Showing posts from July, 2015

In the Deep Dark Deep - Ben Joel Price

In this sequel to Earth Space Moon Base, Monkey, Robot, and Deep-Sea Diver embark on a dangerous underwater quest! The jellyfish and spider crabs they encounter are the least of their worries as they search the depths for missing starfish in their bathysphere, the Guppy.

The illustrations in this book are fun and reminiscent of Dr. Seuss, especially where exaggerated designs and absurd creatures are concerned. The colours are dark and reflect the depth of the ocean as the Monkey, Robot, and Deep-Sea Diver travel closer to the ocean floor. The story is simple, told in rhymes and short vignettes which will delight younger readers.
That all being said, the story itself lacks depth and feels uneven at times, and the illustrations overshadow the text in many instances. Some of the rhymes also feel as though they are relying on forced word combinations that don't feel as smooth as they could. This is not to say that the book is not worth picking up, but younger children and those with a p…

A Curious Tale of the In-Between - Lauren DeStefano

I know it's a bit early, but this is a pretty unique tale and one that I want to highlight before it shows up on shelves in just over a month! Pram Bellamy is special—she can talk to ghosts. She doesn’t have too many friends amongst the living, but that’s all right. She has her books, she has her aunts, and she has her best friend, the ghostly Felix.Then Pram meets Clarence, a boy from school who has also lost a parent and is looking for answers. Together they arrive at the door of the mysterious Lady Savant, who promises to help. But this spiritualist knows the true nature of Pram’s power, and what she has planned is more terrifying than any ghost.I've read a few creepy middle grade novels over the last few years, each of which has left me feeling at least a tiny bit disconcerted by the time I was ready for sleepy time: Doll Bones (Holly Black), The Night Gardener (Jonathan Auxier), and The Elevator Ghost (Glen Huser). And now, A Curious Tale of the In-Between certainly left m…

SNAP! - Hazel Hutchins & Dušan Petričić

What could be more perfect than a brand new set of crayons? Evan can't wait to use them, until Snap! the brown one breaks in two. Then one by one, the others break, get crushed, are blown away, or simply disappear. How can he possibly draw when there's no green, purple, or even black?

Evan feels like throwing things, but instead, he scribbles using all the bits and pieces that are left. But what's this? Where yellow and blue cross, there's green, and when blue and red get all mixed up, it creates just the right purple to draw monsters. Soon, all he's left with are tiny stubs of red, yellow, and blue, but Evan discovers that even with just a few crayons, he can create new and exciting art--his imagination is the only tool he needs.

I do need to admit that I'm a bit partial to Dušan Petričić already since he was the illustrator of two books that ended up on the TD Canadian Children's Literature Prize shortlist in 2014, and one of them (The Man with the Violin) …

The Specific Ocean - Kyo Maclear (Author) & Katty Maurey (Illustrator)

A young girl is unhappy about having to leave the city for a family vacation on the Pacific Ocean (which she used to call the Specific Ocean). As the days pass, however, she is drawn to spend more time in and near the water, feeling moved by its beauty and rhythms. By the end of the vacation, the girl has grown to love the ocean and now feels reluctant to leave it behind. But as she soon realizes, it doesn't ever have to leave her.

As I can't review much in the way of YA or even upper-level MG fiction, I am doing a lot of reviews of picturebooks. I have to say, too, that I'm really enjoying doing so! There are a lot of great picturebooks coming out this year, including some from my own lovely country of Canada! This is fabulous, to me, as Canada unfortunately often gets lost in the grand scheme of the publishing industry. So now, let me move on and do the actual review of this fabulous new book, coming out in September.
The Specific Ocean is beautiful story about a trip to s…