Book Review: Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein
Where the Sidewalk Ends
Author: Shel Silverstein
Reviewed By: Cristina
Come in… for where the sidewalk ends, Shel Silverstein’s world begins.
Shel Silverstein, the New York Times bestselling author of The Giving Tree, A Light in the Attic, Falling Up, and Every Thing On It, has created a poetry collection that is outrageously funny and deeply profound.
You’ll meet a boy who turns into a TV set, and a girl who eats a whale. The Unicorn and the Bloath live there, and so does Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout who will not take the garbage out. It is a place where you wash your shadow and plant diamond gardens, a place where shoes fly, sisters are auctioned off, and crocodiles go to the dentist.
Shel Silverstein’s masterful collection of poems and drawings stretches the bounds of imagination and will be cherished by readers of all ages.
Poetry often gets overlooked for young readers, but it can be a great stepping stone from picture books to chapter books, or comprehension practice for older readers. And, you know, poetry can just be fun to read!
Shel Silverstein is a very popular poet for children. This happens to be my favorite collection of his works. With poems about ice cream, pirates, doing chores, going to school, Silverstein’s poems are something children can relate to in their own lives. Some of them are just plain silly, some are very thoughtful, and some have a little lesson in them. He also draws illustrations to go with them. (The crocodile in the dentist chair is one of my favorites!) If your reader is thinking they are getting “too old” for bedtime stories, or you don’t have time for a whole book or chapter of something, try reading a poem together instead. This is a great collection to get them hooked on poetry!
Children’s Book Review: Black Beauty by Anna Sewell
Author: Anna Sewell
First Published: November 24, 1877
Reviewed By: Cristina
Black Beauty spends his youth in a loving home, surrounded by friends and cared for by his owners. But when circumstances change, he learns that not all humans are so kind. Passed from hand to hand, Black Beauty witnesses love and cruelty, wealth and poverty, friendship and hardship . . . Will the handsome horse ever find a happy and lasting home? Carefully retold in clear contemporary language, and presented with delightful illustrations, these favorite classic stories capture the heart and imagination of young readers.
Black Beauty is considered a “classic” in the children’s book world. Originally published in 1877, it has stood the test of time as a great book. Anna Sewell wrote the book as she was an invalid in her later years; she died only five months after publication. It was a huge success at the time and is still a very successful book–over 50 million copies sold! So what makes it so great? This:
Black Beauty is told from the horse’s point of view, and makes the reader think about animal rights, kindness between humans and animals, integrity, courage and love. Beauty’s life begins in a beautiful way, with a loving mother, a good human master, and other horse friends. As he grows up, he is sold to different masters–some kind, some not–and shares his experiences with the reader. When a person is reading Black Beauty, it is as if they are sitting under the apple tree with him, listening to him share his life story. He shares lessons he has learned along the way, ones that the reader can ponder on as well. There is a happy ending, but there is sorrow and loss on the way there–as in many true life stories.
I recommend this book for all ages with one caveat: there is cruelty to animals described, and death is very real in this book. Make sure your reader is mature enough to handle these discussions. With that said, is a great read aloud and discuss book with first and second graders, age appropriate for advanced third and fourth graders, and wonderful thinking content for fifth graders and up. In fact, I would encourage it to be read as a family book club selection!
Enjoy a classic. This one deserves the title.
Book Review: Make Room! Make Room! by Harry Harrison
Make Room! Make Room!
Author: Harry Harrison
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 3 stars
The world is crowded. Far too crowded. Its starving billions live on lentils, soya beans, and ―if they’re lucky―the odd starving rat.
In a New York City groaning under the burden of 35 million inhabitants, detective Andy Rusch is engaged in a desperate and lonely hunt for a killer everyone has forgotten. For even in a world such as this, a policeman can find himself utterly alone….
Acclaimed on its original publication in 1966, Make Room! Make Room! was adapted into the movie Soylent Green in 1973, starring Charlton Heston along with Edward G. Robinson in his last role.
Ok, I think I’ve come to a conclusion: Old book to film adaptations are so ridiculously different from modern ones. This is the second one that I’ve read where the film is actually miles better than the original book! I’m weirded out! I showed Ivan Soylent Green last year and I was reminded how brilliant it was. I mean, Charlton Heston, but even aside from him! That movie is terrifying and so well done! I noticed that it said it was based on a novel, so naturally, I looked it up. I finally bought it and read it … and it wasn’t that great at all!
I don’t want to spoil Soylent Green cuz everybody should watch it, but very little of the story from the book was put into the movie. And the story in the movie is so much better! Some of the concepts were the same; overcrowding, lack of resources, extreme classism, etc. and the setting was well done. I liked Andy Rusch, but mainly because I was picturing Heston the whole time. Overall, I’m glad I read it, but I’d quickly recommend the movie to anyone else!