Tag: Nonfiction

Release Day Review: Children’s Picture Book: Why Do We Cry?

Why Do We Cry?
Author: Fran Pintadera

Illustrator:  Ana Sender
Published: Today, April 7, 2020
34 Pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Date Read: March 28, 2020
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars

Book Description:

In a soft voice, Mario asks, “Mother, why do we cry?” His mother thinks for a moment, and then begins to tell him about the many reasons for our tears. We cry because our sadness is so huge it must escape from our bodies. Because we don’t understand the world, and our tears go in search of an answer. Because we can’t find the right words, and our tears speak a universal language. Most important, she tells him, we cry because we feel like crying. And, as she shows him then, sometimes we feel like crying for joy.

Jessica’s Review:

Mario asks his mother, “Why do we cry?” and she goes on to tell him all the different reasons that we do cry.  Some of the reasons are a bit metaphorical, and might be harder for younger children to understand, but the illustrations help in those cases.  (The book is aimed for 3-7 year olds, but I think the story is more fitting for ages 5 and up). The illustrations correspond well with the words on the page. 

The story lets children know that it is ultimately ok to cry.  I feel that the book showcasing a boy asking about crying is wonderful as some boys are told NOT to cry. 

A few added pluses:

There is also a lesson that scientifically explains about tears so children can understand some of the varying reasons that tears exist.  There is also a small interactive section with activities dealing with tears that will help children express their imagination. 

Many thanks to Kids Can Press for granting me an e-arc to read and review.  A+ on this children’s picture book! 

Purchase Link:
Amazon US

Video Review: Santa Claus is For Real

In 2017, both Kim and I read and reviewed Santa Claus is For Real by Charles Edward Hall. Kim reads it every year and even writes to Mr. Hall!  This is a book that shows the magic that Christmas can and does have!  This year Kim decided to have a video review:

Kim’s previous review is here.
Jessica’s previous review is here.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK


Gunnar Hansen’s Chain Saw Confidential

Chain Saw Confidential: How We Made the World’s Most Notorious Horror Movie
Author: Gunnar Hansen
Published: September 24, 2013

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 5 stars

Book Description:

When The Texas Chain Saw Massacre first hit movie screens in 1974 it was both reviled and championed. To critics, it was either “a degrading, senseless misuse of film and time” or “an intelligent, absorbing and deeply disturbing horror film.” However it was an immediate hit with audiences. Banned and celebrated, showcased at the Cannes film festival and included in the New York MoMA’s collection, it has now come to be recognized widely as one of the greatest horror movies of all time.

A six-foot-four poet fresh out of grad school with limited acting experience, Gunnar Hansen played the masked, chain-saw-wielding Leatherface. His terrifying portrayal and the inventive work of the cast and crew would give the film the authentic power of nightmare, even while the gritty, grueling, and often dangerous independent production would test everyone involved, and lay the foundations for myths surrounding the film that endure even today.

Critically-acclaimed author Hansen here tells the real story of the making of the film, its release, and reception, offering unknown behind-the-scenes details, a harrowingly entertaining account of the adventures of low-budget filmmaking, illuminating insights on the film’s enduring and influential place in the horror genre and our culture, and a thoughtful meditation on why we love to be scared in the first place.

Kim’s Review:

A while ago, I made the admission that I love horror. I can blame Ivan for introducing me to horror movies, but even before that, I loved the horror genre in books. The scarier the better! Ivan and our friend, Adam, have talked about Texas Chainsaw Massacre before and I had begged Ivan to watch it with me. He included the soundtrack from the remake on his Halloween playlist and that theme is seriously the scariest score I have ever heard, but I couldn’t watch the remake until I watched the original, so I asked Ivan again to watch it with me. Finally, FINALLY, we sat down to watch it . . . blew my friggin mind! I jumped, I squealed, I shut my eyes, I asked why . . . but what shocked me was that a week afterward, I was still pondering. Ivan has a habit of asking me what I’m thinking about while we’re driving, and that week, I answered “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.” He got so excited and we ended up having conservation after conversation about this dang movie!

I have to say, I really love Chainsaw! It’s violent and graphic and horrible, but it’s riveting! I was so intrigued and continue to be so! Audible had a Halloween sale and look! A book by the man who played Leatherface all about the filming of the movie!!! I bought it, and listened to it, and now I want to watch Chainsaw again!! I learned so much; the people behind this movie were just as crazy as you’d expect. Reading about the dinner scene was enlightening and I was surprised at how horrible the filming was for the cast and crew. I am so sad that Gunnar Hansen is dead and I can never meet him. Toby Hooper, the director, is also dead . . . I was born in the wrong decade. This book isn’t for everybody, but if you are a horror fan, then this book is for you! I absolutely recommend it and the original movie!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Here is the movie trailer for the 1974 version of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: