Mini Children's Reviews 2015 - Post #1

The Family Under the Bridgerating

(No Series)

This is the delightfully warm and enjoyable story of an old Parisian named Armand, who relished his solitary life. Children, he said, were like starlings, and one was better off without them. But the children who lived under the bridge recognized a true friend when they met one, even if the friend seemed a trifle unwilling at the start. And it did not take Armand very long to realize that he had gotten himself ready-made family; one that he loved with all his heart, and one for whom he would have to find a better home than the bridge.

A truly heartwarming story for all ages. I fell in love the aged hobo who was content in life just being in his version of freedom, the adorable dog who should have been white but wasn't, Jo-Jo, the small children with their cute questions and wonders. Suzy who wanted school, Paul who would have been just as happy never going back.

The book has different turns and events in the decently sized children's story - from different homes to different discoveries. Some nudges of coy humor slip in (like with the tree!, or the food that "fell" into the cart) and the fortune at the end is gained not through just luck but coming together. Definitely a beautiful Christmas story- it may not be a direct Christmas story, but it happens at Christmas/New Year time so it's going in the books as that for me. His prayer was touching as he said he's forgotten how to pray, but not beg.

Armand starts the book by saying he avoids children because he worries about emotional involvement - and at the end it's not just the characters heartstrings that were tugged by the children, but mine too.

As a bonus, detailed pencil drawings decorated the book, adding a lot to the story.

The Adventures of Captain Underpants

(Captain Underpants, #1)

Young readers will laugh out loud at this action-packed, easy-to-read chapter book by award-winning author and Caldecott Honor illustrator Dav Pilkey. Introducing FLIP-O-RAMA, a wonderfully silly and fun-filled illustration technique that allows readers to animate the action.

The cover looks silly but for children this is fun. There's humor that's not cheesy or obnoxious, everything from the villain's van saying "The Bad Guys" on it to the bizarre conception of the Captain Underpants comic book. Not actually a story about him, it's the two of two bratty kids who conceive this character and make a comic book out of him, order a hypno-ring to control their irritating principal, and spread general mayhem around school and town. Clever drawings accompany the text, which is easy to read for all ages. Better than I figured it would be.


Attack of the Graveyard Ghouls

(Goosebumps, #14)

The fog shimmered up over the dark grass, over the bent, scraggly trees. Covering the hill, covering the old graveyard.

And then I heard the horrifying moan. Through the windowpane, I heard a long, low moan floating from the hill.

Human and animal at the same time.
So cold. So sad.
So near...

Finally finished the last Goosebump I own. This one was cute, as most of them are, but irritating with some of the exclamation marks and silliness. What worked was I liked the main character well enough, the transformation into different animals and the humor of that. I do wonder did all the bodies die when he left the host though, like with the cat? There's a typical Stine humor twist at the end. I'd think the kids may end up going to prison now, so not sure how they explained everything, but I'm looking too hard into it...