-Cake by Mary Brigid Barrett is a board book, illustrated by LeUyen Pham with not much text and bright colourful pictures. A lot of the words inside the book are sounds that things make when you pat them, like a pudding "wibble, wobble" that make it fun and easy to read out loud. There's also a rhyme going on that helps it flow easily.

I appreciate the diversity of the characters in Pat-a-Cake it's nice to see all kinds of races represented. I also think the book is great for encouraging interaction with the child as they can pat the different items represented, and also discuss what those things feel like and what they would do with them. So overall, even though there's nothing super surprising about Pat-a-Cake it is a cute fun book for toddlers. 

Release Date: January 7th 2014 Pages: 16  Format: Board Book
Source: Publisher  Publisher: Candlewick Press  Buy It: Book Depository

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

King Lear by William Shakespeare

A novel I was really excited to read referenced King Lear by William Shakespeare on the back of the book, so of course I had to pick it up and read it immediately. Although I read a lot, I am pretty much a failure when it comes to classics and I've only read a handful of the many "must reads" that exist. However, a play, even a Shakespeare one, isn't that much of a time commitment, so I picked it up. It turned out that it wasn't at all necessary to read it for the book that mentioned it, but the end result was me being a little more well-read, so no harm done.

I am always afraid when reading a classic that there's some deep meaning I'm missing, so I actually read 3 different versions of King Lear at the same time to make sure I got the full impact and analysis. I actually found it a lot of fun to read that way, and I definitely plan to pick up more Shakespeare in the future. In terms of King Lear itself, it's the story of an aging King, who asks his daughters who loves him. While the two older daughters make grand pronouncements, the youngest, Cordelia, refuses to and is cast out by her father. However it turns out that the two older daughter quickly ally themselves in a quest to take over as King Lear is so upset he begins to descend into madness.

As I said, I really enjoyed King Lear. It's hard to critic somebody like Shakespeare, but this definitely one of my favourite plays I've read by him. Although it's a classic, I didn't know how things turned out, and I really enjoyed the ending because it was unexpected and left a big impact. There is flowery prose, but there is also a strong message about love and death. I'm not one to say anything given how poor my own classic reading is, but it is definitely worth picking this one up!