Tuesday, July 2, 2013
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang: The Magical Car by Ian Fleming
Candlewick; Reprint edition (March 12, 2013) 160 pages
My Rating: 4/5 stars
Shameful confession: I learned a few things while reading this book. First, I didn't know Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was a car. I always assumed it was more of an expression. Secondly, I didn't know that James Bond had books about him. (shaking my head in shame) Thirdly, I learned that Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was the only children's book that Ian Fleming wrote, in addition to the James Bond books.
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is a magical car that uses her subtle abilities to help the Pott family not only go on adventures, but escape from dangerous criminals. She's pretty grateful they saved her from being demolished, after all. She can even fly! All of her abilities depend on the help of the quirky Pott family, so it's a good thing they are up for listening to Chitty's "advice" and looking for adventures.
This reprinted version has a generous amount of fun, black and white pictures throughout. I enjoyed the play with the pictures, also. For example on one two page spread where a cave is part of the story, the picture forms the shape of a cave over the top and sides of the pages.
This was an entertaining, clean read for both young readers and adults to enjoy! I'm glad I finally read it!
Meet Monster: Six Stories About the World's Friendliest Monster by Ellen Blance and Ann Cook
Two Lions (April 1, 2011) 111 pages (These were originally published in the 1970s, and this is a newer "collection" print)
My Rating: 4/5 stars
I had never heard of these books about Monster before seeing this one. Honestly, this one came into our home somewhat by accident, thanks to Jonathan. I had already skipped over it, because that cover doesn't really scream "Read me". I'm thrilled Jonathan requested it, though! It has been a HUGE hit with Grasshopper.
Apparently, these books are considered Classics. If I'd read it all on my own, I don't think I would have saw how special it would be for Grasshopper. Thankfully, I did not "pre-read" before I read it to him. There's 6 books in this "Monster" treasury. Each of the stories are short. They are set up for the earliest of readers, so the sentences are simple and repetitive. Despite the book being a quick read, I still didn't expect to read all 6 stories at once. Grasshopper kept wanting me to read more and more until we were done. He's even pulled this book off the shelf often to talk more about Monster.
When we first starting reading, he wanted to know is there was a "momma monster". I told him we'd have to keep reading. A little later, a "pretty lady monster" shows up, and Grasshopper got excited. In that same story, there's some cleaning involved, so Grasshopper wanted to know if there was a vacuum. Once again, I told him we'd have to keep reading. Sure enough, a vacuum enters the story, and his excitement grew even more. I'm wondering if he'd already been looking through it without me knowing! ;) He has both a fascination and outrageous fear of vacuum cleaners, so this has become one of his favorites on our bookshelf.
I can't say that all children will enjoy it as much as Grasshopper does, but based on his reaction to reading it, I have to give it a highly recommended for preschool/*early* readers! I *don't* think older children will be thrilled with it.
*I was provided a review copy of both books in exchange for my honest opinion.